self acceptance addiction

To Thine Own Self Be True: Finding Self Acceptance During Addiction Recovery

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that in 2017 alone 19.7 million individuals fought substance abuse. For those attempting to kick their addiction, self-acceptance can be a daily struggle. 

Societies view on addicts is more judgmental than supportive, making it even harder for someone addicted to drugs to muster up the strength to love themselves throughout the process.

If you are working through drug addiction read on for important tips on recovery and self-acceptance throughout the process.

Signs of Drug Addiction

Before you begin to address your addiction it’s important to know if there is, in fact, a problem present.

Be on the lookout for the following signs that you or someone you love may be facing a drug addiction problem

  • A change in overall attitude or personality
  • Feeling more aggressive or irritable than usual
  • Depression
  • The teeth have a fuzzy metal taste
  • The dramatic change in social media presence like posting statuses that are out of your usual activity
  • A dramatic shift in habits or priorities
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Eyes that are often bloodshot or glazed over 
  • Pupils that are more dilated than usual
  • A rapid increase or decrease in weight
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble staying awake
  • A reduction in coordination skills
  • Out of the ordinary bodybuilders

These are just some of the behavioral and physical symptoms that can be found for those struggling with drug addiction. If you or someone you love, can relate to some of the symptoms above, it’s important to seek out help to begin the recovery process. 

Treatment for Drug Addiction 

There are a number of different treatment options for those suffering from drug addiction.

The type of treatment that will work best for you will depend on your unique personality, and how severe your addiction is. Not every drug addict will need to turn to rehab to get the recovery they need.

For some, the use of counseling or psychotherapy is enough to manage triggers and to address the underlining problem. 

It’s important to visit with a recovery professional to put together a strong recovery plan that you can follow.

Self-Acceptance During Recovery

Now that you’ve addressed whether or not you are struggling with addiction, and what treatment options are available to you, it’s important to work on self-acceptance throughout the process.

Read on for some important tips on creating an atmosphere of self-acceptance.

Have a Strong Intention

Self-acceptance does not grow overnight. You have to address the fact that you want to love yourself completely despite whatever pitfalls you may face.

This means setting an intention to shift your mental state from doubt, shame, and blame and enter a place of self-love.

The first vital step is to visualize where you want to make this change in your life.

Recognize and Celebrate Your Qualities

Many times those struggling with addiction take on the addiction as a core piece of their identity. While it’s important to acknowledge that you are an addict facing a problem, it’s also necessary to acknowledge that you’re so much more than that.

Take time to acknowledge your strengths and qualities and celebrate those qualities. Even if that means that these qualities have been absent since your addiction, they are still an integral part of who you are as a person.

You’ll also find strong motivation when considering the person you were prior to addiction and wanting to return to being that person.

Look at Those Around You

Often being unable to accept ourselves comes as a direct result of emotional or psychological abuse from those around us. This is also a common source of emotional distress that leads to addiction.

Take stock of the individuals around you and see if they are creating an atmosphere of support or judgment.

Consider who speaks to you negatively, who reinforces your own negative beliefs, and who goes out of their way to hurt you.

If your addiction has come a long way, you may find that those who love you are experiencing moments of hurt and frustration. Keep this in mind when determining who is genuinely there for you and who would like to see you fail.

Have a Solid Support System 

From the opposite side of removing those who tear you down, you’ll greatly benefit from spending time with people who will lift you up.

This means having people around you that will love you and accept you for who you are, despite the work that needs to be done. This may mean that your best source of comfort are former addicts who have already been where you have been, have experienced emotions you’ve experienced, and know that there’s more to you than your addiction.

Silence Your Inner Critic

Often we are the harshest critics when it comes to the things we say or do. It’s important to know that if you’ve been experiencing thoughts of shame or doubt for some time, there’s a good chance that you’re accepting the statements as truth.

Whether it through handwritten notes or daily mantras it’s important to gradually begin replacing your negative thoughts with thoughts of encouragement, love, and acceptance.

Grieve Unachieved Dreams

Often throughout our childhood and youth, we have a specific image of how we expect our lives to turn out. Whether it means that you aspired to become an Olympic skater or to simply settle down with a beautiful family, not achieving the dreams we thought were a guarantee, can take a strong toll on our feelings of self-worth.

Instead of constantly reminding yourself that you do not live up to your own standards, grieve the loss of these dreams and take the time to discover new dreams.

As the years pass we grow and change as individuals. New interests and hobbies arise that can help point us down a new path. 

Just because your life is not where you believed it would be, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are incapable of experiencing a happy, and satisfying life.

Speak to Your Higher Power

One of the primary steps in recovery is acknowledging that you need the help of a higher power. Whether it’s God, a support group, or simply the higher version of yourself, it’s important to acknowledge that you’ll need an external source of support and guidance to help you achieve this hurdle.

Take the time to quietly sit and connect with your higher power. This can be through prayer, meditation, or journaling.

What’s important is that you check in and communicate with your inner source.

Finding the Help You Need When You Need It

Self-acceptance is a powerful tool in recovery. It can prevent us from sinking into the same self-destructive habits that got us into addiction in the first place.

However, there are a number of additional factors that should be addressed for long-term addiction and recovery. It’s a long road, and we suggest, that you travel it with someone who cares.

If you’re looking for recovery help, to begin treatment for your addiction, contact us today to review treatment options on how to take that vital first step.

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.