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Self-Esteem in Addictions & Recovery Week Twelve.

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Presentation on theme: "Self-Esteem in Addictions & Recovery Week Twelve."— Presentation transcript:

1 Self-Esteem in Addictions & Recovery Week Twelve

2 Topics The role of low self-esteem in addiction Building self-esteem in recovery Finding self-esteem within the Twelve Steps The Practice of Living Consciously [from Branden]

3 The Paradox of Self-Esteem and Addictions The alcoholic drinks because of the despair he feels, the feeling of frustration felt because of the life problems we had difficulty handling We must quit drinking so we can handle our problems, but our negative feelings do not provide us with any measure of self-esteem Suddenly, we must turn these negative self-feelings around and become a positive person so that we can stay sober

4 The Role of Low Self-Esteem in Addiction Those possessing low self esteem are typically challenged in four key areas. 1.They feel that they lack personal power and so their ability to influence others is compromised. 2.Many with low self esteem feel as though they are insignificant to others, lacking the affection and attention of others who hold them in low regard. 3.Low self esteem results when people feel that they lack virtue. –They are plagued by an inherent nagging sense of not being a good person morally or ethically. –They often feel unloved, unappreciated, and unwanted and so they conclude that they must not be good enough to be worthy of such love and appreciation.

5 The Role of Low Self-Esteem in Addiction Those possessing low self esteem are typically challenged in four key areas. 4. Those possessing low self esteem often hold themselves as incompetent in one or more areas of life. They fear they are unable to maintain control of their lives and as a result, they are easily dominated by others who they perceive as being more powerful and capable than they are. This anger often results in ineffective communication and social conflicts which further lead to diminished self esteem.

6 The Role of Low Self- Esteem in Addiction The “Mask Wearer” (aka Pseudo Self Esteem) The “Resenter” The “Helpless Victim”

7 The “Mask Wearer” This is the person who always wears a mask that conveys their really happy, successful, and "everything is going perfectly." In truth, they are almost paralyzed with fears of failure. They live day-to-day desperately trying to over-compensate for how lousy they actually feel about themselves inside. They exaggerate all their successes and minimize or completely ignore their failures.

8 The “Mask Wearer” In their relentless search for perfectionism, they rarely finish things they start and they procrastinate constantly. They figure if they never actually complete something for others to criticize, they'll never be criticized. These people are typically extremely frustrated (inside) because they create "no- win" situations for themselves, but outwardly, "everything is going perfectly."

9 The “Resenter” This person feels they got a lousy deal in life and frankly, many of them did. Unfortunately, as they've grown up, they've become resentful of anyone else who actually did succeed. They dismiss the opinion of almost everyone, they are often hostile toward authority figures, and they pretend that the criticism they get from others doesn't hurt or affect them. As far as they're concerned, it's them against the world and the world sucks.

10 The “Helpless Victim” The “helpless victim” acts just like that - helpless and victimized. They can't do anything themselves and constantly wait for someone else to come to their rescue. In order to avoid being judged and taking responsibility for their life, they use self-pity to convince others they need their help.

11 The “Helpless Victim” They are seemingly unable to handle anything in life and rely totally on the guidance and advice of others. Often, this person gets drawn into abusive relationships which often turn into co-dependent situations. As far as they're concerned, they aren't worthy of anything better - what little they get is all they deserve.

12 Building Self-Esteem in Recovery Recovery happens when we know that we can take charge of ourselves, that we have the power within us to be a new person Our mind is never at rest unless we still it with alcohol or drugs. In sobriety, when we want rest from our disturbing thoughts, we can: –Exercise –Meditate –Do yoga –Garden, etc

13 Finding Self-Esteem within the Twelve Steps Steps 1 through 3: Restoring Sanity (=Self Efficacy: Trusting My Mind) –1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. –2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. –3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Steps 4 through 7, and 10: Fearless Moral Inventory (=Self Evaluation) –4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. –5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. –6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. –7. Humbly asked Him to remove our short- comings. –10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

14 Finding Self-Esteem within the Twelve Steps Steps 8 through 9: Making Amends (=Seeking & Offering Forgiveness: Self-Respect) –8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. –9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Steps 11 and 12: The Spiritual Awakening (=Consciousness, Mindfulness) –11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. –12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


16 Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Consciousness Suffers with Addiction The Practice of Living Consciously

17 Consciousness Suffers with Addiction The implicit intention of addiction is to escape awareness of one’s core feelings of powerlessness and suffering Anxiety and pain are not extinguished, merely rendered less conscious –Will resurface with greater intensity

18 Consciousness Suffers with Addiction Consciousness is the enemy of the alcoholic, who seeks to: Drown out the voice of reason Fog my brain and Make myself functionally stupid

19 The Practice of Living Consciously Consciousness is the basic tool of survival Consciousness is the state of being conscious or aware of some aspect of reality We are beings for whom consciousness is “volitional”

20 The Practice of Living Consciously Without consciousness or living mindfully, the penalty is diminished sense of self-efficacy and self-respect We cannot feel competent and worthy while conducting our lives in a mental fog

21 The Practice of Living Consciously We establish a sense of the kind of person we are: –through the thousands of choices we make between thinking and nonthinking, –being responsible toward reality or evading it

22 The Practice of Living Consciously To live consciously means to seek to be aware of everything that bears on: –Our actions –Our purposes –Our values and –Our goals And to behave in accordance with what we see and know

23 The Practice of Living Consciously Living consciously implies respect for the facts of reality The facts of our inner world: –Needs –Wants –Emotions As well as of the outer world –Needs, wants and demands from relationships, work, etc

24 The Specifics of Living Consciously Being “in the moment” without losing the wider context –Doing what I am doing while I’m doing it Searching for feedback from the environment so as to adjust or correct my course when necessary –The potential always exists that new information will require an adjustment of our plans and intentions

25 The Specifics of Living Consciously Being receptive to new knowledge and willing to reexamine old assumptions –We should avoid being totally absorbed by what we believe we already know and –Being uninterested or closed to new information Being willing to see and correct mistakes –All of us are wrong some of the time, all of us make mistakes –If we tie our self-esteem to being above error, we shrink consciousness in self- protection

26 The Specifics of Living Consciously Seeking always to expand awareness—a commitment to learning—therefore a commitment to growth as a way of life

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