One of the most important ways we heal ourselves in recovery is by learning to value ourselves. Very often, throughout our struggles with addiction and mental illness, we do the exact opposite. We devalue, demean and degrade ourselves. We engage in behaviors that are self-harming, destructive and even dangerous. We choose friends and partners that put us down, that mistreat and abuse us, that make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do. We don’t know our worth or see our potential. We perceive our flaws to be moral failings on our part, and we don’t think we’ll ever be able to redeem ourselves from our past mistakes and wrongdoings. We carry within us a deep sense of shame that we start to self-identify with. Our shame and our feelings of inadequacy become our sense of self. We create a self-image based on self-rejection and a self-perception based on self-hate. We don’t love, accept, appreciate or respect ourselves. A major part of recovering from our addictions and mental illnesses is learning how to build up our self-worth and value ourselves more.
What we often don’t realize is that we are inherently worthy. We are spiritual beings of light and love that get caught up in the illusions of our fears and the complexities of human life. We pile layers of superficiality and distraction on top of our hearts and souls, instead of listening to the deep wisdom within. Learning to value ourselves means learning to recognize our inherent worth, worth we were born with, worth that is not based on specific successes or accomplishments. This worth not does decrease if we make mistakes or have regrets. It does not depreciate if we don’t live up to our expectations. It is unconditional. Our love of self needs to be unconditional as well. We need to see the light burning within us, underneath all of the noise and clutter.
When we know our worth, we have more faith in ourselves. We start to believe in ourselves and our ability to recover and heal ourselves. We choose friends and partners who lift us up, who reinforce our growing self-esteem and confidence, and who show us they value us in how they treat us. We stop neglecting, abandoning and harming ourselves. Our self-destruction is replaced with upliftment. Our self-hate is replaced by self-love. Learning to value ourselves is a crucial ingredient in our recovery work. Without it, we might always continue on with the toxic patterns that contributes to our addictions in the first place.
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.