Everybody will encounter self-doubt at some point in their life. However, when you defer to feelings of self-doubt often, it can take over your life. Negative feelings and beliefs prevent you from taking the necessary steps to propel yourself forward. Doubt can also create feelings of inferiority, anxiousness, stress, depression and even suicide.
In early addiction recovery, it might be common to experience a sense of magic and possibility gained in treatment. However, you might later experience dangerous feelings once the initial excitement wears off. If you have hit a lull and your thoughts begin to wander into places of uncertainty and doubt, then it is time to reverse these thinking patterns. Fortunately, you can take steps to overcome your feelings of doubt and uncertainty to help sustain a lasting recovery.
Negative thoughts could creep up during situations or events that trigger you to return to past events or experiences where challenges were addressed with unhealthy comments and behaviors. For example, something might trigger you to think about a time when you used substances or took money from a friend to obtain a substance, and therefore, you begin to judge yourself and see yourself as this person.
It is important to remember that you are not the same person and being able to ground yourself in the present can help you overcome distressing thoughts. Additionally, taking time out to exercise, meditate or practice breathwork can also bring you back toward a positive perspective and allow you to see that you are no longer the person you were when using substances. The next time you feel the past trying to influence your mood, think about how far you have come, where you want to go and why you want to go there.
Balance the Negative Self-doubt with Positive Self-Talk
If you find that the voices in your life, whether internal or from others, are becoming too loud, then you can overcome them with positive self-talk. For example, it can be tiring to live with thoughts that always feel like whatever decision you make will significantly impact your life. Such thoughts could invade pleasurable or trivial choices like what to eat, what to watch and whether to take a hot bath or shower. Additionally, while others might mean well, they might be offering you advice on what you should and should not do, even without you asking.
Set boundaries with yourself and others and stick to them. Don’t speak negatively to yourself – especially if you would never talk to a friend this way. Likewise, don’t allow others to pressure you with what you should and should not do. Your recovery is your story and moves at your pace.
It is just as easy to succumb to self-doubt when you neglect your needs. A busy lifestyle at work and home can create the perfect environment for you to lose touch with where you’re at, both mentally and physically. It is essential to make enough time for yourself, including time to relax, play, and explore your creative pursuits. Getting good rest and maintaining a good diet also play a role in this. Maintaining a schedule that helps manage work, family, and play is essential in sustaining a successful life and recovery. Stay in touch with the activities you enjoy, such as playing music, drawing, writing in a gratitude journal or exercising.
Continuing to rebuild the relationship with yourself and others helps establish a foundation of positivity. While continuing to flex your self-love muscles, stay connected with friends, family and peers from your support groups. It is also good to continue to see a therapist to talk through your emotions. Much like physical exercise is needed to prevent stagnation and atrophy, pursuits that engage your mental health, such as therapy and seeing friends, are just as important. Reassurance and support from others can also help you transition away from a “why me” attitude to seeing that you share similar experiences with others and that you are never alone.
Creating a healthy internal voice and self-perception after years of substance abuse takes work. It relies on trusting and knowing yourself and who you are today. It also requires balance to understand when you motivate yourself to take on a challenge or pressure yourself to need to take on something. If you continue to have self-doubt and concerns about your behaviors, then New Hope Ranch in Manor, Texas, can help. To learn more, call us today at (737) 600-8565.