So much of mental illness in all of its forms relies on self-hatred and self-loathing. The brain is hardwired to notice and cling to negativity first, over positivity, which is why it takes so much mental training to practice positivity. Shame, guilt, trauma, self-deprecation, and self-harm are ways that everyone gets down on themselves, holding themselves in contempt for being a flawed human being. Those who are living with mental health disorders and substance use disorders often take this eroding behavior to the extreme. When confronted with the question of how they think of themselves, they are often surprised by the answer: not very highly.
Low self-esteem and self-worth are the foundation upon which we build a foundation of ourselves in acceptance and and self-love. Acceptance is the way we receive ourselves fully, allowing for ourselves to be who are we are in every way that we are- mental illness included. Once we start moving into self-acceptance we are recognizing that who we are as we are is correct. There is nothing wrong or mistaken about us. We are unique, just as everyone is unique and we are accepted, just as we are learning to accept everyone. We accept rather than except. We stop telling ourselves we are an exception to the rule of acceptance.
These are 3 signs that you are starting to accept yourself:
- You talk to yourself in a nice way: Nobody is worse to us than we are to ourselves. We criticize ourselves, punish ourselves, and talk to ourselves in our minds in such a manner that others might be shocked. A sign of acceptance is a shift in our inner narrative. We speak to ourselves with compassion and understanding.
- You are choosing relationships wisely: We often manifest our low self-esteem through relationships. We allow ourselves to be treated the way we believe we deserve to be treated. As we start to accept ourselves, we accept others for their flaws but we stop accepting behaviors which cause us to feel more pain.
- You give yourself a break and an ‘A’ for effort: Failure only comes when we stop trying. As long as we continue trying, we do not fail. We accept that trying and not succeeding is not the same as failure and see it instead as progress. We don’t get ourselves down anymore and instead encourage ourselves to keep trying.
Avalon By The Sea offers trusted programs with trusted results. Our certified primary mental health treatment program and substance use disorder program provide premiere care for dual diagnosis treatment. We strive to help each client heal in mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-337-2602