Addiction is never purely a physical battle. Indeed, often the social, emotional, or psychological aspects of addiction can be far more challenging to overcome. A negative self-image is a particularly difficult battle for the addict. An opiate addict, for example, can easily believe that she is not worth anything, simply because she is an addict.
Why Self-Image Matters in Addiction
A poor self-image may be a damaging characteristic for individuals struggling with opiate addiction. With a poor self-image:
- The addict cannot maintain a sense of momentum to change his life, because he believes failure is inevitable.
- She may assume that an addictive lifestyle is the best she can expect from herself.
- An individual with a poor self-image can easily fall into thinking he does not deserve an addiction-free life.
- Even if a person escapes one addiction, a poor self-image can cause that person to fall into another addiction.
Conversely, a person with a positive self-image will be able to continue pushing forward as she creates a better future for herself. An individual cannot simply decide to have a positive self-image in the midst of an addiction. However, there are a series of steps any person can take to build his self-confidence and improve the way he views himself.
Ways to Improve Your Self-Image
Building a positive self-image is not an instantaneous change. It will take time, and there will be missteps, but if a person applies one or more of these concepts, he will find steady improvement:
- Asking friends this specific question: “What is one thing I am good at?” After hearing the answers, she should take those comments to heart and allow them to influence the way she views herself.
- Starting a new hobby. Especially if this is a something he has always been interested in, seeing increased skills in a new arena will be uplifting.
- Stand in front of a mirror at least once a day and say this: “My addiction does not control me. I am more than my addiction.” Even if you don’t believe it, saying it anyway until you do.
- Seeing a counselor. Individuals trained in providing impartial and professional opinions will ground a person in a more realistic sense of her strengths as a person. This improved understanding will lead to a better self-image.
Even the person with the best self-esteem will find herself overwhelmed on some days and opiate abuse will seem like the only choice. If you are in this place right now, we can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction and help you find your way.
“Remember, remember, remember… things don’t have to be good for you to be great.” – Noah benShea
Take a listen to Noah giving advice on how to get through tough times.