How to Practice Self-Love on Your Recovery Journey


The concept of self-love can be difficult to grasp, especially for those just starting their recovery journey.

Many people look to their partner or loved ones for reinforcement and validation that they are worthy of love.  Whether it be through words, small gifts or gestures…some wait, watch or wish for external signs or symbols. 

But what about self-love?  This concept is often difficult to grasp or put into practice, especially for those just starting their recovery journey. 

Unfortunately, along with the stigma associated with mental health and substance use challenges comes self-doubt, shame, and guilt from our struggles. 

As a person in long-term recovery, I can identify with the feelings of not deserving to feel loved by others and certainly not loving myself. Recognizing that my challenges are a unique part of my story and who I am and then coming to accept these parts of my life has made the act and practice of self-love possible.

This is what self-love looks like to me:

  1. Letting go of negative judgements about myself is an act of self-love.
  2. Daily reflection and practicing forgiveness for my humanness is an act of self-love.   
  3. Seeking out support and help when I needed it was the greatest act of self-love I ever gave myself. 
  4. Taking care of my mental, spiritual and physical states are essential to my recovery and well-being. 

These tasks are not always easy, but they are a gift to myself. 

Give yourself a gift this year.  Reach out for support if you need it and know that you are worth it! SouthLight is always here for anyone and everyone.

About SouthLight:

Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help or more information.