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Learning about Self-Love in Addiction Recovery

by | Last updated Oct 2, 2020 at 2:23PM | Published on Mar 15, 2020 | Health and Wellness

self-love-and-addiction

Learning to love yourself is an acquired skill that many go their entire lives without genuinely learning. Unfortunately, self-loathing tends to go hand-in-hand with active addiction – and addiction is frequently caused by low self-esteem and deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. So, it’s no surprise self-love and addiction recovery are two terms you usually don’t see together. 

It is a vicious cycle – we use drugs and alcohol to escape feelings of worthlessness, futility, and lack of purpose. We harm the ones we love, and we engage in morally compromising acts to get what we need. 

We think that maybe we can find self-worth somewhere 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 power seems, so it just seems so exhausting. How can we possibly learn to love something that we hate to the very core?

Managing Addiction and Finding Self-Love — Is It Possible?

The key to finding self-love while managing addiction is self-compassion. While addicts often struggle with guilt and self-loathing, it’s crucial to have kindness, warmth, and care toward oneself. Self-compassion involves nurturing yourself despite the circumstances. Once you’re able to channel this inner patience and allow yourself some room to make mistakes, it will be easier to finally give yourself credit for the small steps you take each day to be better. 

The practice of self-compassion can help with feelings of depression and anxiety. Once you start trusting your inner voice again, you’ll be able to move through your recovery smoothly. Self-compassion means you can forgive yourself for your past mistakes or poor decisions and start looking into the future with a fresh perspective. 

However, self-love means there are some things you must be ready to leave behind, such as:

  • Toxic relationships
  • Stressful jobs
  • Unhealthy behaviors
  • Addiction triggers

How to Build Self-Love

Many active addicts have a fear of being alone. Well, self-love involves spending a lot of time by yourself. While it might be daunting at first, we promise over time. It becomes easier. To build self-love, you have to focus on a couple of things. The most important ones are forgiveness, mindfulness, and self-care. 

Graphic that shows formula to find self-love.

Forgiving Yourself

Nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes. Some mistakes have worse consequences than others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forgive yourself. Let’s start with some basic prompts to help you get started:

  • Say it out loud
  • Consider the lesson you learned
  • Notice if you’re self-critic
  • How do you feel about it right now
  • Make amends if you need
  • Show yourself some kindness
  • Speak to a professional

Practicing Mindfulness

Being mindful about our actions is key to finding forgiveness and self-love. Everything we do has an impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. Mindfulness can be much more than practicing meditation or going to yoga. Try this to start:

  • Embrace vulnerability
  • Show gratitude
  • Make peace with imperfections
  • Be compassionate towards yourself and others
  • Make a conscious effort to be present in every moment

Understanding Self-Care

Don’t be fooled about self-love, it takes dedication and hard work to achieve it. Most people struggle with low self-esteem and finding value in what they do and represent. Self-care is our tool to improve ourselves. However, self-care is more than getting a massage and having a spa day. Here’s what self-care genuinely looks like:

  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising daily
  • Going to therapy
  • Making time for hobbies
  • Finding a spiritual community
  • Fostering good relationships
  • Setting healthy boundaries

Let’s Build Self-Love in Addiction Recovery Together

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our team understands the importance of building self-love throughout your addiction recovery journey. We believe in a complete approach to recovery, and that includes working in our mind, body, and spirit. Together, we’ll develop self-love skills that will show you the real value that lies within you. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, contact us today to start looking into a recovery journey that meets their needs.

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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