Learning to Believe in Yourself During Addiction Treatment

Learning to Believe in Yourself During Addiction Treatment

No matter how long you’ve been sober, it is helpful to look at your past accomplishments to move forward

You are a failure. You’ll never make it. You can’t stay sober. You won’t live a happy life.

These are just a few of the negative messages you will likely hear in your head at some point during your recovery from methadone. But as you grow and learn you will start to realize this negative thinking is really just fear based. You absolutely can do it! Often—if not almost always—fear is based on a lie. Remember, even truth mixed with a lie is still a lie. The root problem is often that you have a confidence issue which affects self-esteem. The National Institute of Health has stated that low self-esteem is related to several issues such as depression, anxiety and substance use. The best way to resolve these issues and build up your confidence is with the practice of good habits.

Here are a few ways to build up your confidence and your self-esteem:

Avoid Negative Influences

When you are learning to believe in yourself, negative influences will hold you back. This is because during any time of growth, you are stretching yourself. It’s painful. It hurts. It is not easy. Your body and mind are in transition and you relearning new habits, replacing bad with good. Any kind of negative influence—be it movies, music, friends or even family members—has more of a grip on you at this time than it normally would. If you isolate yourself (be it intentionally or unintentionally) and watch movies that glamourize drug use, this will have more of a psychological effect on you than it normally would. Remember, you are already very low on mental energy and willpower at this time.

Quit Procrastinating

In some cases you may be procrastinating and not even know it. Do not wait around for someone else to do something for you. Making excuses is another form of procrastination as well. Wherever you are in your recovery, you are either moving backwards or moving forwards. Only you can truly answer this; just be honest with yourself. There is no shame at all in being stuck or struggling. Get the help you need by reaching out to your support network: a therapist or counselor, a family member, a friend, a sponsor or someone you trust. People in your support network should be positive upbeat individuals who believe in you. The great thing about a therapist or counselor is that he or she is trained to help you in your recovery.

Boost Your Self-esteem

There are quite a few ways you can do this, for example you can start to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The Mayo Clinic also suggests some things you can do:

  • Use statements that are filled with hope and encouragement. Having a good attitude and mindset are essential to success.
  • Avoid absolute statements.  This means thinking you “must” do something or in some cases you even “should” do something. These are subtle but will often lead to negative thinking and wear you down mentally. An example of this is saying to yourself, “If I don’t do this, I have failed.” This is very extreme and will not build up your self-esteem.

By noticing and correcting negative thoughts and feelings you can boost your self-esteem and strengthen your recovery.

Put in the Hard Work

Make no mistake, there will be times it is very hard to stay clean. That is just a fact of the matter. As life happens, struggles come along. You may even face a relapse at some point. You must embrace discipline to move forward. In many cases, discipline gets a bad reputation. A good working definition of it is doing the things you don’t want to do to get the results you want. This doesn’t have to apply just to substance abuse either; it can mean working out when you want to just sit on the couch. By thinking outside the box and being creative you can come up with great solutions to the problems you face. You could walk on the treadmill while watching TV at the gym, or even workout during the commercials when you watch TV at home. As you continue to strengthen your discipline, your confidence will grow and you will begin to believe in your own success.

Build on Past Success

Whether you have been sober for twenty days or twenty years, in many cases it is helpful to look at your past accomplishments to move forward. This helps even more if you feel stuck or discouraged in the present. You have been successful before; you will be successful again. If you feel this is not true, focus only on today. Not choosing to do drugs is a process of making good decisions and those decisions happen one at a time.

24 Hour Addiction Support

If you are addicted to methadone and have questions about ways to build up your self-esteem or to make better decisions, please do not hesitate to call our toll-free helpline. The counselor you will speak with has been trained to help you with your specific situation. A counselor is ready to talk with you right now.