Vulnerability, powerlessness, and seeking help can be a very difficult thing for people in the thralls of active addiction, many of whom are experiencing issues with their self-confidence and self-esteem. We often don’t feel worthy of living a better life or value the outcome that sobriety offers and find ourselves stuck in a place that is out of our control.
Self-limiting beliefs creep in and, out of much doubt, the process of getting and staying sober appears to be an impossible feat. We may feel:
“I don’t deserve a happy life.”
“I’m a worthless addict.”
“I could never get sober, it’s too hard.”
“I don’t love myself enough.”
“I am not lovable.”
“_________happened to me and this is the only way I can cope.”
“There’s no hope for me.”
Prevalent during my years of substance abuse was an unhappiness and purposeless so embedded in who I was, that my sole purpose was an escape plan from my own thoughts and feelings. The escape I found in drugs and alcohol only catalyzed an accelerating, downward spiral. There came a point, however, where that fall stopped and a vision of a better life flashed before me.
I did not want the rest of my life to be a footrace against myself and, in order to live a better life, I had to do things of which I had always been afraid: become vulnerable and ask for help because everything was out of control. Confronting oneself is a tremendous challenge but with help from others and my devotion to working on the problems from which I had been running, a new mindset started to bud.
How to Build Your Self-Confidence During Recovery
The devotion to getting better helped me build my self-confidence and self-esteem, things that were part of me all along but were never utilized. My self-image is now the opposite of what it was in active addiction. Now:
- I honor my body by getting active every day.
- I value my worth – I have love, knowledge, and support to share with others.
- I live a life free of hiding things/lying to others.
- I can respectfully say “no” to people and situations that make me uncomfortable without fear of judgment.
- I no longer wake up in the mornings wondering what happened the night before and if I had done or said anything shameful.
- My relationships have flourished.
- I have goals that I set and can accomplish.
- I nurture my soul with things and people that make me happy.
I do not have my whole life figured out, nor do I feel that I need to – and neither should you! I put one foot in front of the other in a positive direction every day. We will all have a history but knowing that you are worth the fight is where you will find that confidence in yourself.
Some things that may help you along the way:
- Set a small, realistic goal each day.
- Get active and stay active.
- Surround yourself with people who bring positive value to your life.
- Find a sober network.
- Help others.
- Remind yourself of the journey you are on and embrace each stage.
- Make taking care of you a priority.
At Project Courage, we understand and realize recovery can be difficult to sort out. If you or a loved one is in need of help, feel free to call us at any point, or if you’re more comfortable, explore our website for information on these services.
by Chelsea Verni