Addiction can impact all aspects of your life, even the way you value you put on yourself. Whether during your substance use or recovery, you may start to see yourself in a more negative light. This can hinder your recovery and decrease your quality of life because you don’t see the point in fighting for something better. That is why rebuilding self-esteem is a vital step in the recovery process.
Rebuilding self-esteem during recovery can boost your confidence in your ability to stay sober and thrive in your new sober lifestyle. We at Spero Recovery want to help you regain that confidence and see you reach your goal of long-term sobriety. Please reach out today at (303) 351-7888 to discuss how we can help you.
What Is Self-Esteem?
The value and way you think of yourself is your self-esteem. There are a lot of factors that can influence your self-esteem level, including:
- Comments your peers make.
- For example, they may compare you to their standard of beauty. If you don’t match that, they will try to make you feel like you don’t look right or beautiful.
- Things family members say.
- Seeing what society deems as the standard of living, whether it is beauty, how you dress, or where you live.
- Your living situation as you are growing up.
- Growing up in an unstable home can make it harder for you to build a higher value of yourself.
- Romantic relationships.
- A bad partnership can make you question your value. It could lower it because they don’t support and love you the way they deserve. You internalize that you are not deserving of better or that it’s your fault they don’t value you more.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem
Things you may notice if you have low self-esteem include:
- Being overly critical of yourself.
- Constantly putting yourself down or saying negative things about yourself.
- Devalue your accomplishments and focus on your failures.
- Putting the fault on yourself if something doesn’t work out.
- Thinking you don’t deserve better in your life because you aren’t worth it.
- Constantly thinking others are better than you.
- Unable to accept when people say nice things about you.
Thought Processes That Can Hurt You in Rebuilding Self-Esteem
Some thought processes can lower your self-esteem and hinder you when trying to rebuild it. These include:
- All-or-nothing thinking
- “I didn’t pass the math test. Therefore I must be horrible at math.”
- Mental filtering
- “There was a mistake in my presentation, so they are going to think I don’t know the project.”
- Jumping to conclusions
- “My partner is late and not answering me; he must be cheating.”
- Replacing facts with feelings
- “I feel unattractive. Therefore I must be ugly.”
- Constantly talking negatively about yourself
- “I have such an ugly laugh because I snort.”
Ways of Rebuilding Self-Esteem
Coping with low self-esteem and rebuilding your self-esteem start with you realizing that there is a problem in how you see yourself. This can be hard to see because it’s not something being told to you but something you have internalized as being true. An article published by the Mayo Clinic in July 2022 discusses ways to combat this thinking which include:
- Know situations that may make you question your self-value. For example, a presentation at school, fighting with your partner or losing your job.
- Be aware of what you are thinking in these situations, especially the ones about yourself. These thoughts may be based on truth, or they may be based on your false perception of yourself.
- Question your thoughts. Ask yourself if what you are thinking is accurate to the situation or could these thoughts be coming from your lowered self-esteem.
Once you can detect false negative thoughts, you have to change them to truths. This will be difficult, especially when you are first starting, but it is necessary for the rebuilding self-esteem process.
- Encourage yourself through difficult tasks rather than thinking you can’t do them.
- Practice self-forgiveness if you make a mistake.
- Don’t use should and must statements constantly. It adds too much to your plate, and if you don’t accomplish something you think you should, you may start to think you failed.
- Think about what you have accomplished and your strengths in life.
- Learn from your mistakes.
How Can Spero Recovery Help in Rebuilding Self-Esteem?
Spero Recovery is an addiction recovery facility. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide effective, affordable care centered around support and community. Our use of grants and donations lowers our costs, which makes us perfect for individuals that are under and uninsured. The alumni of our programs come back to lead experiential therapy sessions, which can include sand volleyball, hiking, woodworking, cooking classes, and meditation.
Our programs are based in the community to surround you with a support system full of people who understand what you are going through and want to help you succeed. This can help you feel more comfortable and see that you are not the only one struggling with addiction. You can start to stop blaming yourself for your addiction and actions while under the influence as you work through The Twelve Steps with your peers.
We practice meditation and mindfulness because it helps you be present in the moment. You can use these techniques to evaluate your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. Then you can realize and understand the negative thinking you have about yourself and work to change it.
Life can hit you hard at times, especially when struggling with substance use disorder. These hits can make it hard for you to trust and have faith in your abilities. This questioning can lower your self-esteem and make it harder for you to thrive in recovery. Not having trust in your ability to make the right decisions about your health and well-being can hinder your ability to say no to the temptations and reach long-term sobriety. You are not alone. If you feel like you are struggling with rebuilding your self-esteem during your recovery journey, reach out to Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888 for more information today. We want to help you believe in yourself again.