After years of substance use, you may struggle with your perception of yourself. You may feel a combination of guilt, shame, and regret. Although, deciding to seek out treatment is worthy of celebration. Shifting your perception of yourself will take time, but learning how to develop a positive outlook can have a profound impact on your treatment experience.
For long-term recovery success, it is important to have a reliable support system and access to peers and staff that know what you are going through.
Understand That You Are Not Alone
The recovery journey from alcohol and other drugs can often seem lonely and isolating, especially during the beginning stages of treatment. Once you realize that you are not the only one going through this process, the journey can become much easier.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in the year 2020 alone, 58.7% (or 162.5 million people) aged 12 and older were reported to have used tobacco, alcohol, or an illicit drug in the past month. These numbers may seem staggering, but they are here to show you that you are truly not alone in your struggle with addiction. Recognizing the prevalence of substance use and associated substance use disorders can empower you to heal alongside others that are struggling.
Shift Your Perception
If you are suffering from a substance use disorder, you might hold extreme feelings of guilt and shame inside for years, leading to an ever-worsening perception of yourself. When you are already feeling down about yourself, you will likely perceive the treatment journey as unbearable. Learning how to shift your perception of yourself and treatment will help keep you motivated and engaged during long-term recovery.
Celebrate Small Victories
The first step in shifting your negative perceptions about yourself is to celebrate small victories. In the same NSDUH survey mentioned above, only 1.4% (or four million people) aged 12 or older in 2020 received any substance use treatment in the past year. Just 1% received treatment at a specialty facility, like Lighthouse Recovery Texas. If you are a part of that small number, it is a reason to celebrate.
Face Your Negative Thoughts and Feelings
To start shedding feelings of guilt and shame, it is important to first face these feelings instead of pushing them aside or ignoring them altogether. Over time, these thoughts and feelings stack up.
A great way to face these negative feelings is by journaling all of the negative thoughts you have about yourself. There is power in letting these feelings escape your mind and looking at them on paper. Here, you can truly see your thoughts and feelings for what they are. From there, you can learn how to forgive yourself for your past and work to create a new and improved version of yourself.
Be Open and Honest
The thought of talking about your substance use disorder to loved ones can often seem like one of the most frightening things in the world. It is difficult to face the fear of being judged and admitting that you need help, especially if you have been trying to handle your struggles on your own for so long. When you do face these fears, however, you can unpack a lot of the stress, grief, and shame that you have been holding inside and open vital lines of communication.
Strengthen Connections With Peers and Staff
Another great way to shift your perception of yourself and treatment is by making connections with other peers and treatment staff. Being surrounded by people that have been through the same struggles as you will make you feel much less alone in your treatment journey.
When you are searching for a treatment program, you can focus on programs that offer group therapy interventions, mentorships, or support groups. Small group therapy is a wonderful way to connect with others on a more intimate level and allow your personal experiences and emotions to be validated.
Mindset Hacks for Ultimate Positivity
The more positive you feel about yourself and your treatment, the more success you will get out of your journey. Daily practices to enhance your positive mindset will help you greatly as you consistently work with tools to shift your perception about yourself and your treatment.
Track Your Progress
A great way to begin shifting to a more positive mindset is to keep a journal to track and celebrate your progress. When you begin the practice of journaling, you start to gain control over your thoughts and emotions. You will feel much stronger when you can see all of your success laid out on paper.
Re-Frame Negative Setbacks as Learning Experiences
It is important to remember that you might also have some setbacks during your treatment. If you do have setbacks, write those down as well and positively frame them by thinking of them as learning experiences. Write down what you learned from the setback and what you intend to do differently next time.
A daily gratitude practice is another wonderful way to re-frame your mind to truly see all the positivity that surrounds you already. Each day, commit to writing at least three things that you are grateful for about yourself, your life, and your experiences.
Practicing gratitude consistently will begin to positively impact your life. You will begin to shift away from a negative mindset and infuse more positivity into your perception of yourself and your addiction treatment journey.
For those struggling with substance use disorder, feelings of guilt, shame, and loneliness can be all too familiar. However, when you can learn how to develop a positive outlook and attitude, it can contribute to even more success throughout your substance use treatment journey. Utilizing methods like journaling about your progress and developing a daily gratitude practice can help you re-frame your mind and give you a more positive perception of yourself. Lighthouse Recovery Texas is an addiction treatment center dedicated to shifting your perception of yourself as you heal. We offer several different treatment programs, including group therapy interventions, that allow you to connect with other peers working to achieve lifelong sobriety and recovery. We can help you find the beauty in your recovery journey. For more information about our treatment facility and recovery programs, please give us a call at (214) 717-5884 today.