It is reported that more than one in seven Americans ages twelve and older currently suffer from substance abuse, which amounts to at least forty million citizens. Addiction and substance abuse disorders have officially surpassed rates of heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Rates of mental illness vary wildly but it is very common for addicts and alcoholics to primarily suffer from one or more mental illnesses, which makes addiction a symptom of an even larger disease.
Self Love Built Into Treatment
Various treatment programs have been designed, developed, and thoroughly tested for their success rates. These programs, like evidence-based treatment programs, include such factors as screening and assessment, emotional and medical consultation, access to psychiatrists who provide necessary medication, and the promotion of outside support groups.
The issues addressed in these programs are key to long-term recovery. Whether the addicted person has reached a point of acceptance and wants to change is a major first step.
Basic needs and life skills in sobriety will be taught and a support system should be established to keep connected after treatment is complete. By creating and maintaining a close group of “sober supports”, self-esteem naturally builds.
The “Is Addiction Is A Choice?” Debate
There is a perspective that substance abuse, which creates a social stigma that results in blame and shame, is said to be out of the control of the addicted person.
There is a developing point of view that society and the rehabilitative community should concentrate on the responsibility of the substance abuser without blaming the abuser. The view from society at large is that the substance abuser must “get clean” and thus a substance abuser is dirty. This view is a moral model versus a disease model of addiction, which demoralizes addicts.
Advocacy groups currently work tirelessly and for little-to-no money helping to end and break the stigma against substance abuse, addiction, and mental illness. Remember — when you’re in recovery, you have the wonderful gift of having friends everywhere you go.
Self Love In Recovery
Substance abusers, addicts, and alcoholics often come into the ‘recovery life’ with very low self-esteem, doubting their self-worth, and can even be their own worst enemy at times. Teaching self-love empowers a person to take responsibility for their behaviors, which keeps them at a healthy distance from their addiction while developing new healthy habits.
It’s always suggested to find your own personal therapist who believes that you have the right to be happy after any kind of inpatient or outpatient treatment. As a result, many recovering individuals will develop compassion for themselves. They will learn to think and speak positively about themselves.
There are steps addicts can choose to change the negative view of themselves:
- Pay Attention To Your Thoughts
- Control your self-deprecating thoughts which declare that your a failure and feel unloved. Think of your successes and how much you accomplish. Develop more goals to further accomplishments.
- Support Is Key
- Seek support from your real friends that care about you. Fill your cup with positive energy. Spend your time with people who think positively and who have attained their goals.
- Forgive Yourself
- Stop blaming yourself and seek forgiveness. This happens naturally if you choose to work a 12-step program. Accept your failures as being part of a normal life— “life on life’s terms”.
- Take care of yourself. Join a gym or develop a simple exercise program that you can complete daily.
- Find What You Love
- Do things that are fun for you and what you love to do. Treat yourself to a movie or a local concert.
- Stop Comparing
- Accept the success of others and do not compare yourself with others. This comparison results in negative thinking.
- What DO You Have?
- Make a list of what you have and “count your lucky stars” – this is a gratitude list and is a good habit to get into. Small things, like the fact that you can take care of yourself by paying your rent or even just have a car, are things that others only dream about. It helps put things into perspective.
Self-love is not the same as self-centeredness in that self-love supports spiritual growth which compliments your psychological and physical well being. You feel you have value and you appreciate yourself. The goal is to be free of self-centeredness that results in behavior that is not self-destructive.
Becoming A Better Person
With self-love, your friends will see positive changes in you. You can let go of your anger. You are eager to help others and see yourself differently.
Self-love sets that stage to beat your addiction. Do not confuse lack of confidence with low-self esteem. You are ready to find its root causes without self-doubt or self-loathing and can stay away from those triggers that led to your demise.
Further, you will no longer escape reality or succumb to depression and anxiety because you have an addiction recovery plan. You have developed a plan not to hurt the person in your life that you respect, which is yourself, your own best friend.
Burbank is for Lovers
Here at Multi Concept Recovery, we want to teach you to love yourself again. Not just love the way you look with some clean time. Not just love the materialistic things that return. Not just how to love others. But how to truly love yourself. If you can’t love yourself, how are you supposed to love anyone else?