Dealing with Self-Loathing
From the beginning stages of addiction when you realize that it’s something you can no longer control to after treatment and sustained recovery, self-loathing is common in the life of individuals who battle the illness. Self-loathing tends to manifest itself as the flipside of the major ego that often develops in those with addictive tendencies. Oversized egos sometimes try to compensate for the self-loathing, while other times, the self-loathing completely takes over.
Some individuals in recovery make the harmful choice to think of their self-loathing as “facing the truth” or “owning up” to what they did while under the influence; however, there is a difference between being honest with yourself and beating yourself up about something. Continually meditating on berating yourself for things you did wrong does not enable you to move forward and grow into a positive place.
Self-loathing is often explained as an entity unto itself. By recognizing it and naming it, you begin to have more power over it. By calling it “the mean voice” or “the monster,” and recognizing that it isn’t truly you who is speaking or thinking those thoughts takes away half of its power. Have you ever heard another individual describe their own self loathing and think, wow, but he’s such a great guy, or she’s so smart and hilarious? This is the way you need to train yourself to think about your own self loathing. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but those mistakes do not mean all of those people are terrible humans.
While eliminating self-loathing completely may not be viable, managing it is. By using the 12 step from Alcoholics Anonymous, you can start to work through these feelings on your own, or with a counselor or sponsor. Steps 4 and 5 illuminate human weaknesses, while steps 6 and 7 help condense them down to flaws that are manageable with help from God or your higher power. Steps 8 and 9 allow you to work through righting past wrongs and make amends for the mistakes you made while under the influence, and finally, steps 10, 11, and 12 keep you connected to the community and to yourself.
Working the steps in this manner reminds you that God loves you in spite of your human mistakes. You are good at your core, because God, or your higher power, points you toward goodness. The reason such an emphasis is made on spirituality during addiction recovery is to help addicted individuals realize that they are loved and that they are not alone.
Right Path Drug Rehab offers 12 step meetings as part of their addiction recovery programs. Our helpful staff and counselor are experienced in helping clients work through the steps, and when treatment comes to an end, it is our pleasure to help you connect with a local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous chapter near you. Call our helpful intake coordinators today for more information about all of the services we offer.