The stigmas surrounding addiction can be really hard to ignore and can make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do. The stigmas tell us that we are weak, lazy people. They tell us we are bad, immoral, promiscuous, dangerous people. They tell us that we’re doomed to fail and that we can’t heal from our addictions. They tell us that we are powerless over our addictions and that don’t have the power within us to make our lives what we want them to be.
Choosing to ignore these stigmas so that you can focus on yourself and your recovery means deciding you can no longer prioritize what other people might think of you. You can’t worry about their judgments of you. You can only focus on your own self-perception, your sense of self-worth. Other people’s opinions can only limit you if you let them, if you allow them to influence your own opinions. What matters is how you feel about yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your capacity for growth and change and healing? Do you have faith in yourself? Work to develop these things. Affirm that you are strong, capable, powerful and brave. Affirm that you have the power within you to heal and to create the life you want.
Turning away from the stigmas imposed upon us means facing some of our deepest fears – our fears of judgment, rejection, criticism and abandonment. We are afraid of people looking down on us and judging us. We are afraid of being rejected, abandoned, lonely, alone. Facing these fears head on allows us to see that we are stronger than our fears. Our fears might hurt but they only hold us back as much as we allow them to. We can move through them. Our priority has to be our wellness.
As we grow and become stronger, we shed the limiting beliefs that the stigmas surrounding addiction contributed to. We no longer feel defined by them. We know we are more than our illnesses. Our lives are not the sum of our mistakes, and who we are doesn’t have to be who we were. Empowering yourself, believing in yourself, having faith in yourself allow you to leave those stigmas behind, along with everything else that doesn’t serve you moving forward in your recovery. Make the choices for yourself that resonate with your heart and intuition. When we are able to look back at the journey, we see that the stigmas we felt threatened by were spiritual tests to overcome.
Riverside Recovery offers a safe space, free of judgment. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.