There are a lot of emotional battles that we have to face in recovery because sobriety forces us to come to grips with some of the heartaches and pains that perhaps we’ve tried running away from for so long. Sometimes sobriety can bring about feelings of depression and anxiety, especially once we’ve become more aware of how our past actions have influenced the way we feel. No matter how long you’ve been in recovery from addiction, self-love is going to be critical – so that you can courageously accept the reality of your life and move forward with confidence.
The honest truth about self-love is that it’s a hard, long journey. It’s not something that can easily happen overnight. In fact, most would say that it’s a lifelong discovery – and through that, there will be many trials and tribulations that shape us into stronger human beings. At times, self-love will feel utterly exhausting but you have to remember that, in the long run, it will be completely worth it.
The following are some vital components of self-care – and self-love – that can truly transform the way you walk through your journey to recovery.
One of the hardest parts of addiction recovery can be forgiving ourselves for everything that we may have done wrong in the past. The truth is that there are probably times that we regret – things we’ve said to loved ones or decisions that we’ve made that have held poor consequences. Rather than blaming ourselves, we should take ownership of what we’ve done and been through – and then to forgive ourselves and make a promise to ourselves to do better. Because that’s where true growth and recovery occurs.
It’s most often that when we lose ourselves to our thoughts and emotions, we’re likely to act in ways that aren’t rational. We become more engulfed in feeling mad, or jealous, or spiteful – and in these moments, we act out in ways that aren’t actually beneficial for ourselves or for others. In fact, these situations can escalate sometimes to where we become violent – but building our awareness of our thoughts and emotions can help us to react in ways that are going to be more productive for us rather than not.
As humans, we have a knack of being really critical on ourselves – and part of self-love is grounding ourselves with the reality that we are human. We have to realize that we’re going to make mistakes sometimes. We’re not always going to get it right. There are going to be days when we triumph and days when we fall. If we can understand this concept, we’ll be better off in the long run.
Self-care is about making sure that we take part in daily activities that make us feel good about ourselves – like reading a good book, creating a new hobby, relaxing, eating healthy food and more. There are several other things you can do like take a nap, go for a walk, sit and breathe, notice the beautiful colors of the leaves or cooking a new recipe. These things might sound simple but they contribute to the quality of life on a daily basis.
The deepest parts of ourselves are often the hardest to tend to, but having a therapist to support you can make a world of difference. Give yourself a chance to talk through some of the things that have really hurt you in the past. Yes, it will be uncomfortable – but you’ll be able to get it out of your soul and into the air, which will make it easier for you to work through things. Be honest with your therapist so that you can move forward with your life.
When we’re focused on everything we’ve done wrong, we’re bound to experience lower self-esteem. Part of loving yourself is understanding that you’re human – that you’re going to make mistakes and that you’ve already made mistakes, but that’s okay because you’re simply a human being and you can only do the best that you can do.
You’re your own advocate and your biggest cheerleader in life. Take this seriously. Become your own cheerleader, and give yourself pep talks when you’re feeling down. Tell yourself positive mantras and focus on the fact that you are strong enough, lovable enough, and courageous enough to work through recovery. You can absolutely do this.
Rather than focusing on what’s been holding you back, focus on what’s been working well for you. Create a list of your positives, of what you’ve done well in with recovery so far, and what you’ve received compliments on. Review this list every so often – and especially if you’re having a bad day – to remind yourself of how strong you are and how much farther you can go in life. This will definitely help you to feel better.
Loving yourself is one of the single most important things you can do because the way you treat yourself reflects upon everything else you do in life.
For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with mental health challenges, addiction, and substance use problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.