Substance abuse is not only a physical disease. It also impacts our behavior, relationship with ourselves, and ability to connect with others. At Twilight Recovery Center, we teach our clients how to live with love. This includes learning to love ourselves and allowing ourselves to love and be loved in relationships.
Living With Love
The ability to live our lives with love means feeling love for ourselves and others. Many of us do not even like ourselves while struggling with addiction, and learning how to have love in our lives seems impossible. However, we believe that everyone can learn to feel love. It takes hard work but learning to accept and forgive ourselves can help in our journey to find love.
At Twilight Recovery Center, we teach our clients how to take an inventory of their lives, good or bad. For many of us, it can be easy to see our wins or the positive aspects of life, but even glancing in the direction of our challenges can be incredibly intimidating.
However, learning to face our demons is vital. An exercise that we use is looking at ourselves in the mirror. With support, we believe that you can start the process of acceptance by first taking note of the things you feel good about and bad about.
Love requires that we see our entire selves. When we first look, we may not like it, and that is okay. However, acceptance is the first step in our journey of learning to live with love in our lives.
For many of us, we have done things we are not proud of. These actions often result in feelings of shame or embarrassment. While learning how to forgive others can also be helpful, research has shown that self-forgiveness can help in treatment and recovery.
Substance abuse is often a coping strategy for trauma, guilt, or shame. Learning to accept and forgive ourselves in treatment can improve our ability to stay sober as it reduces our need to use substances to cope with our feelings.
Forgiveness provides a different way to deal with mistakes and feelings of guilt or shame. We not only face our mistakes but allow ourselves to make mistakes. When we allow this, we can learn from our mistakes and make different choices in the future. At Twilight Recovery Center, we encourage and teach clients to start the process of healing the spirit with self-forgiveness.
Due to our actions, particularly relating to substance abuse, many of us do not have any affection for ourselves. To love ourselves means that we see, accept, and forgive ourselves for our mistakes.
We have taken a complete inventory of ourselves and thus can begin to appreciate ourselves. Recovery is hard work, and loving ourselves in the process can be highly beneficial.
Love can look like giving ourselves encouragement to keep going, knowing we are doing the best we can and will continue to do so. It is with love that we can heal our relationship with ourselves and others.
Benefits of Loving Ourselves
While we are often with others, we live with ourselves every day. During addiction, many develop hatred or anger towards themselves. This can often put us into a cycle of continual substance abuse, a behavioral cycle that can add to physical addiction.
Love and forgiveness can help us to see and care for ourselves in a way that frees us from this cycle. When we can understand our actions and give ourselves affection, we can learn to support ourselves. This can help immensely as we are all human, and we have and will make mistakes. Loving ourselves is a process, and it takes time, practice, and support.
Benefits of Relating to Others
Support groups are common in treatment and recovery for good reasons. We are social creatures, and being a part of a group, whether family or a support group, helps improve treatment and recovery outcomes.
Research has shown that recognition and long-term relationships have a lasting impact on recovery and thus should be a part of the recovery process. Having loving relationships takes time and social skills, which we value and teach in our programs.
While every client needs different amounts and types of support, relating to others with love is important. As we heal, we can accept love from others, seeing the care and support that friends and family can provide. We can also feel and show love to people in our lives, which is equally important. Love in relationships helps us bond, and these long-term relationships can help us during ups and downs in recovery and life.