When you are in active addiction, you often feel on top of the world. Drugs cause a warped sense of reality. Many addicts don’t view the world the same way that they would if they were sober. Once you finish addiction recovery, there is a good chance that you could slip into depression and have a hard time loving yourself. This often occurs because of the guilt that comes with the things that you did when you were in active addiction.

Being able to truly love yourself is essential in life. It can help you to make healthy decisions, ensure that you surround yourself with healthy relationships and decreases the chances of you relapsing in the future. The following guide provides a few tips you can use to learn how to love yourself again once you recover from your addiction.

Go to Regular Counseling Sessions

The first thing you need to do to rebuild a solid foundation of love for yourself is seeking help from a professional counselor. You need to be able to talk openly and honestly about the way that you are feeling about the past and about your present. The counselor can help you learn how to forgive yourself for the things that you did that you aren’t proud of and provide you with tips you can use to rebuild the relationships that you may have damaged during your active addiction. The way that other people view you can have a huge impact on the way that you view yourself. You need to love yourself first and foremost, if you are going to be able to rebuild your life.

Do Things for Other People

Believe it or not, doing things for other people can help you to feel better about yourself. Giving selflessly allows you to feel like you have a purpose and that everything happens for a reason. You can volunteer at a local homeless shelter or women’s shelter. You can help with an animal rescue or even build homes with Habitat for Humanity. Doing things for other takes your focus off of yourself and realize that there are others in the world that have it even worse than you who have never had a problem with addiction. This can also help to make you see a brighter future for yourself.

Do Things to Better Yourself

The next thing you need to do is focus on yourself. Do things that can help you to feel as great as you can physically and emotionally. Taking fitness classes can help you to make your body stronger, allow you to meet new people and build a more positive self-image. There are often free classes available at local community centers and parks.

Taking classes to learn how to do new things can also help you to feel better about yourself. Realizing that you have skills and that there are things that you are really good at helps to boost your confidence and provide you with more purpose. You could take an art class, learn how to cook delicious meals or even go to college. Learning how to do new things also opens up new doors to you that can make your life more exciting and provide you with things to do with all of the free time you’ll have after you stop using drugs.

Rebuild  Relationships with the People You Love

Guilt can be a cruel part of life. If there were relationships that were hampered during your time in active addiction, you need to do what you can to repair them. Showing people that you have changed and are trying to better yourself can help to rebuild the relationships because it will change their view of you. Everyone deserves a second chance in life and being able to rebuild the relationships that you damaged can help you to love yourself again because you will realize that if others can give you a second chance, you should give yourself one too.

It’s important to know that you cannot rebuild a relationship overnight though. It will take time. It all starts with an apology though. You have to be willing to apologize for the things that you did when you were in active addiction sincerely. You cannot make excuses or blame others for the decisions you chose to make. Seeing that you are willing to admit that you made mistakes can soften many people’s hearts and allow growth to take place.

Create a Vision Board for Yourself

Sit down and think about what you feel would make you love yourself again. Accomplishing a goal, such as finishing a race, graduating from a class or going somewhere new and exciting may make you feel good about yourself. It takes a lot of planning, saving and commitment to do any of these things and once you do something that makes you feel proud of yourself; you will be able to start to love yourself again.

Creating a vision board with these things on it allows you to have a constant reminder of the goals that you want to achieve. Whether you are having a bad day or a good day, you’ll see the board and it will remind you that you are worth fighting for and that you have things you want to do in life. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can simply glue pictures onto a piece of paper or even just draw them if you want.

The most important thing you can do when you want to love yourself after active addiction is to realize that you have worth and are valuable. It will take time before you can forgive yourself for the things that you did in your past, but realizing your own worth is priceless. Do not surround yourself with people who put you down or put yourself in dangerous situations. You need to be around positivity, support and nurturing if you are going to be able to love yourself and stick to your sobriety long term.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 866-523-7634.

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