For many people abusing drugs and alcohol, these substances become their whole world. They can cloud their judgment, and as a result these people may sometimes do things they regret to continue to fuel their addiction. After going through a drug detox or other treatment program and getting clean, this cloud is lifted, and the reality of their past may start to set in.
Why Self-Acceptance is Important in Recovery
The importance of self-love in recovery should not be ignored, but shame, embarrassment, and regret are common among people in recovery. These feelings can be harmful and hinder your sobriety journey. Self-love in recovery can be the key to lasting success for several reasons, but for many self-acceptance is an important first step.
Stops Negative Thinking
Many people who use drugs and alcohol are caught in a cycle of negative thinking. Because they feel bad about themselves, they turn to drugs or alcohol for help, but consequently, these substances often make them feel worse. Techniques during rehab like cognitive behavioral therapy are used to help people break this pattern, but once treatment is over, it is important for people to continue to do so on their own. If you are unable to find self-love in recovery and dwell on these negative thoughts instead, you may slide back into this cycle and relapse.
Your recovery journey is a work in progress, but when you are struggling with self-acceptance in addiction recovery, it can be harder to appreciate just how far you have come already. Without recognizing your progress, you may develop a defeated attitude that can continue to hinder your progress.
Makes Self-Improvement Easier
Along with making you feel better about yourself, self-acceptance in recovery can help you more easily reach your recovery goals. When you are honest and able to accept your strengths, weaknesses, and areas that need improvement, it is easier to make progress toward your end goals. If you struggle to accept your flaws and shortcomings, you may never be able to move past them.
Helps Build a New Identity
While still in active addiction, drugs and alcohol can become a person’s identity. Once that person leaves residential treatment and starts to build a life in recovery, they may feel lost and not know who they are. It is important that they start to work toward developing a new identity, but without accepting themselves in recovery, this new identity could be riddled with low self-esteem or never fully develop. In order to be successful, self-love and addiction recovery should go together, but for many people, self-acceptance in recovery is a challenging first step. If you are struggling to get to this point, you are not alone. At Vertava Health, our outpatient and virtual mental health services could give you the added support you need to finally help you move forward from your past and love yourself.