When a woman struggles with addiction, she loses part of her identity. Instead of feeling beautiful, strong, and confident, she battles feelings of shame, regret, and hopelessness. She begins to view herself as a bad person simply because of what she is going through and any mistakes she has made. A woman can overcome this feeling of shame through treatment and healing.
Many women feel it is impossible to get their old confidence and identity back, even after they have received treatment and are on their recovery journey. Not only is this possible, but it is an important part of the healing process and building an improved version of themselves. One aspect of this is connecting with one's feminity once again, which can be done by taking purposeful steps and tapping into one's own power and self-worth.
Understanding How Identity Loss Occurs Through Addiction
When someone struggles with substance use disorder (SUD), they develop a false perception of reality. They falsely believe that they are more interesting or fun to be around while engaging in substance use and that they need to engage in substance use to carry on with their life. Substance use can also act as a sort of a temporary and ineffective band-aid. When someone struggling with addiction experiences trauma, stress, or pain, they may opt to try to cover it up or self-medicate by using substances. While they may feel as if this takes away the problem, when the influence of the drugs or alcohol they consumed runs out, that problem will still be there, and they still won't have addressed it. It will still be a shadow looming over them, causing them problems until it is confronted head-on.
When someone is struggling with addiction, they don't always have the ability to self-reflect and see what they need to do to better themselves. It's like they have tunnel vision and only view substance use as their way of moving forward in life.
Reclaiming One's Identity Through Recovery
Recovery is a very empowering process during which time a woman can begin to take back her life and focus on building her future. While it can feel very daunting and vulnerable to engage in the first steps of letting go and starting treatment, you will leave feeling more like yourself and more in control than ever before. Once you are on your recovery journey and no longer under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can take a clear look at different aspects of your life and identify what you need to change. You can finally view and address your habits of self-destruction and learn how to re-establish your identity.
Reconnecting With One's Femininity
Every woman has a specific kind of relationship with their own femininity. Some women are more feminine than others, and that's okay. Many women lose their sense of femininity when they are struggling with active substance use and don't know how to get it back when they are in recovery. If you are struggling with engaging with your feminine side once again, consider the following steps.
#1. Spend time with other women, especially strong women who are going to support you and your recovery journey. This may include friends or personal family members. Essentially, this involves spending quality time with other women in whatever ways are meaningful for you. You could go out dancing, get your nails done, or share a meal together.
#2. Don't be afraid to receive love. So many women have this false perception that involves them serving their partner before themselves. You want to make sure you're not giving more than you're getting back from your partner.
#3. Make time for quality conversations with other women. You can certainly have great conversations with the men in your life, but connecting with other women is also very important. These conversations may include discussing your emotions, as well as your goals and dreams for your future.
#4. Learn to love and connect with your body. Even if you're not someone who is naturally very content with your body image, you can learn to appreciate your unique beauty and the things your body allows you to do.
#5. Make time to get ready for the day. When you were struggling with addiction, you may have rarely taken time to put into your appearance in the morning. Make the time to do your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face, and put on an outfit that makes you feel pretty. You may be surprised by how much more confident you feel as you go through your day.
When you struggle with addiction, you lose touch with your identity. You may also lose your sense of confidence and feminity. Some women may feel as if they'll never get their old selves back even after they have begun their recovery journey. The good news is that it is possible to find your identity again through healing and making a conscious effort. This involves learning how to receive love, coming up with goals for yourself and working toward them, spending quality time with other women, connecting with your body, and making time to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Even just making time to get yourself ready in the morning can make a big difference. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, our team at The Ho-Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.