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Learning to Love Yourself in Addiction Recovery

It’s Valentine’s Day; a day to express your love for others as well as yourself. Hopefully you’ve already planned your sober date if you have someone special in your life; if not, it’s not too late. But you don’t have to designate a single day to show love and appreciation. It’s something that you should do year round.

While many of us find it fairly easy to show love to others, we have a harder time showing it to ourselves. Part of addiction recovery is learning to love yourself and who you are. Before you can expect others to accept you, you have to be accepting of yourself. It’s time to shake off some of that negativity and have a more positive outlook.

Accept your mistakes and move on. No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. Stop beating yourself up for every little thing you think you do wrong. Perseverating on these things does nothing but keep you down. Accept that you messed up and learn from it. Use it as a lesson to keep you from making similar mistakes in the future. Forgive yourself so that you can move forward feeling lighter and freer.

Instead of always looking at what went wrong, focus on what went right. Maybe dinner didn’t turn out perfectly, but you still tried something new, it was edible, and you know what to change for next time. Maybe you lost a friend while in treatment, but think about the new friends you’ve made and what they add your life. You’re in a better place in your life now.

Look for the good in yourself. It’s easy to look at someone else and pick out all the things they’re good at or that you envy about them, so do the same for yourself. Rather than picking out your shortcomings or things you wish you could change, find the good in yourself. Are you great with animals? Are you a master at Photoshop? Can you shoot hoops with the best of them or a drive a ball the whole way down the green? Or maybe it’s something simpler than that. You’re passionate or a good listener or tell great jokes.

Make it a point to write down something positive about yourself every day. Something that you love about being you. When negative thoughts pop into your head, replace them with something positive instead.

Realize that you’re worth it. You have come a long way and that hasn’t been for nil. You are just as deserving of another chance as the next person. You may ask “why me?” but why not you? By going to an Orange County drug and alcohol rehab facility, you’ve already decided that you want to change. Through treatment you’ve learned how to change and what you need to do differently in your life. Prove to yourself that you can do it. Your recovery is for you. Regardless of what happened in the past, you are committed to making better future, so make the most of it. Allow yourself to think positively and embrace every opportunity that comes your way.

Keep realistic expectations. If you want to work toward feeling good about yourself and building up your self-esteem, keep your expectations and goals realistic. Don’t set out to conquer some massive task in a week or a month only to be disappointed when you fall short because it was too much to take on. Start with small goals that you know you’ll be able to achieve to start building your confidence. Then expand them and work toward other things. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the beginning, so be realistic about what you can do right now and what you have to work your way up to.

Practice self-care. One of the best ways to love yourself is to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly. This can help to boost your mood and improve your overall health, making you feel better. Also treat yourself from time to time with things such as massages, a manicure or pedicure, a hot bath or favorite movie, an item you’ve had your eye on for a while, or a weekend trip with a friend or loved one. Pick something that’s meaningful to you and will lift your spirits. We all need a pick-me-up now and then.

You won’t be exactly the same person after rehab as you were before you started, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Recovery is about change. Rediscover who you are and what’s important to you. Spend time learning to love and appreciate yourself and all that you have to offer the world. Your life does make a difference.

Chapters Capistrano can help you start your journey to recovery and begin a new chapter in your life through its luxury rehab program. With on-site detox, holistic therapies, and evidence-based approaches to treatment, you can learn to love yourself as you overcome addiction. Contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198 to get started.