Loving Yourself in Addiction Recovery
Learning to love yourself is an acquired skill – one that many men and women will go their entire lives without truly learning. Unfortunately, self-loathing tends to go hand-in-hand with active addiction – and addiction is frequently brought on by low self-esteem and deep-seated feelings of inadequacy (at least in part). It is a vicious cycle – we use drugs and alcohol to escape feelings of worthlessness, futility, and lack of purpose. Being high and drunk makes us even less capable of performing expected daily functions. We fail repeatedly; we harm the ones we love, and we engage in morally compromising acts in order to get what it is we need. We seek self-love inside of other people – men or women, whatever it is. We hate ourselves so much that we can’t stand to be alone with ourselves, and we hate that we sometimes have to be. We think that maybe we can find self-worth somewhere else, inside of someone else; forgetting that everything we need is tucked away neatly inside of us. The darkness we fight is within us, the light we seek is within us. It is all right there. But we don’t remember, we can’t remember – we have become so jaded and faded and shredded that the concept of tapping into any sort of power seems so… it just seems so exhausting. How can we possibly learn to love something that we hate to the very core?
How Do We Learn to Love Ourselves?
First of all, it is crucial that we understand that what we did while active in our addictions does not make us who we are – not at all. Addiction is a disease, one that alters the actual chemical make-up of the brain. Over time and with repeated and excessive use, the reward pathways within our brains begin to physically change. There is a lot of factual evidence to support this, but for now we’ll try and keep it simple – the part of our brain that keeps us tuned in to our basic and innate human needs (food, water, sex, shelter) is overpowered by chemical substance, and obtaining and using drugs becomes our top priority. We have no say in this process; it simply happens. Our corrupted brains tell us that if we do not use, we will die; or suffer a pain greater than death. We have been psychologically beat. We have lost all power of choice in the matter. We can go on this way for months or years, but eventually we will come to realize that our lives are passing us by in a harshly disturbing way. We check in to a drug rehab in Florida or California or Arizona and begin our journey of addiction recovery. We sober up and the weight of what we have done over the course of the past 5, 10, 28 years comes crashing down upon us. Heavy. We did a lot of bad, and we feel it. And it hurts us.
What We Did Does Not Define Who We Are
We forget that we are innately good, and that all we have to do is tap in to the light that dwells within us. Some of us become preoccupied with making amends to those we have hurt. Some of us can’t move past the things we have done, and we keep drinking and getting high because facing reality is just to difficult. Fear drives us back. Fear of who we really are. What if we are bad, after all? What if that is who we really are? It isn’t. We are good. Each one of us is instilled with the unique and essential capacity to help another human being. Once we sit down with someone we trust and do the work we need to do thoroughly and honestly, we will slowly start to appreciate ourselves once again. It’s a long process, but it is true what they say; we build self-esteem through estimable acts. The better we do, the better we feel. Once we have walked through the 12 steps and are able to help others along, the feelings of self-worth and self-love are only intensified.
Loving Yourself Is Possible
I love myself so much that I avoid painful situations today. It seems simple, doesn’t it? I used to seek them out. I used to cause my self pain intentionally, or simply disregard consequences because I could handle them and I deserved them, and it was hard to care. For the first time in my life, I recognize that I have something substantial to offer. I care for myself today. I love myself, in fact. I love myself because I worked hard for it. I love myself because I checked myself into one of the best rehab centers in Florida and took my recovery seriously. I sought treatment for alcohol dependency and I not only stopped drinking, but I took the necessary strides to better myself thoroughly, from the inside out. Loving yourself is possible. Give us a call today – you deserve to begin living a better way of life… whether or not you recognize that now.