Anything from drug and alcohol addiction to violent traits exhibited by teens through to adults in most instances has been linked to a low self esteem. Self esteem is rating your worth on the basis of external factors such as achievements, looks, success, wealth etc, which in turn drives us to achieve and to measure one’s self accordingly. However, this creates a problem.
No matter what is expected of us, or what we expect of ourselves, we do face failure, suffer financial setbacks, grow old, or gain weight and so on. Continuous self evaluation can become futile and exhausting. When one struggles with self esteem, you open yourself to anxiety, vulnerability and depression. The first steps are to de tangle as opposed to rating yourself and take slow steps towards self acceptance.
When afraid of failure, one is inclined to get stuck in the vicious circle of tried and tested, and in turn becomes afraid of any changes, which creates a pendulum effect. No matter what you achieve you will be insecure due to having based your worth on it. The true meaning of self acceptance is accepting yourself for what you are, as opposed accepting yourself for what you do.
Do not associate blame to traits or behaviour and stop rating yourself. Yes, everyone is responsible for their actions, but you have the power to change. To embrace change and balance your sense of self worth, remember that achievements bring advantages, meaning your self worth will never be at stake, only your abilities will be at stake.
The key to self acceptance is to realize and negotiate the disadvantages your addiction brings and accepting that drug and alcohol addiction bring difficulties and disadvantages. Mending mistakes, if far easier for a person that is self accepting, as opposed to self esteem where you believe you always have to protect your self worth. Self acceptance is when you are willing to accept and change your behaviour.
Regardless of your past or that you are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction; embrace yourself as you are right now as self awareness plays an important role in self acceptance.