When you’re in the throes of addiction, oftentimes your world seems like a pretty lonely place. It’s hard to trust yourself or others when you’re constantly preoccupied with getting your next fix. Once the addiction has been conquered, it can be even lonelier once again if you begin to resent who you were while under the influence. You might feel ashamed, embarrassed and completely repulsed at who you became while addicted to drugs or alcohol. You may also feel like a stranger when looking in the mirror because of how much your personality changed during that time in your life. Rather than allowing that feeling of loneliness to fester and grow in intensity, it is better to accept how things were for you personally during that period of time and learn to love yourself again. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Practice Self-Care and Kindness
If you’re looking for a place to start when working on loving yourself again, self-care and kindness are a great place to start. You may feel extremely critical of yourself during this time, but that kind of behavior isn’t helpful and will only make you feel worse. Instead of being hard on yourself, try to be much kinder to yourself.
Practice daily self-care by making self-care a habit. Self-care is any activity that helps you take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s often thought of as a way to take care of your mental health, such as relaxation or mindfulness exercises, or as a way to take care of your physical health, such as eating right or getting enough sleep. Self-care can also help you take care of your emotional health by helping you feel less stressed or anxious. Self-care is a very important part of your recovery and something that should be practiced daily.
Take care of your body
Because addiction affects the brain and the body, oftentimes the body is forgotten in the quest for sobriety. However, the body is still an important factor in recovering and should not be neglected. As part of loving yourself again, it is important to start taking care of your body and its needs. This means eating properly, exercising regularly, and sleeping enough. This will help you feel strong and healthy, which is important for maintaining your sobriety. In fact, malnutrition is often a factor in relapse! You should also look into any health issues that may have arisen during your time addicted, such as liver disease or heart problems. If these are serious, you may need to take steps to correct them before you can continue on with your recovery journey.
Seek counseling and/or support groups
Another great way to learn to love yourself again is by going to counseling or support groups. These can help you work through your feelings and get them out of your head and onto paper. You may have feelings of shame, guilt, or regret that you need to work through before you can move past them and begin to love yourself again. Counseling is a great option for this because it allows you to talk about your feelings and experiences in a judgment-free zone. You will have a trained professional to talk to you and help guide you through your issues. Support groups can offer the same benefits as counseling, but in a more public forum. These are places where you can meet others who have dealt with similar issues as you. You can be yourself and speak freely about your experiences, which will likely help you feel better about yourself and your situation.
Set achievable goals
One of the best things that you can do for yourself when learning to love yourself again is set achievable goals. You may feel like you are behind in every aspect of your life and will never catch up, but setting goals can help you to chip away at those feelings and push forward. Setting goals can help you feel more confident in your abilities and give you a sense of direction that you may have been lacking while in the throes of addiction. You may set goals for your career, relationships, health, or finances. No matter what the goal is, it is important to set achievable goals so that you don’t get frustrated and give up. You want to set goals that are challenging, but that you can accomplish within a reasonable time-frame.
Reincorporate activities you love
If there are activities you used to enjoy before addiction, it is important to begin reincorporating them into your life again. This is a great way to feel like yourself again and have something to look forward to on a daily basis. Find a hobby, join a club, or go to events with people you enjoy being around. This will help you feel like you again and keep your mind off of your addiction. It can also be a good way to meet new friends who understand what you have been through and what you are going through in your recovery. These activities can also help you to set goals for yourself that are specific to these hobbies, which will help you stay focused and driven throughout your recovery.
Find camaraderie with others in recovery
People with stronger social support systems are more likely to stay sober. If you don’t have friends in your life who you can talk to about your experience with addiction, finding a support group is a great idea for you. Support groups provide you with an outlet to discuss your feelings and get advice from people who have dealt with addiction and can empathize with you. They can also be a great way to meet new friends who are going through the same things as you.
Support groups are also a great place to find information on how to help yourself in your recovery and what steps you should take to stay on track. If you can’t find a support group in your area, you can also seek out online forums devoted to addiction to speak with people online. This can be helpful if you are still in early recovery, as you don’t want to be around people who are still using. Online forums can be a good way to make friends who are going through the same things as you and can help you feel less alone in recovery. You may even find someone you can meet up with in person.
Beginning a New Sober Life in Sober Living
When you find yourself struggling to love yourself again, it is important to remember that you do not have to do it alone. There are many different ways to work through your feelings, overcome your challenges, and move past your regrets. Sober living homes are ideal for people in recovery because they provide opportunities to make new friends, get help, and rediscover your passion. Take the time to work through your emotions and learn to love yourself again. The process may be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end when you are able to look in the mirror again and be proud of who is staring back at you.
If you are ready to begin this process, reach out to Sober Living East today!