One of the things that holds us back the most in our recovery are our lingering feelings of self-hatred, insecurity and self-rejection. We’re still feeling down on ourselves for being addicts, for all the mistakes we’ve made and ways in which we’ve hurt ourselves and others. We feel ashamed of ourselves. We don’t love and accept ourselves. In order to really heal from our addictions, we have to also heal subconsciously. We have to heal the limiting beliefs that are fueling our self-destructive patterns. We have to learn to love ourselves, and not just the version of ourselves we want to be in the future once we’re sober, but all the different versions of ourselves, all the different iterations of the person we’ve been over time and are still becoming.
Who we are, and who we’re capable of being, is a result of all the growth we’ve experienced over the years. This includes all the painful lessons, all the mistakes and wrongdoings, all the shame and regret. We wouldn’t be able to get where we’re going, our intended end result of happiness and fulfillment, if we hadn’t learned everything we’ve learned thus far. We wouldn’t know the deep satisfaction and relief of sobriety if we hadn’t experienced the pain of addiction. We wouldn’t know what progress feels like if we hadn’t also experienced defeat. We know success because we’ve experienced struggle. The past versions of ourselves, the wounded inner child, the struggling addict, the recovering addict, have all taught us so much about ourselves, valuable information we needed in order to get well.
What would it feel like to start having love and acceptance for all the different versions of yourself you’ve been over the years? How would it feel to have gratitude for your difficult experiences, for the pain you’ve endured? Let’s learn to love our addiction and our depression for what they’ve taught us and for how far they’ve brought us. Let’s be grateful for the strength and resilience we’ve shown in pulling through such painful struggles. Let’s forgive the past versions of ourselves for all of our mistakes. Let’s release the shame and regret. Let’s remind ourselves that our past selves needed to make the mistakes we made in order for us to grow. We had to experience pain and learn survival to ultimately find peace.