When people struggle with substance use disorders (SUDs), they often lose a part of their self-confidence. This could be due to a variety of reasons. They may feel guilty or ashamed of themselves for their actions. Or, they may feel that they don't deserve respect and dignity due to their past mistakes. This way of negative thinking can continue even after one seeks treatment and begins their recovery journey.
The good news is that there are ways to get your self-confidence back while in recovery. It just takes time, healing, and patience. This also involves learning to forgive oneself for the past and take accountability for the future.
How Do I Forgive Myself During Recovery?
One important aspect of the recovery journey is asking for forgiveness from those you may have harmed in some way as a result of your substance misuse. It can be a difficult and humbling process to come to those you care about and ask for a second chance. However, in many cases, the process of asking for forgiveness is much easier than learning to forgive yourself. It's easy to want to beat yourself up or punish yourself in some way for mistakes you may have made. These mistakes could have led to legal issues, relationship problems, and damaged trust. No matter what mistakes you made in the past, clinging to them and dwelling upon them will not do anybody any good.
Part of the self-forgiveness process in recovery involves accepting that you have done everything possible to make amends for the past. This includes actively working to maintain your recovery by attending support group meetings or therapy sessions. It also includes paying back debts and actively trying to correct past damage that was done. Once you have done all of these things, you must then learn to look in the mirror and accept that you no longer need to feel guilty.
It can help if you consider a different perspective. Imagine if someone you love was struggling with SUD and hurt you in some way as a result. If they apologized and tried to make things right, would you have forgiven them? Thinking this way can help you find compassion for yourself.
How Do I Focus on the Present?
Once you have begun the process of forgiving yourself, you can also begin to let go of the past and focus on the future. Part of this process involves thinking about what goals you have for your future. It also involves considering how you want to accomplish them. Some examples of this could include going back to school, starting a new job, or improving your health. Maybe you want to build your own business. As you begin to consider the potential of your own future, you may begin to remember that you are capable of anything that you set your mind to. This can help boost your self-confidence going forward.
How Do I Keep Track of My Progress?
The growth of self-confidence often doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and patience. One of the best ways to measure how far you have come is by keeping a progress journal. Write down your goals and check them off once they are accomplished. Once you see how far you have come and how much progress you have made, you will begin to grow in self-confidence. You'll also likely be deterred from doing anything to detract from your future progress. This process also helps you to focus more on the future instead of the mistakes of the past. This can, in turn, help boost self-confidence.
How Does My Physical Health Impact My Mental Health?
Did you know that how you take care of your physical health can impact your mental health and your overall self-esteem? If you routinely eat poorly and rarely fit exercise into your daily routine, you're probably not going to feel the best about yourself. There's no denying that being fit and looking your best physically can help boost your self-esteem. But this relates to one's physical appearance. When you take care of yourself by eating well-rounded, nutritious meals, getting good quality sleep, and staying active, you're going to start feeling a lot better. You may even find that you're better able to handle stressful situations.
How Do I Learn to Let Go of Other People's Opinions?
No matter how committed you may be to your recovery journey and how much work you've put in to make amends for past mistakes, there may be some people out there who refuse to let you move on. They might routinely remind you of the past or openly judge you for having struggled with substance use. Instead of letting these individuals destroy your confidence and drain your energy, try to focus on the people in your life who are supportive of you. Focus your energy on the people that build you up, not those that tear you down.
It's normal for someone to lose some of their self-confidence following active addiction. This could be due to guilt or shame over past mistakes. It is possible to build your self-confidence back up in recovery. This process involves learning to forgive oneself and focus on the future. This is a day-to-day process that takes time and effort. It can help to keep track of your progress along the way. It can also help to focus on taking care of yourself physically and learning how to let go of other people's opinions. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.