Acceptance in Early Recovery

In jargon used by the members of twelve step programs. The term ‘acceptance’ is a key concept in being able to recognise the problem. The addict has with substance abuse, addiction and admission of the problem. As a principle acceptance in early recovery denotes the necessity to acknowledge their situation and to become comfortable with every aspect of what happens. In order to be at peace with what life throws at them, each individual must accept their situation. This is to deal with whatever comes their way.


Being able to accept anything gives us the grace to consider how we can respond to any situation in the best way possible. Lack of acceptance in a recovery addict is what is most commonly known as, as denial. Denial has no positive qualities or contributions to recovery and in fact slows down the process. The notion of acceptance can often be confused with that of agreement. One does not have to agree with their situation in life, and it is not possible to agree with all aspects of life. However, accepting negative or not wholly positive aspects of life is the only way to create peace with the situation.


For those in recovery it is essential that they start trying to accept everything that has happened and is currently happening in their lives. Regardless of whatever feelings may arise in response to this. We obviously cannot expect to be happy about every situation that life presents us but by accepting them we make our first steps to effectively dealing with it. For example, accepting that a loved one or yourself has an addiction is the first step to recovery. The continuation of denial creates and breeds harm rather than facing up to the problem and making steps to dealing with it. Accepting that problems exist breaks down the barriers and defences people may have up which inhibit the route to recovery.

An example of detrimental denial can extend to denying that there is any sort of problem at all. Most people experience denial through justifications of their problem. Such as “I drink the same amount as everyone else” or “I never drink alone therefore I can’t be an addict”. Denying that there is a problem perpetuates the addiction. Learning to admit that something is going on, then allowing it to exist, despite their fear of the situation or any other emotional response, is a great step toward overcoming the situation as comfortably as possible in as short a period as possible.

The Concept of Acceptance

The concept of acceptance may seem very simple at first. Addicts have a personal history, many times, of living in a denial state. That is like pulling the blankets over their heads. Ignoring all situations that bring up any kind of uncomfortable emotional response for them. Living in a state of acceptance rather than denial is a hugely positive step. Maintain this acceptance is a necessity to continued sobriety and abstinence.

Call the Haynes Clinic on 01462 851414 for confidential advice with your addiction.

Acceptance in Early Recovery