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Rebuilding our sense of self-worth and learning self-respect are hugely important in healing ourselves mentally and emotionally as we’re working to recover. Very often throughout our struggles with addiction and mental illness, we developed patterns of disrespecting ourselves and devaluing our worth. When we’re ready to recover, healing our sense of self and growing in self-love are some of the most important things we can do. It’s impossible to value ourselves when we don’t respect ourselves. If we’re neglecting our needs and desires, sacrificing our values, or abandoning ourselves in different ways, our ability to heal ourselves is greatly impaired.

When we respect ourselves, we show ourselves consideration and care in every aspect of our lives. We care about our own feelings and don’t downplay them for the sake of other people’s. We don’t prioritize other people over ourselves. We pay attention to our inner thoughts and feelings and follow the guidance of our intuition. We listen to our instincts and heed their direction. We know that listening to the truth of our inner selves will never lead us astray. When battling with addiction and mental illness, we often didn’t have the mental or emotional clarity to be able to hear our inner voice. We were clouded by toxicity and distracted by turmoil. We were inundated with conflict, both within ourselves and in our relationships. We weren’t able to think clearly or process our feelings in healthy ways. Once we prioritize our own serenity, we learn the importance of listening to ourselves. We honor our emotions and follow their lead.

When we respect ourselves, we demand respect from everyone else in our lives. We no longer put up with the abuse, mistreatment and unkindness of unhealthy relationships. We no longer tolerate being lied to, controlled, deceived or manipulated. We respect ourselves enough to put boundaries in place and maintain them, to ensure we’re getting everything we want and need in order to be happy, healthy and whole. That means we might create rules around how we want to be treated and eliminate any relationships from our lives that can’t abide by them. When we were still in an unhealthy place, we might have considered creating boundaries to be overly controlling or harsh, but once we begin the recovery process, we see them as a form of self-respect, a way in which to ensure we’re getting our needs met.

Our recovery must include the process of rebuilding our sense of self-worth and learning to respect ourselves. Without doing this important work, we may always suffer from the insecurity, self-destructiveness and self-disparagement that fueled our addictive patterns and deep unhappiness.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.