Addiction is a disease that messes with your mind. People start using drugs for a variety of reasons. Addiction is more than just using drugs – it’s living for them. At the core of addiction, many are going on behind the scenes, and it’s often ugly and painful. One thing you may have used drugs to cover up was low self-esteem. Drugs may have taken away your inhibition while you were drunk or high, but they don’t build self-esteem. In fact, you may sabotage yourself. Because addiction can also be degrading, self-esteem is usually in short supply when you get clean and sober.
Self Esteem One Day at a Time
As a newly sober person, you will have a lot of emotions to sort through. Feeling shame, guilt, and low self-worth are all common themes among people with substance use disorders. Just because you feel bad about yourself doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person.
Yes, you may have done wrong things. You may have harmed others or yourself. But that isn’t all you are or all you can be. As you gather more time clean and sober, you’ll have the chance to begin rebuilding your life one day at a time. But you have to remember: You’re WORTH it! Even when it seems hard or scary.
Building self-esteem means working on yourself! You’re worthy of love and change, but there is work to be done to be your best self!
5 Tasks for Building Self-Esteem
Building your self-esteem will be another thing to take one day at a time. Here are some things that can help you start rebuilding:
- Do one nice thing for somebody else a day. Whether it’s getting them a cup of coffee or checking up to see how somebody is doing, be kind! And don’t brag about it – keep it to yourself and remind yourself when you’re feeling down.
- Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Everyone, throughout life, is growing and learning. Remember this when you start to beat yourself up for an error. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
- Practice self-care daily. Take at least ten minutes to read, meditate, go on a walk, or chill out to some music. These small acts will help nourish your soul and relax naturally.
- Get active. Try to get about 15 minutes of exercise several times a week. Your endorphins will activate and help you feel better. You’ll also help regulate your mood and blood pressure.
- Start using affirmations. Affirmations can help you combat negative thinking. Make a list of thoughts that you want to change, and then write out a declaration stating the opposite. For example, if you keep calling yourself “lazy,” try writing out a statement that challenges that thought. “I am getting better at being productive and am working harder all the time” could be one way to challenge those thoughts.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction is a disease that can affect your body, mind, and spirit. Help is available! We want you to overcome your obstacles and learn how to live life to the fullest, substance-free.