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Relapses will generally occur within the first 90 days of the recovery process after initial addiction treatment. With that being the case, it's vitally important that each person in recovery puts forth extra effort to stay clean during those most crucial days.
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August 22, 2022
At Hollywood Hills Recovery, our goal is to ultimately send each of our clients out the door of our detox treatment center with the resources they will need to avoid relapses. Among the things we offer them is advice on how to strengthen their sense of self so they can stay comfortable as they move into sober living. During treatment, we use the therapeutic process to talk our clients through the issues that seem to be driving their alcohol addictions. One of the areas we focus on is the client's self-esteem. We do this for two reasons. First, a lack of self-esteem often plays a role in prompting a person to pass through to the dark side of addiction. Second, almost every client's self-worth takes a terrible beating as they traverse their lives as addicts. Hopefully, we can help heal those clients who start with low self-esteem while in addiction treatment. Once they leave our treatment center, we want to make sure they know how to keep building their self-esteem as their recovery continues. The following sections will focus on how you can keep building/rebuilding your self-esteem during addiction recovery.
5 Ways to Build Self-Esteem During Recovery
Hopefully, your time in treatment taught you the importance of being patient with the recovery process. Alcohol addiction does not occur overnight nor will the healing process be completed overnight. It's something you will need to work on every day until the day comes when you realize you are truly feeling better about your well-being. The first big step you can take towards feeling better about yourself is building low self-esteem back to a level at which you will have renewed confidence in yourself. To assist you in that endeavor, here are five (5) ways to build your self-esteem during recovery.
1. Understand Your Self-Esteem
Before you can go about building self-esteem, it would be helpful if you were to understand the importance of self-care. To be very clear, self-esteem can be loosely defined as the opinion you hold about yourself whether that opinion is justified or not. As is the case for all of us, your self-esteem has evolved over the years, defined by your personal experiences. A person with high self-esteem will typically be someone who had a good upbringing without having an extraordinary amount of negative experiences. Conversely, a person with really low self-esteem will typically have been through a lot of turmoil and negative experiences in their life. The fact you are recovering from addiction indicates you probably fall into the latter category. Those with behavioral health problems and mental health issues may find themselves struggling to find a level of healthy self-esteem. If you recognize that the negative experiences from your past have harmed your self-esteem, that recognition can serve as a basis for changing negatives into positives.
2. Forgive Yourself
Addiction sufferers tend to be extraordinarily hard on themselves regarding the past mistakes they have made. That includes blaming themselves for falling victim to addiction in the first place. It's time to forgive yourself. Neither you nor any of us will ever be without faults and insecurities. You are a fallible but beautiful person. In order to achieve self-forgiveness, all you have to do is let go of the notion that you aren't allowed to make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes of the past and the future and keep moving forward. It is also important to not blame oneself for having these negative thoughts in the first place. Positive affirmations can be used to reassure the person’s self-esteem in situations like that. Self-forgiveness may not be easy to achieve, just like the addiction recovery process, but affirmations can help get towards that goal
3. Be Open to Compliments
Self-confidence can often be warped by our insecurities. A person’s self-esteem reflects what they feel about themselves, but it does not mean it reflects what others perceive you. While you are having negative thoughts about yourself and suffering from low self-esteem, you might find it hard to accept compliments. Accept them. They are being offered by people who see good in you. You should embrace every little compliment and use it as a reason for improving your self-image. A compliment may be the quickest way to boost endorphins and can especially be revered when coming from a loved one.
4. Do for Others
Even during your times of need, you might find value in stepping outside of yourself to help others. The fact you can find the strength to help others during the worst of times bodes well for your true character. It's a way of achieving self-worth, of which you can be very proud. Sometimes in the search for a sense of self, connecting with others may help address any insecurities you may be afraid to explore on your own. The smiles and company of a loved one who can use some help not only warms the heart but can give the much-needed endorphins used to develop a healthy self-esteem level.
5. Change the Things You Don't Like About Yourself
We are only limited by our willingness to change. Each day is a new day to improve one’s well-being and a new chance to let go of past mistakes. The truth is we all have the potential to make all kinds of changes in our lives. You need to make a list of the things you would like to change and start changing them. If some of the changes seem daunting, break them down into pieces and change the little pieces. If you would like more advice on building self-esteem during recovery, please call and speak to one of our counselors at Hollywood Hills Recovery.