Throughout your recovery journey, it can be hard at the time to love yourself, especially during the beginning stages of recovery when it feels like your life is spiraling out of control. Substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction can cause deep seeded feelings of guilt and shame, making you feel unworthy of self-love.
An important thing to remember is that you are human, and everyone makes mistakes. Addiction and substance use disorder does not define who you are as a person, and learning to love yourself can greatly improve your recovery process. But how do you learn to love yourself when negative thoughts seem to be constantly swirling around in your mind?
Learning to love yourself does not happen instantly and is a journey of its own, but it is worth the effort because of the benefits it will bring you. Having this skill can also help improve your daily life outside of recovery. To heal your body from substance use, you have to heal your mind and develop healthy and positive thought processes. At Healing Pines Recovery, located in Elizabeth, Colorado, we offer many types of treatment methods that allow you to explore mindfulness and self-love.
What Is Self-Love?
Self-love is defined as your regard for your well-being and happiness. You might associate self-love with being narcissistic or even being selfish, but that is not the case. When you can love yourself free of judgment and accept who you are as a person, it opens up your mind to create more positive and empowering thoughts. Perhaps in the past you have said that you love yourself, but as soon as you did something perceived as “bad,” you might have suddenly taken that love away. This ties in with the age-old saying, “We are our own worst critics.”
When you can love yourself fully and unconditionally, it allows you to differentiate your previous choices from your worth. Just because you are struggling with addiction or substance use disorder does not mean you are unworthy or are less than human. Through love and understanding, you can combat those toxic feelings that you turn inward on yourself.
The Importance of Forgiveness
Forgiveness can be a powerful tool used in recovery, and during the early stages, you might search for it in relationships, as there is a lot of guilt that comes with substance use disorder and addiction. Something that is not often considered is that you must also forgive yourself. Learning to accept your mistakes and accept yourself as a whole can greatly improve your recovery journey. Forgiveness allows you to release the feelings of resentment and hurt that you have toward yourself and allows you to process them and move forward. It also helps with relapse prevention.
An article published by Harris House in 2020 provides further insight into how forgiveness plays a role in recovery. It discusses the saying, “Forgive and forget,” stating that forgiveness in recovery is not about forgetting; it is about learning from your mistakes and moving forward. Learning to forgive yourself also helps you feel a sense of accountability for your actions and a better understanding that while you made previous mistakes, you will heal and grow from them in the future.
How Self-Love Can Benefit Your Treatment
During the first steps of recovery, self-love can play a tremendous role. When you struggle with substance use, there can be deep feelings of shame or guilt associated with it. You might start to realize that the actions you took before treatment were not only harmful to yourself, but harmful to those around you as well. There are many times that you may lose hope in yourself. It is during these times that you must choose compassion for yourself. You are human, and everyone deserves the chance to build a substance-free life of happiness and fulfillment.
Loving yourself can drastically impact the success of your treatment by positively shifting your thoughts and promoting accountability. When you can admit that you have struggled with addiction, you can then address and work on these things honestly. To make improvements on yourself in recovery, you must admit where you went wrong and accept that you need further help. Seeking additional treatment can also be viewed as love for yourself as it shows a desire to change. At Healing Pines Recovery, we seek to provide you with that guidance.
The main thing to remind yourself is that your actions do not define who you are as a person, and there is hope for you in recovery. Learning to love yourself can be challenging at times, especially when you feel undeserving. With Healing Pines Recovery, you can learn how to love yourself and succeed in recovery. So long as you have the desire to change and better your life, there are those out there who want to help.
Achieving and maintaining sobriety — especially in the early stages — can be hard, and loving yourself may not come easy. Negative thoughts can seep into your head, making it feel like they are drowning you. It is in these moments that you need to remind yourself that you are human. You might fall, but you have taken steps to stand back up and become a stronger, happier person.
Self-love can be a tough concept to grasp when it seems like your life is spiraling out of control, but with the help of professionals and your support system, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Healing Pines Recovery seeks to guide you to reach long-term success in recovery.
For those seeking additional help with treatment and identify as male, reach out to Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621.