Drug and alcohol addiction may cause some addicts to lose their self-esteem through poor choices and judgment, and cause those addicts to feel very low and negative about them with poor self-image. While completing rehabilitation and recovery, then, former addicts must begin to feel better about themselves and their new lives to truly change and move on from their checkered past.
Self-esteem is learned and encouraged throughout childhood and young adulthood, through interactions with other people, parents, and teachers. It is built through daily activities like playing sports, or having hobbies that give a person self-worth. People typically build their self-esteem by excelling in certain activities or situations, and it is build by confidence, nurturing, successfully overcoming obstacles, and other tools to make self-esteem and self-confidence grow.
Boundary setting is an important aspect of increasing self-esteem, especially when alcohol and drugs are involved. Many addicts cross their own boundaries – and those of other people – while they offend. Because of that, it is important to reinstate your personal boundaries during rehabilitation and treatment to overcome the cycle of addiction and self-betrayal.
When an addict uses drugs or alcohol, it can affect their body chemistry and brain chemistry, thus changing how they look at themselves. It is thus absolutely critical for those engaging in recovery and treatment to undergo extensive self-esteem rehabilitation. When an addict makes the decision to enter drug rehabilitation, their self-esteem will positively change.
When an addict makes the choice to seek treatment and learn self-image skills that contribute to a positive self-esteem, they begin to learn to correct three areas that are contributing to low self-esteem. In other words, the disease of addiction effectively perpetuates another disease of low self-esteem, than then needs to be corrected so as not to be a reason for repeat substance abuse.
During rehabilitation, former addicts learn to improve self-esteem with five basic changes and tools, including healthy decision making, healthy boundary setting, reframing negative thoughts, practicing positive affirmations, and surrounding yourself with sober, positive people. These skills are taught in rehabilitation and treatment centers and courses by addiction therapists who understand the purposes and reasons for building back self-esteem.
In all, self-esteem is an incredibly important aspect of recovery and treatment for former addicts. In rehabilitation, addicts learn skills that work to recover their self-esteem, understand why their self-image was so low in the first place, and take action to ensure their self-esteem won’t be that low in the future. It is important for former addicts to build back their self-esteem actively and aggressively to see a full recovery from addiction.