Importance of Self-Compassion at a Drug Rehab Centre
If you want to get the most out of a drug rehab centre, you need to have the right mental attitude. Shame and self-loathing is common for those of us who have fallen into addiction, and this type of negativity can prevent us from making progress. This is why here at Twin Rivers treatment centre we encourage you to start developing self-compassion.
“That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear”
AA Big Book–The Promises
Self-compassion needs to be at the heart of any successful programme for the treatment of addiction. If your self-esteem is so low you believe a life of substance abuse is as good as it gets, it is going to be much harder to summon up enough motivation to begin building a strong sobriety – it could mean that you just comply and ‘go through the motions’ while at a drug rehab centre and not really make any essential changes.
Being compassionate to yourself is not about ignoring your faults but about accepting yourself ‘warts and all’. It means understanding that you are just a human being, and that you are going to make mistakes – it is about realising that your goal in sobriety is progress and not perfection.
The Dangers of Self-Loathing
Maybe there are lots of things you did during those years of addiction that you now feel ashamed about. There are probably people you hurt and opportunities you lost because of your need to get ‘high’ on a regular basis. Becoming sober can be like waking up from a bad dream and a common question we ask ourselves is – how could I have been so stupid? This is when you need to remember that you are dealing with a dis-ease that is cunning, baffling, and powerful.
Self-loathing weakens your recovery, and it can be used as a justification to relapse – “I don’t deserve a better life, so I might as well just continue to behave badly”. These type of thinking is common in early recovery, so you need to be prepared for it. Self-compassion is the most effective in overcoming self-loathing.
How to Develop Self-Compassion at a Drug Rehab Center
Haven’t you already suffered enough? By choosing to enter a drug rehab centre, you are taking a solid step towards a better way of living. There is nothing you can do to change the past, but you can forgive yourself and start again – maybe later, you will also have the opportunity to make amends for some of the harm caused by your addiction.
Here at Twin Rivers we offer a programme of recovery based on the world renowned 12-steps ( Originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous). The goal of this path is much more than just getting you to stop the substance abuse – it is really about helping you create a life that is stimulating enough that you no longer feel the need to take drugs. This means being able to put the past behind and developing the ability to show yourself some compassion. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous they describe the rewards of following the 12-steps as follows:
“We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”
AA Big Book-‘The Promises’
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process