Beliefs: Why Change Them?

Compassionate Love:Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2014 Nancy Virden

photo-24747927-downcast-womanIf your beliefs stay the same, you stay the same.

I heard this line on a confidential recovery-based conference call. The speaker was sharing her metamorphosis from denial about her addiction and unmanageable life, to dependence on her Higher Power and support from others for recovery. Her original false and negative beliefs told her she would never find a way out.

Significant people in her youth had planted a seed, a sense of low-worth in her mind. As she grew, some experiences with rejection served as “proof.” For years, her self-talk emphatically repeated this message. This seeming confirmation of her worthlessness ran through her mind several times a day.

If your beliefs stay the same, you stay the same.

Realizing her way of life was not working, she opened herself to new ideas. Challenging those old beliefs became her fight of a lifetime. Overcoming addiction was relatively easy compared to recognizing her worth.

Retaining her good intention of giving everything over to her Higher Power was also difficult as the thought slipped in and out of her daily routine. A stubborn self-reliance blocked her path to true recovery. “Tiny steps one day at a time” became her mantra.

By committing to self-care and the long recovery process, she began to know the presence of her Higher Power more readily. Is that because she was now worthy of his attention? No, Her Higher Power, who is Jesus, had been there all the while.  They teamed to tear down the barriers she had built between them.

If your beliefs stay the same, you will stay the same.

As this woman told her story,  I along with recovering addicts across the country heard our own. She was an  inspiration to many who struggle.

This part of her experience I hope to also have. In a few days I will return to the residential treatment center I was sent to last summer, only this time as an alumni speaker. My goal is to impart hope and encourage women to believe inner change is possible.

If your beliefs stay the same, you stay the same.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*picture from





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