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Self Care

Building and maintaining self-esteem as you move from addiction into long term recovery is an essential conscious practice you can do for yourself. In the past, our behavioral choices and consequences may have been influenced by our self-esteem. How worthy or unworthy we felt when compared to others. When our self-esteem is low, we can become porous; anything can get in, becoming a destructive influence in our lives. Low self-esteem may be further reinforced when negative consequences and challenges emerge via arrests, intervention with social services, loss of employment, and sometimes loss of contact with family members. Ongoing professional support with your peers during group sessions, individual therapy, and other supportive activities can help you understand and embed the belief that consequences are situational and remnants of past behavior; they are not reflections of who you are today. Time spent alone for reflection can help return a sense of control over your life, place value on accomplishments made so far, and ultimately prepare you for the next phase of your journey toward mental and physical health.

Re-Taking Control

Understanding the causes of addiction, learning to take responsibility for thought patterns and actions is a significant step on your journey to re-take control over your life. Realizing you are more than the parade of negative thoughts marching through your head reinforces the belief you can make long-term healthy choices, rather than someone governed solely by destructive urges and the desire for instant gratification. 

Company of One

You have to like yourself first. No-one can be a better friend to you than you. Learning to accept yourself includes learning to enjoy the company of one. Outside the supportive environment of your support group, learn to trust that it is okay to enjoy time in your own company. Working with your therapist or case manager, you may be able to discuss enjoyable solo activities such as reading, painting, walking, or whatever interests you. However, you must make sure it is sustainable and works into your emerging new routines. In learning to enjoy time alone, you limit possible exposure to particular people or places that may trigger a relapse.

Learning to Value Yourself

That which we do not value is easy to lose.

During your time alone, take stock of how far you have traveled along your journey toward sobriety or a life free from substance misuse. Give yourself credit. No matter your motivation, the decision to change old habits and move toward a new, unknown lifestyle is hard work and takes tremendous courage. Sometimes, when you are in the thick of things, appreciating the positive things you have done so far can be difficult. There is still so much to do! 

Breathe. Take a moment. Think about the great work you have done so far. By acknowledging this to yourself, you will internalize your effort, placing a greater value on your hard work than if you just moved onto the next step on your journey. Not only will this help strengthen your self-worth, but will act as one more piece of armor in your resilience against possible triggers within your community, following on from a program of intense therapy. Remember, they are still there. You may have changed, but the previous influencers on your behavior have not! 

That which you value, you won’t want to give away to old habits.

Forget about waiting for a close family member or friend to congratulate you. For any number of reasons, they may not view your achievements as a big deal, and that’s okay. Whatever the justification, it does not matter. Through ongoing support, you no longer wait for others to validate you or your achievements and understand you cannot control others’ thoughts. 

Letting Go

Still, holding on to past hurt or feelings of shame? Ask yourself why and make a note citing the reasons you might be afraid to let them go. Re-building your self worth requires not only appropriate support but honesty. Perhaps you fear dealing with hurt feelings or shame because of the negative emotions they may stir up. If this is true for you, a discussion with a professional in your support network is an essential next step. To build a healthy future, self-acceptance, including the parts we would rather forget, is critical.

Much of our self-worth is tied up in how we view ourselves and how we are viewed through others’ lenses. Remember, by learning to accept your whole self, you remove the power of opinions that have nothing to do with who you are now.

Today, during a quiet moment, take a breath, and tell yourself….

You are enough.

Taking time to reflect on your journey toward sobriety and a life free from substance misuse helps strengthen your self-worth, setting you up for long term success. To help rebuild your self-worth, you may need to admit to your mistakes, learn to enjoy your own company, learn to value yourself, and let go. You don’t need validation from friends or family to feel good about yourself. You are enough. The Guest House Ocala offers both residential and outpatient programs to overcome addiction, PTSD, depression, and other trauma-related issues. We provide unparalleled, premier-quality treatment and are uniquely equipped to help start you on your journey to healing. With various treatment options available, including meditation, brain spotting, equine therapy, art, and music, The Guest House Ocala can pride itself on providing a truly holistic and concierge approach to long term wellness and support. Ready to restart your life? Call Guest House (855) 483-7800. Our staff can’t wait to meet you.