Step 11: With compassion we stepped out of victimhood and into survivorhood by taking personal responsibility over our lives and future choices.
There is no question about the fact that we were victims of the abuse. This step is not about minimising the effects of that or undermining how difficult it was. This step is about regaining control over our lives. Some of us continue to live our lives as victims, believing that everything that happens in our lives happens to us as a consequence of someone else. We can sometimes fail to realise that we play a part in our own downfall and we can often put the blame on others for what is going on. This victim mentality does not serve us well in our recovery. We don’t intentionally stay in victim-mode, we just struggle to find a way out. This step encourages us to differentiate between the things in our lives that we have control and choice over and the things that we are powerless over. Trying to change things we are powerless over is a complete waste of energy. Example we cannot change other people, we cannot change the past, we cannot change the choices of others and we were powerless over the abuse. We need to focus on events and choices in our lives that we can influence, that is: our own behavior, our choices, the people we surround ourselves with, our thinking and our coping skills.
We are in a stronger position if we see ourselves as people who have survived through adversity rather than simply see ourselves as victims of wrongdoing. This positive shift in our thinking will improve our confidence and self belief throughout our journey. The serenity prayer/affirmation can help a lot with this step as we need to use our energy and power over the elements of our lives that we have control over.
A practical part of this step will be to list the warning signs of our struggle and to put an action plan in place for when we notice these warning signs. Some warning signs will be early ones where maybe just re-introducing the things that keep us well will help us get back on track. Other warning signs may need more direct action. By doing this we are taking personal responsibility over our own wellness. Survivor Support Anonymous highly recommends its member to explore the option of doing a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) course which will add invaluable insight into understanding ourselves and making changes that will always direct us back to wellness.WRAP gives a much closer look at triggers, early warning signs and action planning to help us make better choices when we are struggling.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.