Improving self-esteem during the process of recovery may be a challenge for some addicts and alcoholics, especially if they are just entering early recovery. After putting down the drink and/or drug, it can be easy for some people to be uncomfortable in their own skin and count the traits they don’t like about themselves or what they would rather change. Being able to stop talking negatively and shifting gears to improve self-esteem can be important because it can give them the confidence they need to move forward in their recovery.
Defeating or Improving Self-Esteem
The pressure to be perfect, even in a program of recovery, can grow to be enormous. This type of insecurity can be large, as addicts and alcoholics typically have deep rooted self-esteem issues directing their actions. Difficulties may arise and tough decisions may need to be made. This is why it is suggested that a network of sober supports be built and that no decision be made alone early in recovery. When the recovering individual can accept that there is no true “perfect program” to be followed and that the recovery process may have bumps along the way but is a journey of their own nonetheless, the heavy weight of pressure can be taken off their shoulders. There is always room for growth, which goes to show how recovery is a continual process where they get to learn more about themselves as time goes on.
Each addict and/or alcoholic doesn’t have to understand all of life’s contemplations in one sitting. Just as the idiom goes – easy does it. Allowing time and having patience can be a pivotal part of each recovering individual’s journey. The recovery process isn’t contingent on a specified amount of time. Not everything must be done the way that others do it as long as the individual can be their authentic self. Humans were meant to be perfectly imperfect! Each individual should remember not to beat themselves up or act like anybody other than themselves.
Self-esteem is a reflection of how much a person believes they are valued. If a person has a low self-esteem, it makes sense that an addict would have sought out alcohol and/or drugs as a coping mechanism to function in society and numb feelings of unworthiness. When an individual enters recovery and is without alcohol and/or drugs, they become vulnerable without healthy coping mechanisms in place to subside and work on improving self-esteem issue that clearly were pre-existing. It may be a concern if the individual is isolating, verbally aggressive, withdrawn, disoriented, talking negatively of themselves, overly critical, reciting strange thoughts, showing extreme social anxiety, or depressed.
The process of recovery from addiction can have much to do with improving self esteem. Many addicts and alcoholics come to find that they have feelings of low self worth but throughout the process of recovery regain and develop an unconditional love for themselves and others in recovery.