When you succumb to addiction, this will quickly overpower everything in your life. It is easy to lose oneself when you don’t recognize that there are problems, and that’s what addiction does to a person—they make you forget that your health is more important than anything else that drugs, alcohol, and other substances can make you feel.
If you know anyone suffering from substance abuse problems, you know the signs too well—they keep friends, family, and loved ones at arm’s length and begin to spend time in an environment you know isn’t good for them.
But when a person begins admitting their mistakes and suddenly wants to be in a drug rehabilitation center, then the process of recovery will start. Along the way, they might hear about self-care, and they will wonder what it means in the context of rehabilitating themselves. There is no true definition of self-care. It depends on the person. In a nutshell, though, self-care is about doing what’s best for you. Whether that’s watching a movie, cleaning the house, or reading a book until the morning, these self-care activities should never be neglected.
Self-care Isn’t Easy
Most people find it hard to take care of themselves. Imagine just how hard that is for people who are facing substance abuse problems. If a normal joe has a hard time prioritizing himself, then someone going through recovery will find it 100 times more difficult. It’s the law of nature.
Whether you are in recovery or not, you’ll be surprised how hard it is to practice self-care. The problem with self-care is that many people think it is selfish to do what they like rather than what others expect them to do. There is a huge difference between practicing self-care and being selfish. Self-care is not about stepping on others’ toes to get what you want. It is about knowing what you like and pursuing it as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
Self-care is a lot of responsibility. It’s a conscious effort not to hurt other people and get what is good for you. It can be as simple as organizing your home and as complicated as losing weight because you want to look and feel better. The image of self-care is different to everybody mostly because people have different interests, wants, needs, passions, and hobbies.
This is the cornerstone of your journey to sobriety. Recovering from substance abuse will take all you have to give. When you find it hard to focus on this journey, having compassion and patience for yourself will get you through the slump. That is self-care.
How Self-care Looks Like
Self-care looks like a lot of things to different people. For some, it’s about getting a massage after a long day at work. For others, it’s catching up with long-lost friends. The way to total recovery is paved with thorns. So, making sure you are conscious about where you are going will benefit these goals.
Be aware of yourself—your physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Do you need to go to the gym? Then, do it. Do you want to meditate or reconnect with your faith? Do that, too. It is uncomfortable to always think about what you want because you’re not going to get them always. However, it is more difficult not to know what you need to recover from your addiction. Be honest to yourself about your needs. That way, it is easier to control what’s good and bad for you.
Connecting With Other People
You cannot go through this journey alone. Part of recovery is the realization that you are not the only one taking this road. Reach out to other people in recovery. Depression, anxiety, and mental disorder thrive in isolation. To prevent relapsing, you need a constant reminder from other people of what you have achieved so far. But these reminders cannot come from just anyone; it needs to come from people who have suffered the way you do.
If you need to pause, take the chance to do it. Too many people put so much value on things that don’t matter when you’re on your knees and trying to crawl through mud. Find balance in everything you do—whether it’s working and recovery or maintaining relationships and recovery. Take things one at a time and allow yourself to breathe. Do not overwhelm yourself with endless things on your plate.
It is a long road to recovery. People have been trying and failing to get to sobriety for years. But those who don’t give up also find the light at the end of the tunnel. Continue trudging that road, no matter how thorny it might seem. If you help yourself enough, you are going to emerge triumphantly.