Our addictions are so overpowering that they can totally alter our relationship with ourselves. We think and feel about ourselves in damaging ways because of all the shame, disappointment and regret we carry around our addictions. We create a self-perception and self-image based on the people we’ve become due to our addictions, rather than on the person we were born to be, the person we could still become. Our sense of self can become pained, as we become more and more estranged from ourselves. We find it hard to connect with our inner selves and our intuition. We feel lost, confused and overwhelmed. We feel deep sadness, anxiety, panic, even terror. We don’t feel connected to our purpose, and we feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with ourselves and our lives. We feel disappointed in where we’re at in our lives, and we carry a sense of shame with us everywhere we go. When we’re feeling so down on ourselves, we instinctively turn away from ourselves to avoid feeling the pain of our disconnection. We self-medicate and numb our pain with our drugs of choice. Our addictions fuel our low self-esteem, and vice versa.
A hugely important part of recovery is learning how to reconnect with ourselves and stop depriving ourselves of love, compassion and understanding. Reconnecting with self is about treating ourselves with forgiveness and self-acceptance. We can’t recover if we’re beating ourselves up for our mistakes, rejecting entire parts of ourselves, and generally treating ourselves with unkindness. We can only recover successfully when we make the choice to be on our own side, to be our own ally, rather than our oppressor or tormentor. When we’re inundating ourselves with harshness and self-deprecation, we take ourselves further and further away from accomplishing our goals. We remove ourselves from the healthy place we need to be in to focus on our healing. How do we reconnect with ourselves, when for so long we’ve felt so disconnected and estranged from ourselves?
Connection with our inner selves requires that we get quiet and remove all the layers of noise, clutter and distraction that have been blocking us from our true selves. Learning to meditate is an incredibly beneficial way of reconnecting with self. We can meditate in various ways, with breathing exercises, visualization, affirmations, guided meditations and walking meditation. We can also incorporate mindfulness into our daily routine, doing everything meditatively as we move through our day. The more we access the quiet, still spaciousness within us, the more we naturally can reconnect with ourselves.
The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and the feelings of hopelessness and disconnection that can come with it. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.