Self-care in recovery is key. After struggling, a person can believe that they are not good enough. And they may feel they don’t measure up. This is what I thought about myself.
In active addiction, I didn’t take care of myself. I wouldn’t wear my seat belt all the time. In addition, I had a bad diet. Furthermore, at times I would even skip showering.
Substance use disorder negatively affects self-perception, mood, motivation. Also, it can hinder personal well-being. It can make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. Hence, at times it seems there is no way out.
When I finally got sober I wasn’t sure what self-care meant anymore. There were mentors to show me the way, including our founder at Redpoint. I also internalized self-care as being selfish. During my active addiction, I had been selfish for so long that the last thing I wanted to do was pay attention to the things that I needed.
Self-Care in Recovery — The Opposite of Selfish
I realize now that there is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. What I learned was that you need to implement self-care when you get sober so that you can replace selfish, addictive behavior with healthy alternatives.
Once you are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, it is common to use these addictive behaviors to cope with negative feelings. Some even use these addictive behaviors as a type of reward system for themselves.
During my active addiction, it got to the point where I would tell myself, “I worked all day today, so I deserve to get high.” Or “my boyfriend made me mad, so I can get high to make myself feel better.”
Now, I take care of myself. Self-care in recovery means I work out, do art, get my nails done, and take time out of my day to just sit and think. By doing this, I can change my own thoughts about myself and my life.
Now, the more I take care of myself, the better I feel, and the more I want to keep that feeling going. I also know that in order to keep this positivity, I need to maintain awareness, help others, and maintain my sobriety. This self-growth is an important part of self-care.
When I was using, I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone help someone else. Now that I take time out for myself, I have more positive energy to help other people.
I’m a huge fan of self-care now. If you haven’t tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Don’t miss out. You deserve to be truly happy.