Low self-esteem works together with addiction and is all about your opinion of yourself; your shortcomings, your abilities, your body and your decisions. People with low self-esteem generally consider themselves to be colossally flawed in certain areas of their lives.
Low self-esteem contributes to drug use. Those who use may want to feel better about themselves or experience a sense of freedom. It is the euphoric nature of the drug that becomes addictive, leaving a person physically and psychologically dependent on the substance.
During recovery, the feelings of low self-esteem may become worse. It is during this time that the recovering addict begins to realise the consequences of their addiction and the effects it has had socially and financially. If these negative feelings are not properly managed, there is the risk of a relapse as an escape mechanism.
If you are a recovering addict, or your loved one is battling with low self-esteem, we have compiled some tips that can help to build confidence.
Forgive Yourself for Your Shortcomings
You are human and humans are imperfect. You have made those mistakes, and there is no traveling back in time to fix them. Instead of beating yourself up for them, forgive yourself and learn from them, as not doing so can lead to your repeating the same mistakes and relapsing.
The great thing is that you are still alive and unlike the past, the future is not limited. Focus on doing things differently.
Find Something You Are Good At
Do you love playing a musical instrument? Dancing? Writing? Doing technical works? Drawing and painting? What do you love doing? What’s your talent? Discover it and start developing it. Developing a hobby will not only take your mind away from drugs but will help you to feel good about yourself and your talents.
One of the major issues with self-esteem is the feeling of short-comings that it fosters. For recovering addicts, guilt and shame are common emotions; alongside a feeling that they are underserving of their positive future. Accept that you deserve good things that come to you and more will come your way.
Write an Affirmation
Going by the dictionary meaning, to affirm something means to declare that it’s true. What are the shortcomings you believe you have? Write down their opposites. Thus, your affirmation should read like this: “I am strong. I am intelligent. I am confident.”
When you write and repeat an affirmation, you are sending a clear message to your brain that what the affirmation states is important to you. Practise this for a month or more and soon, the message will become subconscious. You will begin to feel good about yourself again and will start engaging in activities that strengthen your affirmation.
Take Care of Yourself
Exercise, follow a healthy diet, try out new classes, spend time with friends and take the time to commend yourself for your achievements. Doing this will improve not only your appearance but the health of your mind and relationships.
Lastly, remember that self-esteem isn’t something you can build in a day. There will be times when you face more obstacles in life. When that happens, always remember one thing; you have come a long way to give up.