As most addiction specialists and recovering individuals know, active addiction can wreak havoc on one’s confidence. There have been many instances when one’s unhealthy self-esteem spurred the drug use that led to a life of addiction, which in and of itself come with a series of traumas and tragedies that can impact one’s inner and outer perspective.
Not to mention, the addict’s entire family’s self-esteem also suffers, which can drive codependent tendencies. That’s why it is vital for recovering addicts and their family members to seek outside help in order to gather the tools they need to rebuild (or build) their self-esteem.
Bettie Youngs ‘6 Vital Ingredients’
According to Dr. Bettie Youngs, author of “How to Develop Self-Esteem in Your Child,” there are six things every individual needs in order to acquire a healthy self-esteem. Although her assessment was originally formed for parents who aim to raise confidence in their children, the list remains valid for adults who must call to themselves as the parent of their “inner child.”
As addicts and their family members search for the right rehab, here are six things they must check off in order to heal or finally develop a healthy self-esteem.
1. Sense of Physical Safety
Constantly having to worry about defending yourself is not conducive to developing oneself. That’s why recovering individuals and family members need to feel physically safe within their treatment and home environment.
2. Sense of Emotional Security
The person needs open communication, careful confrontation and assessment. He or she must be removed from emotionally toxic environments where they may be surrounded by verbal abuse, codependent behaviors, shaming, over-criticizing, blaming, threatening and punishing.
3. Sense of Identity
Identity is almost always in question when active addicts enter into treatment. Additionally, the identity of the family is fragile and threatened as well. The re-establishment of identity without active addiction is a vital element of recovery and necessary to repair self-esteem. Recovering individuals need to look to other basic aspects of themselves as defining factors, such as being a parent, sibling, friend, student, employee, employer or a person recovery, in order to reform their sense of identity.
4. Sense of Belonging
Recovering individuals and their families need to feel a sense of social acceptance, validation and connection. Because of this, recovery and sober living communities are absolutely essential for achieving a sense of belonging and a healthy self-esteem.
5. Sense of Mission
Recovering persons and family members need to find their individual passion or purpose. Some make their experience and personal journey from active addiction to successful recovery a passionate mission. They may take that sense of purpose a step further by pursuing an education in the addiction field to become addiction professionals or authoring a book detailing their experiences in the hopes of helping others. There are many others who end up realizing dreams that have absolutely nothing to do with addiction or recovery. Regardless of the mission, the person must find out what makes them tick and pursue it with fervor.
6. Sense of Competency
Sometimes, codependent and enabling family members of addicts feel the need to be in control of their loved one. This prevents them from developing a sense of competency (among other things). However, it is important for every individual to know that they are capable and competent in order to encourage self-esteem and success in recovery.
Recovering addicts and family members who work together to ensure that these six elements are met will not only raise a broken self-esteem, but will also likely see a successful, lifelong recovery for themselves as individuals and as a family. If you or someone you know is seeking help with addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.