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Why is Self-Love Critical for Recovery?


Those of us living with addiction and mental health issues are no strangers to insecurity and low self-esteem. We lack the confidence and sense of self to prioritize our health and well-being. We reject ourselves so much that we compound our own mental and emotional pain. This can make us resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms that exacerbate addiction and existing mental health diagnoses. Deep down, when we don’t love ourselves we perpetuate our cycles of self-destruction. Self-love might be the most important ingredient in our recovery.

We can only heal when we believe we can, and when we believe we deserve to be happy.

Without having genuine faith in our ability to recover, we’ll always be subconsciously self-sabotaging and self-destructive. We’ll always reject the parts of ourselves we’re not comfortable with. We’ll always feel as though we don’t measure up to other people, we’ll always suffer from jealousy and possessiveness in our relationships, and we’ll never feel like we’re good enough. We’ll always be overly competitive and compare ourselves to other people, feeling as though their success and happiness are a personal attack on us when we don’t have what they have. We’ll always be ashamed of who we are. All of our complexities feed our emotional patterns and behavioral cycles. Our thoughts and emotions, our fears of inadequacy and inferiority, our feelings of shame have a direct effect on our ability to be good to ourselves, both internally and in our lives. We beat ourselves up, we judge ourselves, and we refuse to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. This means that we make unhealthy choices, stay in unhealthy relationships, allow ourselves to be mistreated, and accept abuse and toxicity in our lives. In turn, we respond to others the same way and limit our ability to be helpful.

Self-love and self-acceptance go hand in hand.

Culturally we’re taught only to accept the parts of ourselves we can be most proud of, the accomplishments and accolades. We celebrate our successes and are quick to hide our failures. When we begin along the path to recovery, we learn that our capacity to get well and stay well hinges on our ability to bring those failures to light. Therapy, psychological interventions, support groups, and 12-Step programs, can help us begin to accept the parts of ourselves: the good, the bad, and the ugly. These same interventions can help us move past self-defeating or negative behaviors that destroy our self-worth. As we move towards healthy behaviors, we begin to find that we gain self-esteem by doing esteem-able acts that bring is unto line with who we were designed to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The more we embrace the fullness of our personalities, our beings and our lives as a whole, the more we learn to love ourselves. And the more we develop our self-love, the more we enable ourselves to heal and to help others do the same.

Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use disorders, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs,

call us today: 561-841-1296

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If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.