Our addictions and mental health challenges are often a result of a deep self-hatred and painful feelings of inadequacy, shame and unworthiness. When we are working to recover from our issues, our focus is often on abstaining from our addictive behaviors and drugs of choice, but we’re missing a hugely important element of recovery if we don’t address our damaged self-esteem and chronic self-loathing.
When we’re trying to heal, one of the first things many of us try are pharmaceutical medications. While these can help balance the chemicals in our minds and get us out of crisis mode, they don’t heal the wounds that make us hate ourselves, wounds that are often contributing factors in our addictions and mental health problems in the first place. No pill can make us address the reasons why we feel so inadequate and unworthy. We have to do that for ourselves.
Therapy, writing and having a spiritual practice are all tools that can help us along our self-love journey. They allow us to connect with our real selves, our inner strength, the dreams and goals we had for ourselves before our problems made us forget them.
Medication is one of the many things we buy when we’re struggling to recover. We also spend money and energy accumulating beauty products, clothing, shoes, gadgets, even extra homes and cars, with the hope that the rush we get from them will help assuage our recurring feelings of self-doubt and self-hate. We hide behind makeup and status symbols. We go out partying too much. We spend frivolously. We use “retail therapy” to try to feel better when we are in pain.
Nothing we buy will make us love ourselves. No material object can make us feel good about ourselves. That work has to come from us. We have to be willing to really look at ourselves and our issues, with honesty and openness. We have to become more conscious of our thought patterns and life cycles. We have to address all of the factors that made us hate ourselves in the first place.
When it comes to our issues, whether it’s old stuff or new- lingering fears from childhood trauma, or a recent breakup- all of it impacts our feelings of self-worth. We might be tempted to try to skip the difficult part of recovery, because it can be painful and scary to look at ourselves and our lives honestly, and we might find ourselves using material goods as a crutch or distraction. As we learn more about recovery and what that means for our lives, we realize our self-worth has to come from within. When we’re ready to do the work, we experience healing that is far more liberating than anything we can buy.
We’re never totally alone in our recovery. Enlightened Solutions is here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.