Building Self Esteem In Recovery

The connection between low self-esteem and addiction has been studied for decades. Way back in the 1970s, drug users, especially women, were discovered to have low self-esteem issues. More recently, the relationship has been demonstrated between low self-esteem and addictive behaviours, including internet addictions, eating disorders and compulsive shopping.

People who suffer from low self-esteem battle to find happiness away from their addiction. This is because the low self-worth prevents them from putting the right effort into developing themselves. The sad truth is that deep down they believe they aren’t worth the effort. Unfortunately, you only get out of life what you put into it. So, if you put in nothing, you get nothing.

Another reason is the stigma that comes with addiction in our society. Most people label addicts as weak people or moral failures. This is enough to wrench the positivity away from a recovering former addict. People shouldn’t be written off because of their addiction.

If you are in recovery from an addiction, you will most likely need to grow your self-esteem. However, care should be taken to avoid cultivating it too high as that is also a problem.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Esteem can be described as worth or value. Therefore, self-esteem is a subjective value people ascribe to themselves. It has a close connection with self-worth. The two words are often used interchangeably and rightly so, if you have a high self-esteem, it means you value yourself highly. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem don’t believe they are worth so much.

Symptoms Of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem has a negative effect on one’s life. A negative self-appraisal includes the following signs:

Difficulty In Accepting Compliments

People with low self-esteem are always wary of compliments and see them as insincere. How can you accept compliments from people when you don’t believe the good they see about you?

Take Abuse From Other People

Low self-esteem can make a person accept cruel treatments without so much as fighting back. This is because they feel they deserve to be treated badly.

Struggle To Find Happiness

It’s hardly possible to be happy when you don’t wish the best for yourself. People with low self-esteem don’t go the extra mile to enjoy treats or feel good about themselves because their poor self-worth won’t allow it.

Struggle In Relationships

A relationship requires focus and commitment towards your partner, as well as yourself. But it’s hard to build relationships when you are negatively absorbed in yourself. Instead of being mutually benefiting, the relationship becomes selfish.

How To Build Your Self Esteem

The good news is that you can build your self-esteem by making some effort.

  • Take good care of yourself; groom regularly
  • Write a positive statement to abide by, and repeat it to yourself when in doubt
  • Do something you enjoy every day
  • Accept compliments with sincerity
  • Give yourself a purpose or goal to achieve daily
  • Do something kind every day
  • Exercise
  • Surround yourself with positive-minded people and friends.

Developing your self-esteem is up to you. It may take some time but it will impact you positively eventually.

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