Love Yourself by Letting Go of the Past
Why is it the hardest person to love is yourself? Why are we never good enough? Why is everyone else so much more important than the one person we have to spend every waking moment with?
It’s easy to hate yourself.
It may even feel natural. Normal. Expected.
I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
Learning to love yourself is one of the keys of recovering successfully from any substance use disorder, depression, anxiety- and other maddening mood disorders. When we don’t love ourselves, or when we feel guilty about just existing, our feelings create a cesspool of self odium- and we carry that around with us.
Self loathing leeches into everything you do, and colors your world black. It’s almost “normal” for people who hate themselves to find release in addictive disorders. Our drugs of choice become self medication against the poison we speak to ourselves.
You can hate yourself even if you come from a loving family. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should, or should not feel. It’s common for family and friends to say things like, “You have no reason to feel this way,” or “Your life is charmed, you’re doing this for attention.”
You never need to justify the way you feel in order for your emotions to be validated.
Conversely, if you come from a background where your parents were not supportive, or who were physically or mentally abusive, self hatred may seem more “suitable.”
If you were the victim of violence or moral degradation, you were robbed early on of the natural beauty innate to you. Your perception of self worth is absolutely critical in helping you to stay sober, whether that’s from drugs, alcohol, self mutilation, or wanton sexual encounters.
Only you can define your own worth.
When self hatred threatens to swallow you up into gnawing nothingness, please rest assured this too will pass. It’s possible for us to re-train our brains (neuroplasticity) to rediscover our self worth.
Letting Go of the Past
If you’re one of those people who analyzes absolutely everything you’ve ever done, whether it was ten minutes, two days, or eleven years ago- stop it!
Letting go of the past, and setting your sights on the future is critical to retraining yourself to accept your past mistakes while making decisions that will serve you well in the future. If your struggles with addiction, whether it’s the constant reminder of ugly scars, or your knee jerk reaction to references of drugs or alcohol have condemned your spirit to the perils of self hate, stop.
Take this moment to accept your past for what it was, and know your past does not define you.
What you choose to do with your life from this day forward is your decision alone. Wallowing in the past does not serve your future- it stymies it. If you want to progress forward you’ll need to muster up the strength to forge forward to the new things you want to pursue.
You can’t change your past, but you can master your future.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.