Self-advocacy can offer feelings of self-empowerment, increase your self-esteem, and support your recovery. In his famous hierarchy of needs, American psychologist Abraham Maslow reported “esteem” as the second highest need. All humans have a need to feel respected, including the need for self-esteem and self-respect. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, is frequently a major factor in the development of substance use disorder (SUD).
In treatment, people with addiction have to learn to speak up for their needs, how to bolster their confidence and nurture their self-esteem. They need to be able to speak up for their own recovery.
This is especially important in the super-stressor year 2020. The holiday season is traditionally difficult for many, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, financial uncertainty, and social upheaval, many feel emotionally challenged much of the time.
Self-advocacy is an important form of self-care and self-care is an important recovery tool. If done skillfully, it will powerfully encourage people to be more assertive, feel more capable, resilient, and connected.
Self-advocacy may include:
- Clearly and honestly communicating your needs.
- Establishing goals and working toward achieving them.
- Sharing what’s working for you and what is not.
- Staying informed and knowing your rights and resources.
- Speaking up if someone says something that is not helpful to you.
- Speaking up if someone is treating you unfairly.
- Insisting on making your own decisions.
Sometimes family members and friends (with the best of intentions) believe they know what’s best for you, and what should be done. They might try to make decisions for you without checking with you first. By honestly and authentically letting the people in your support network know how you are doing, what tools and resources help you, and what you want for yourself, you can safeguard a more effective and rewarding recovery process. After all, it is your recovery. Nobody else, however well-meaning and supportive, can do it for you.
Enjoy the holidays but don’t feel compelled to compromise your recovery.
If you, a family member, or a friend are struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues, Recovery Ways wants to help. We are dually licensed to treat mental health disorders and addiction. Don’t delay seeking treatment because of the holidays. Our admissions coordinators can recommend a plan of action, suggest an interventionist, or speak with your loved one. For more information, please call us at (888) 988-5217.