Addiction can rob you of self-love. You may have done things you aren’t proud of and, in the process, harmed yourself and your loved ones. You may feel embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty — all of which can hinder the process of learning to love yourself. Self-love in recovery can be challenging, but it is part of the process of healing. As you begin your journey into sobriety and self-love, consider the following tips.
Gaining Confidence in Your Physical Appearance
Part of learning to love yourself is learning to love the skin you’re in. However, this process can be complicated. Looking at yourself honestly in the mirror can help you start the process of being comfortable with who you are and how you look. Don’t just look in the mirror when your hair or makeup is done, and you feel your best, but also in your most vulnerable moments. When you start to appreciate all the ways you are naturally perfect, you can begin to feel confident in how you look.
Look in the mirror. Do you like the color of your eyes? Do you like the length of your hair? Maybe, you appreciate the freckles on your skin. Take a moment to recognize what you love about your appearance, and let yourself know aloud. By doing this, you can begin to gain the confidence you deserve.
Let Go of Shame and Guilt
When you begin your journey to recovery, it’s common to feel guilt and shame over your actions. It can be easy to dwell on these dark emotions and feel overwhelmed by them now that you are sober. Letting go of shame and guilt is easier said than done but a necessary process in the journey to loving yourself. To help yourself break the cycle of guilt and shame, consider:
- Asking for forgiveness: When you struggle with addiction, you may hurt the ones you love. However, everybody makes mistakes; mistakes make us human. Choosing a path of recovery is extraordinary, and part of that path is making amends to the people you have hurt. While someone may not forgive you immediately, the act of making amends can help you relinquish your shame and guilt.
- Letting go of what you cannot control: You can’t change the past, and the only thing you truly have control over is yourself and your actions now that you are in recovery. Holding on to what you did while abusing substances will only drag you backward and keep you in the cycle of guilt and shame. Letting go of what you can no longer control can help you break free.
- Forgive yourself: Learning to forgive yourself is a long process. However, remind yourself that your past actions do not define you; you can create a new version of yourself through recovery.
Doing little things to take care of yourself can help you learn to love yourself. As you practice self-care, you build the habit of treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated. No matter who you once were or what you once did, you deserve love and kindness. Take the opportunity recovery presents you and show yourself what you deserve.
Taking care of yourself can involve eating healthy or going to the gym every day. It can also be as simple as taking a bath or reading your favorite book. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself and allows you to calm your mind can be considered self-care.
Celebrate Your Success
Overcoming addiction takes courage and requires change, and that deserves to be celebrated. Celebrating your success in recovery can point you in the direction of self-love. Whenever you achieve something special to you, make a point to celebrate, whether by yourself or with others.
If you have a hard time celebrating yourself, you can start small. Congratulate yourself on making it through the day sober. One day is a significant accomplishment. You can treat yourself to your favorite meal or go out to ice cream with your friends. Whatever you find rewarding, allow yourself to indulge.
As you get more comfortable with the idea of celebrating yourself, you can begin to recognize your other outstanding accomplishments. You can celebrate other recovery milestones, such as 30 days, six months, or a year sober. You can celebrate a promotion at work or going back to school to get a degree. Whatever you choose to celebrate, it is crucial to take the time to acknowledge the progress you are making and how far you have come.
Addiction can feel like it has taken everything from you, including your self-love. Choosing a life of sobriety is courageous, and you deserve to feel good about your decision. Venturing into the land of loving yourself can seem scary but is necessary to your healing process. Remember, you are not the person you once were. You are actively changing your ideas and attitudes in recovery, and that is worthy of love. If you are struggling with learning to love yourself in recovery, West Coast Recovery Centers is here for you. Healing is possible with West Coast through our various traditional and non-traditional therapeutic modalities. When you choose West Coast Recovery Centers, you can be assured you will never be alone; our staff will walk this journey with you every step of the way. You deserve to heal, and you deserve to love yourself. Call us today for more information at (760) 492-6509.