Nothing about the recovery process comes easily, but you can make it easier on yourself and those around you by learning to let go of the negative thought patterns that are a hallmark of addictive behaviors. Learning to love yourself can be one of the biggest challenges you’ve ever encountered; however, respecting yourself and not engaging in abusive thoughts is essential.
The Cycle of Guilt and Shame
For many recovering addicts, feelings of guilt and shame are common. Once an addicted person has embraced a sober lifestyle, memories of things they did and ways they hurt others while they were in active addiction can bubble back up to the surface. These ideas can be isolating and lead to feelings of low self-worth, among other things.
For those fighting addiction, guilt and shame add another layer on top of a struggle that is a big enough hurdle on its own. Instead of motivating you to change and move into the future as a healthier person, tormenting yourself by dwelling on past negativities can propel you into a pattern of negative thinking. Constantly reliving feelings of worthlessness causes depression, which is one of the most common relapse triggers.
Learning to Love Yourself in Addiction Recovery
Learning to love yourself, rebuilding confidence and eliminating negativity are vital steps toward becoming a more complete, healthy individual. Here are four positive ways to create feelings of self-love.
- Your Disease Does Not Define You
- You Need Realistic Goals
Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing. Though understanding that essential truth does not fully excuse things you may have done that caused others harm, everybody deserves a chance to start over and become a good person, no matter what their past behaviors have been.
Setting goals is an essential part of recovery as you work toward rebuilding your self-esteem. However, you need to keep your goals manageable. Don’t start off with an overly lofty goal, only to be disappointed in yourself when you realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. To make sure your goals are clear and attainable, use the acronym SMART:
You can’t learn to love yourself if you don’t first take care of yourself. Make sure you stay well-rested, take time for exercise, stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet. These can all boost your mood and help prevent a relapse by encouraging you to focus on positivity. You can also treat yourself occasionally by getting massages, taking long baths or taking a day off mid-week to go on a day trip to explore a nearby city.
Addiction recovery is a hard-fought battle. If you ever have trouble loving yourself, think about how far you’ve come. By seeking recovery at a qualified treatment facility, you’ve already made significant progress toward positive change. Regardless of what you may have done in the past, you can create a brighter future.
Discover a New Purpose
Going through the rehab and recovery process will help you rediscover your priorities in life. Along the journey, you will gain important insights into what drives you and what you have to offer as a person. At Canyon Crossing, our women’s-only programs help our clients at all stages of life gain control of their addiction and achieve long-lasting sobriety. Contact us to learn more and verify your insurance coverage.