While the list of things that go out the window during times when we are actively addicted is seemingly endless, self-care is one of the disciplines that is consumed by sheer gravitational pull of the black hole that is addiction. Fundamentally, self-care are the simple things that, prior to our addictions, we may have taken for granted as a staple of daily living. Brushing our teeth, showering, eating healthy, and exercise all became dispensable acts in the face of the insatiable appetite for drugs and alcohol that the addiction cycle requires. Not only are these acts something that are necessary for personal hygiene and wellness, but they are also necessary as part of the process of establishing self-respect, self-confidence, and self-love. These acts are symbolic of a return to being able to love ourselves, and as a consequence, the desire to take care of ourselves and learn new ways in which we can adopt self-care techniques that maybe we weren’t engaging in prior to our addictions.
Beyond the acts that are fundamental to self-care, we can look beyond that in order to identify other means of caring for ourselves that will help us to not only grow in our recovery, but to enjoy life in a manner that we weren’t able to prior to becoming addicted. Sometimes self-care means the ability to reach out to a supportive friend or mentor during difficult times. It can mean we decide to take our physical health more seriously and begin to exercise or even quit smoking cigarettes. It can mean the allowance of vulnerability during times of sadness where we agree to let ourselves cry or even just rest. True self-care in action is the ability to identify where we aren’t being treated properly, when we need to connect with someone, or if we just need to be left alone to relax, and then to take these needs seriously with follow through and commitment. These acts also help us to foster a sense of self-respect and self-love which can make the difficulties inherent in recovery much more palatable and easier to navigate. It is through our acts of self-care that we really and truly learn to love ourselves again which is invaluable in recovery because, as it is often stated, we cannot hope to learn to love others if we have not learned to love ourselves first.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.