How To Love Yourself When You’re Hurting

 In addiction treatment, Change, Positive Thinking, Recovery, Self Esteem, Self-care, Stress

 

The Hurt:

Several years ago, a blindsiding betrayal left me feeling utterly devastated. I felt alone, empty and more depressed than I ever had in my life. I felt utterly worthless, and on top of that, I felt ashamed for feeling worthless. I felt empty like nothing could ever fill the void within. I felt like nothing mattered.

I was so sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired that I begged and prayed for the pain to just go away. I wanted to push it deep down within me. I wanted to numb it out. I wanted to just pretend like everything was ok. I filled my downtime with things that I thought would make me happy. I filled my downtime with things that I thought would make me happy, distracting from the pain and sorrow that I felt daily; ultimately ignoring my real needs along the way.

For some time, I was lost, bitter and worse than all, angry. I couldn’t seem to figure out how to fill myself up with light and positivity. I was stuck in the dark abyss of devastation, betrayal and loss.

The self-love and care that I had been practicing for years was a distant memory . . .

One Day At A Time:

Through my personal journey and recovery from addiction I gained many valuable lessons, but none more important than ONE DAY AT A TIME. In the depths of my self-destruction and hate, this lesson came to me again. I went back to what previously saved me, both personally and professionally, and began living my life with the simple motto and premise of ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Meetings make it. I started attending more meetings, spent more time on the phone with my sponsor and began to pray. God has always been a part of my life but living each day the way I should meant God became a critical part of each day through prayer and meditation.

Little by little, one slow day at a time, I began to open up to the knowledge that no one else was going to get me out of my pain. I had to start showing up for myself.

The Change:

I began my positive journey forward by first taking care of my body. I started to eat more, to sleep when I felt tired, to get out into the fresh air. Then almost in response, I started to take care of my mind. The negative self-talk; “you’re not worth it” was met with a challenge; “you are!”. I saw that my negative self-perception was stemming from false beliefs, false beliefs that formed out of my pain and sorrow. The truth then began to unfold.

We have the ability to define our own happiness. We deserve a partner who won’t bail without warning when the times get tough. We deserve to be loved truly. We deserve to be respected and valued. We deserve transparency and honesty.

I began to fill myself back up, my self-love was no longer a distant memory. Whenever the waves of pain came on I cried and held myself, without shame or guilt. I was longing for love but rather than searching for it in things or people, I began to give it to myself.

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Loving yourself isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Some days I sunk back into a depressed state where I forgot who I really was and what I was really capable of. And then I woke up and remembered that I must be there for myself, as well as those closest and dearest to me. I found that ultimately I felt abandoned, so I swore to never abandon myself.

You don’t choose yourself once and then it’s over. You must continue to show up for yourself in every moment, the difficult ones and the easy ones, one day at a time.

Self-love means taking care of you. It is honoring and respecting you. It is having the courage to face your emotions, dig deeply but doing so with gentle care. Learning to love yourself doesn’t mean you never feel bad again. It doesn’t mean that you won’t feel pain anymore. This is constant and continuous work that has the ability to heal. It’s the bravest, most important work one can do for them self.

 

Author: Anonymous; Footprints to Recovery.

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