22 May Changing Your Self-Image
Self-image is the way a person views himself or herself and how they believe others view them. This concept isn’t always based on reality and it changes over time. For instance, a person may think they are unattractive and may assume others feel this way too, when the reality is that other people generally find them attractive. Self-image plays a big role in addiction, because a negative self image perpetuates the cycle of addiction. An addict may have the following untrue views:
They are a bad person who deserves their addiction
They are weak because they can’t control their substance abuse
They are worthless and unlovable because they hurt others with their addictive behaviors
They are a failure because they are unable to reach their goals
Their lack of control has made them a victim
They are untrustworthy because they don’t keep promises
While an addict may feel that they fall into one or all of these categories, the people who love them probably view them very differently. The loved ones of an addict probably view them as valuable and worth fighting for. They can see through the addiction and remember a time when this person was strong and successful. They probably have faith that the addict can recover and be strong again.
In order for an addict to have a successful rehabilitation, they have to change their self-image from a negative, weak one to a positive, capable one. The best way to change self-image is to take action to prove yourself wrong in areas that need improvement. Entering drug rehab is the first step in this process because it allows a person to stop identifying themselves as someone who cannot be helped and start viewing themselves as a person in recovery. As they set and meet goals along the path to recovery, former addicts will begin to see themselves as successful, which will fuel further successes.
Rehab provides a venue for these changes to take place and the professional help and support needed to help clients rediscover their true worth. Addiction counselors and rehabilitation therapists are able to look past the negative self-image that an addict projects and see the potential for change. They can help their client foster this potential and turn their life around. Once a person in recovery gets a taste of sobriety and begins to feel more in control of their life, they will start to see all kinds of changes in their self-image.