Is self-love selfish or selfless? This is a question that many will interpret the answer to differently based on their upbringing and experiences in life, but for those of you who lean towards self-love being selfish, we beg to differ. Especially when it comes to addiction, getting into a zone where self-love is a priority is crucial to healing and long-term recovery. The path to sobriety starts with self-love …

What is self-love? Simply put, “self-love is regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” It’s having respect for your own person and self-worth. It’s putting yourself in a position to be well and in turn do well. When we care for our own be-ing, it is often reflected in our daily lives. People who lack self-love often fall into toxic habits or relationships. They seek perfectionism or aim to people please. In turn, their own self dissipates. Many who have low self-esteem or self-love struggle with mood disorders like depression and can fall into the trap of drugs or alcohol. Self-love is meant to protect YOU and keep you thriving. Examples of self-love include:

  • Making sure your needs are met
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Positive self talk
  • Self forgiveness … we all mess up sometimes
  • Prioritizing your mental, physical, and over all well being
  • Not letting other people abuse or take advantage of you
  • Being assertive
  • Having values and following them
  • Recognizing your feelings

Many get the idea of self-love enmeshed with personality disorders like narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic traits. Lack of empathy, entitlement, and an excess amount of external attention and validation are all hallmarks of narcissism. By no means are these traits the type of self-love that is necessary for thriving. Healthy self-love really hones in on taking care of, respecting, and honoring the person you are. It’s self awareness on another level.

Examples of neglecting your needs or denying yourself can look like:

This relationship is not what I want for me but I am staying because I don’t want to be alone. (Codependency)
I’ll give myself some break time later because I have to take care of others first.
I can’t get the rest I need because someone needs me.

These examples might sound familiar. Most of us have had thoughts like this at some point. It’s what you do after these thoughts creep in that matters. So how do you curve back into the practice of self-love? Start small. Think of a loving thing you can do for YOU and then make it a priority. Reverse the scripts in your head … instead of saying, “I can’t get rest because I need to help others,” try “My body needs rest so I can have good energy to do everything I need to do tomorrow.” Grant yourself these gifts – even if they are small. These are your human rights and you deserve to be loved! Be the example of how you want others to treat you by practicing a standard of self-love!

There is help and guidance available to you. Connect with our team at Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center and we will lead the way to a brighter future and help you get back to a place of self-love. By providing a vast array of services we recognize not two people are exactly the same and neither are their addictions and their path free from them. We want our clients, community, and those who are struggling to have access to support in all forms.

We are a phone call away if you or a loved one are seeking support! Learn more by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS.

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 2009. Call 602-346-9142.