The 18th Century poet Lord Byron has a beautiful aphorism about self-worth. Byron writes, “There are four questions of value in life. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.” This love is often what is stripped away when a young woman is struggling with addiction. Therefore, this love must be restored in any plan of addiction recovery.
When an individual is struggling with addiction, they can feel like they are invisible. They can also feel like they are a “bad person” who is underserving of love, compassion, and redemption. These feelings only compound the already destructive nature of addiction. This is why it is critical to remind these young women that they are worthy of love and that they are not “bad people.” Rather they are “sick people” who deserve to get well.
When a child is suffering from substance abuse or other mental health disorders, it can shatter their self-worth. However, this self-worth must be restored in order to grow and recover. A responsible and thoughtful addiction recovery plan can ensure that this happens.
Treatment Options for Addiction Recovery
When treating addiction, it is important to remember that one is not just treating the effects of substance abuse. As they say in many 12-Step programs, “the addiction is merely a symptom of other underlying issues.” That is why a treatment program must address these underlying issues head-on.
There are many ways that adolescent addiction struggles can be addressed. Three of these ways can be through work with a therapist, academic restoration, and work in the spiritual arena.
Regaining Self-Worth Through Therapy
Getting to the root cause of addictive behavior can be essential for long-term recovery. This can be achieved through the process of therapy. Whether it is one on one or in a group setting, through therapy an individual can discover why and when their self-worth was damaged. It usually happens prior to picking up that addictive substance. Once this discovery happens, the work of restoring that self-worth can begin.
Regaining Self-Worth Through Academic Achievement
Restoring academic achievement is a step that’s primarily applicable to adolescent recovery. This is because young women can often feel like they are undervalued in an academic setting compared to young men. Also, for those struggling with addiction, their academic lives often take a hit. That is why restoring their academic value is so important. When academic self-worth is restored, this restores their overall self-worth as well.
Regaining Self-Worth Through Spiritual Practice and Prayer
When a young woman’s self-worth is diminished, it can be because she doesn’t see her place in the world. Adopting a spiritual practice can her them find this place. Identifying and connecting with a higher power can be essential for addiction recovery.
In the Bible, one John 4:8 tells us that “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” That is what we want our students to know. We want them to know that there will always be someone who loves them. All they need to do is seek and ask for it.
It is also important to be able to distinguish spirituality from religion. Spiritual life does not have to come from a specific religious practice. However, here at Elk Mountain Girls Academy, we believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ are a great way of reinvigorating self-worth in our students. However, if they choose to utilize those teachings toward a different spiritual path, we will accept and honor that.
Maintaining Self-Worth in Long-Term Addiction Recovery
Maintaining self-worth can be one of the most important practices a person ever takes on. This is because a practice of self-worth can often shield an individual from any difficulties they may face in the future. This is especially true for those in addiction recovery. The inability to handle difficulties positively can lead to handling them in old and destructive ways. These ways can be a throwback to active addiction and relapse. We want to prevent that by fostering a protective sense of self-worth.
Lord Byron also wrote that “Self-love for ever creeps out, like a snake, to sting anything which happens to stumble upon it.” That self-love (aka self-worth) is what can protect young women as they navigate their recovery journey. They can feel empowered as they grow and develop into the self that active addiction tried to thwart. No longer will they feel like they are less than truly worthy.
When young women are lacking self-worth, they are unable to see the amazing people they truly are. When they can’t see this, then they also can’t see the amazing people they have the potential to be. We want to help them see and realize the amazing people that they deserve to be.
Active addiction attempts to take everything away that we hold dear. It breaks down our physical body. It destroys our families and relationships. Also, it annihilates our professional and academic careers. It can also impact our psychological state. It ruins self-confidence, self-esteem, and most certainly self-worth. As with all of the other casualties of active addiction, self-worth is something that needs to be recovered. When we regain our self-worth, we regain the knowledge of how important our life can be. We discover how we can grow to become better people. Ultimately, we realize we can connect and help the others around us. For more information on treatment options for addiction recovery, please contact Elk Mountain Girls Academy today at (888) 403-0346.