There are many reasons people start using (and misusing) drugs or alcohol—genetics, co-occurring mental health disorders, traumatic experiences, shame, and many more. Often it’s a combination of factors, and one contributor may be low self-worth.
I and some of my other sober friends have realized that during active addiction, we were in part attempting to drink or drug away the feeling that something was wrong with us, only to make those feelings stronger. In active addiction, it’s difficult to take care of yourself and commit to much of anything, which can build on those feelings. Recovery has allowed us, or has certainly allowed me, to confront my insecurities and build real confidence.
Becoming Aware of Your Insecurities
Therapy has been a helpful way for me to pinpoint what my insecurities are and how they are showing up. Sometimes when we are in active addiction, we can act out of insecurity and fear without realizing it. My therapist notices patterns in my behavior and the things I say; hearing her point them out regularly makes me start to notice them on my own too.
Meditation is another great way to become aware of your thought processes, and it’s meant to help you accept thoughts and feelings without judgment. This is a great step towards confronting insecurities.
Creating a New Narrative
Once you know what your insecurities are, you can recognize when they’re coming up and challenge them. It’s been a helpful exercise for me to notice when I’m engaging in “I always” or “I never” statements about myself. Typically when you’re speaking about yourself in absolutes, you’re not coming from a place of compassion. We are all multi-faceted, human, and make mistakes. Mistakes don’t have to fit into a narrative of how “wrong” you are—they can just be mistakes, or moments to learn.
You may have insecurities or self-doubt about your ability to stay sober. The relapse statistics can be scary—but relapse isn’t inevitable. The chances of doing so decrease significantly over time. Even if you do relapse, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed at recovery. Relapse is considered part of recovery, and it can teach you more about your triggers so that you can have a better chance at staying sober next time.
It’s okay to have insecurities; most people have some. Recovery provides a great opportunity to face them, grow from them, and learn to accept all of yourself.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build the coping skills to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.