We’ve all probably done things in our life that we regret. As kids we might have tested the waters with our parents or parent in any number of ways. The developmental stage of our teen years pushed against practicality and common sense. We had to experiment with life. At some point, drugs and drinking alcohol entered our realm. We know the rest of the story. We became the kids who drank too much and took too many drugs.
The pattern stuck. Our behavior changed due to substance abuse. We did things we feel really guilty about now. From our 12 Step Group, we learned about making a list of those we harmed, and later making amends, but our self-esteem still ran on empty. We tried forgiving ourselves, but our words felt inauthentic—we still believed we were a bad person. Perhaps we always felt that way. Perhaps something happened in our childhood that perpetuated the ill feelings we harbored about ourselves.
We don’t have to live with a guilty mindset. Really. Working with a therapist can help alter the way we feel about ourselves. Self revelation can have a significant impact, but taking it beyond the therapist office is where the work gathers momentum. The momentum comes from practicing positive self talk. Many studies have been conducted as to the efficacy of self talk, especially with athletes. We’re running our own marathon. It’s called recovery.
To start, we might feel cynical about self talk. New age stuff is hocus pocus. I can’t be bothered coming up with a mantra or reading those stupid daily meditations. Well, we have nothing to lose except our bad attitude, and if we don’t start recognizing how detrimental a bad attitude is, we could find ourselves relapsing.
Self talk can start by being kind to ourselves. Picture that angry, hurt, disgruntled part who’s full of guilt. Tell that part out loud or inside your head that you are here to love and protect her or him from now on. Write it down. Put a copy in your wallet, or in your jeans. Everytime you stick your hands in your pocket, the positive and kind thought will be a reminder. Integrating positive self talk into our lives can lead to self love and healing that lasts.
Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a space where you can find out how and why you have struggled with addiction. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-396-8526.