Why is it so hard to get rid of all the terrible events that we have experienced from our past? Throw addiction into the mix and you have the perfect recipe for poor self-esteem. Poor self-esteem contributes to you seeking substance abuse to self-medicate and eventually finding that you need drug rehab. Your self-esteem first gets dragged through the mud of addiction. Then after you are sober, shame from the past has a negative impact on your self-esteem.
Entering detox is difficult enough, but after drugs and alcohol leave your system, you are left with a flood of emotions: From fear to faith, doubt to self-assurance and chaos to order. This wave of emotion has a negative impact on your self-esteem because you are unsure about what you are feeling. The emotions attached to past events continue to damage your sense of self and well-being.
Confusion about how to manage emotions sets in and you beat yourself up with negative thoughts. These thoughts are usually judgments about past behaviors such as lying, cheating, stealing, promiscuity, weight fluctuations, poor decisions and substance abuse. All of the negative thoughts and emotions attached to the past tear down your self-esteem. Poor self-esteem impacts negative patterns of thinking and behaving and this cycle continues until you make changes. Eliminating drug and alcohol use helps when you are making changes needed to increase self-esteem.
Making the first step and entering drug rehab helps rebuild your self-esteem. In rehab, you can learn about how to make healthier decisions, set boundaries and resolve underlying emotions. Healthy decisions pave the road to increasing self-esteem. Along the way you may have picked up the unhealthy habit of talking negatively to yourself. This negative language is the result of what you believe about yourself. For example, if I believe that I don’t deserve to have a say in my relationship because of all the bad things I’ve done in my addiction, I am telling myself I am not worthy. Shame is a closely tied partner to low self-esteem for addicts.
Learn to trust yourself again
Surround yourself with positive people
Set healthy boundaries in relationships – don’t compromise your morals and values
Reframe negative thinking
Practice positive affirmations
Set and complete goals
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