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Self-Esteem, Addiction and Recovery

Do you struggle with confidence and self-esteem? In early recovery, as well as throughout life, many people have this problem. Most people with substance use disorders found that alcohol or drugs made us feel more confident and social. When the substances are stripped away, you may feel confused about who you are, and what your place is in the world. It’s easy to feel insecure and fragile when you’ve always had low self-esteem.

Lowered Self-Esteem is Normal

A lot of people with a substance use disorder have low self-esteem, especially in early recovery where emotions can come bursting to the surface seemingly out of nowhere.

You may feel guily about a lot of things that you did in active addiction. Or you may feel like you lost a lot of opportunities with your career, family, or other things you care about. These feelings are normal and they will lessen in time as you seize new opportunities and build stronger bonds with your loved ones.

In active addiction, you probably used alcohol or drugs to temporarily bolster you and hide insecurities. Eventually the substances wore off, however, and you were probably left feeling just as bad as ever.

Building Self-Esteem in Recovery

Once you understand the source of your insecurities, it’s time to start building your self-esteem. You’ll quickly learn that things you thought you needed drugs to accomplish are actually more rewarding when you do them sober.

Self-esteem in recovery is built over time, as you spend more time sober and feeling comfortable in your own skin. You’ll find that your accomplishments make you feel more confident about yourself. As you become more confident, you’ll start to try new things.

You may not always succeed in everything you try, but trying them sober will help you learn that even failure has a lesson. You don’t have to get high or drunk to cope with the little failures in life.

Getting Help

Sometimes a lack of self-esteem can prevent an addicted person from getting help in the first place. You may not think you deserve to get help or stay clean. Don’t let this voice prevent you from trying a new path in life. Call us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.



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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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