They absolutely can – but it’s not always easy. Even when you achieve sobriety, feelings of self-doubt can still linger.

Self-esteem is defined as a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. In other words, it’s how much you appreciate or like yourself. When we drank and used substances, our self-esteem was very important to us.

But we were dying inside, and we didn’t like ourselves. We compared ourselves to everyone around us and always felt like we fell short. Putting substances in our body seemed to help – but it was just a temporary solution to a much bigger problem.

A Vicious Cycle

Those feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness were actually fueled by our drinking and using substances. Because of the things we had to do to get drugs or alcohol, we then felt even worse about ourselves, which led to even more usage of the substance. We felt like we were never enough.

The way that we perceive ourselves is very much tied to our substance use disorder. When you start the recovery journey, you can finally introduce yourself to the real you. We must work through our self-esteem issues if we want long-term sobriety, so we don’t mistreat ourselves or others again.

Ways to Improve

First and foremost, you will hear a lot that to gain self-esteem, you must do estimable acts. And this is true – the more you do for others, the better you will feel about yourself.

The recovery process is also very adamant about self-improvement. Try to be more aware of your thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and actions at all times. Meditation can help give you a broader outlook on what is hindering your progress. If you’re more aware of your negative thoughts, then you can begin to work to challenge them. Try to think positively and remain in gratitude, and find ways to replace your negative self-talk with positive affirmations.

Self-care is another huge factor – If we don’t get enough sleep, eat unhealthy food, and treat our mind and body like garbage, then we will feel like garbage. Perhaps most importantly, if you need help, then ask for it. You’re worth saving and you matter to others in this world.

If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

Nearly half of all residents seeking treatment for addiction also have co-occurring psychiatric concerns that too often aren’t properly addressed. If they end up at a recovery center that doesn’t address their mental health, their chances of success are dramatically lower. Alta Loma can give you the help you need. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.