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Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Role of Self-Acceptance in Recovery

When your life has been turned upside by a substance use disorder, it’s hard to feel great about yourself. In fact, it’s more likely that you’re struggling with feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem. While this is normal, it can also jeopardize your recovery. If you’re busy beating yourself up, you’re not fully focusing on beating your addiction. For a successful recovery, you’ll need to work on self-acceptance.

What Is Self-Acceptance?

Many people mistakenly interchange self-acceptance with self-esteem – but they are different. According to Psychology Today, self-esteem refers to “how valuable, or worthwhile, we see ourselves,” or our “esteem-able parts.” Self-acceptance, on the other hand, is a more global affirmation that requires embracing all facets of ourselves – including our weakness, limitations and faulty pasts.

How Can Self-Acceptance Help Your Recovery?
The more self-acceptance you have, the more strength you’ll have to overcome your substance use disorder. Getting on better terms with yourself and your addiction will open you up to grow in your recovery and give you the courage to move forward in life. Self-acceptance can bring you peace, as you’re no longer fighting against yourself or agonizing over your past or so-called failures. It can also make you more open to learn from others as you accept that you have more work to do to become a better, sober you – and that’s okay. Some experts say to think of self-acceptance as opening your heart to personal forgiveness and moving past any feelings of guilt, anger or depression.

Certainly, this all sounds great – but self-acceptance isn’t something you just wake up with one morning. It’s also easy to get off-track when you’re dealing with the day to day of recovery or struggling with the realities of addiction like relapse, damaged relationships, co-occurring depression and anxiety, or simply adjusting to life outside of rehab. As you grow your self-acceptance, it’s important to try your best to use self-acceptance as a calming force that helps you stay the course and/or get back on track.

Growing Your Self-Acceptance
There are ways to practice self-acceptance – here are a few to begin with:
  • Shift your thought patterns. For example, instead of saying to yourself: “I’m a bad person,” re-frame your thoughts to “I am a person who has acted badly.”
  • Be kind to yourself. Self-acceptance has to start and end with you – and so be patient with yourself and do your best to accept your flaws and give yourself permission to be you. 
  • Stay positive. In addition to surrounding yourself with positive people, surround yourself with positive affirmations or inspirational quotes – or anything that can help you when you’re feeling insecure or negative about yourself.
  • Accept imperfection. Recovery isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress. Perfectionism can stand in the way of self-acceptance and your recovery by preventing you from letting go of the past, learning from others, bouncing back from mistakes or taking the full amount time needed to undergo the recovery process.
  • Believe in yourself. You can grow your self-acceptance by working on positive self-talk. In other words, remind yourself why you are worth your recovery and how much you deserve to have a better, sober life!
Finding Self-Acceptance at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we use a combination of traditional and holistic treatment methods to help you manage your feelings, grow your self-confidence and self-acceptance and become a better, sober you. To learn more, call us today: 866-930-4673.

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