Addiction can drive people to do some horrible things and act in ways that hurt those closest to them.
Getting sober is often as much about quitting as it is recognizing these mistakes and trying to make amends.
How to Love Yourself in Recovery
Many of the recovering addicts and alcoholics we help still struggle with shame and guilt long after they complete our medical detox in Gilman. As much as you would like, you cannot erase your past, but you shouldn’t let it hold you back. If you can learn to love yourself in recovery, you can start to move forward in your sobriety and find happiness. Dwelling on the past and continuing to have a negative outlook of yourself is one of the fastest ways to relapse.
The first step to learning to love yourself in recovery is forgiving yourself. After you get sober, your days as an addict may feel like a lifetime ago, but your mistakes from this time may still haunt you. So long as you take accountability for these actions, try to make amends when you can, and do your best to learn from them, it is okay to forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes; although yours may be more costly than other people’s, you still deserve to be happy.
Many patients in our residential addiction treatment in Gilman were at rock bottom when they first came to us, but they are now trying to turn their lives around. Just by getting sober, you have already come a long way. Be proud of every small accomplishment since you’ve gotten sober. If you could barely get yourself out of bed when you were an addict, celebrate going for a walk around the neighborhood. By celebrating these little victories and being proud of your accomplishments, you will learn to appreciate yourself more.
Set Practical Goals
Although you have come a long way, you may not be exactly where you want to be. You are still trying to pick up the pieces of your life and may not feel that great about yourself yet. Breaking down your life goals into small, attainable steps can help you work toward the life that you want. Whether it involves exercising or your career, every step forward toward these goals can help you push away shame and guilt and learn to love yourself in recovery.
Learning to love yourself in recovery can take time, and sometimes it requires regular effort. Give yourself daily positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem. While it may seem silly or forced at first, with time, this practice will get easier and you will start to believe what you are saying.
Change Your Outlook
Practicing self-love in recovery is often about changing your point of view. A good way to love yourself after addiction is to focus on thinking positively. Too often, people who abuse drugs and alcohol get caught in negative thought patterns that push them to continue to abuse these substances. Focus on challenging your negative thinking like you may have learned in your addiction therapy programs and you will eventually find that you have a more positive outlook of yourself and life.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Toxic people can not only lead to relapse, but also make you feel worse about yourself. Now that you are in recovery, focus on surrounding yourself with people who will support you and boost your confidence. With others singing your praises, it is easier to feel good about yourself.
Helping others can help you feel good about yourself. If you find that you are having a hard time moving past previous mistakes, volunteering may help you feel like you are making amends. Volunteering can also give your life a greater sense of purpose that can help increase your self-worth.
Addiction recovery is a long journey and changes will not happen all at once. Be patient with yourself and be sure to recognize the positive steps forward that you have already taken.
Because addiction recovery is so comprehensive, at Banyan Heartland, we help people not only quit their substance abuse but prepare for life outside of treatment as well.
Whether you need help for yourself or know someone who does, contact us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about how we can help.
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.