Examples of Negative Self-Talk That Prevents Substance Abuse Recovery

Drug addiction is a serious problem, even beyond the health issues associated with using dangerous substances. Addiction can affect your finances, your social life, your behaviors, and even your ability to cope with stress. That’s why drug addiction is a bigger problem than simply health. Not only is your health at risk, but your entire future may be as well.

That’s why it’s so important to overcome your drug addiction challenges. The problem is that the road to recovery is fraught with its own challenges, and some of those problems are actually due to the nature of addiction:

  • Addiction makes you crave the high.
  • Addiction makes you used to a lifestyle.
  • Addiction makes you struggle to overcome stress without a drug.

All of these issues can lead to negative self-talk: things you tell yourself that hurt your ability to remain drug free. Negative self-talk makes it much harder to stay clean, because it’s almost like your own mind isn’t on your side in your recovery.

Negative self-talk includes statements like:

  • “I can’t deal with the world without [my drug].”
  • “Life is too hard.”
  • “I miss the lifestyle I had when I used [the drug]”
  • “Why am I not as good as those people?”
  • “No one understands what I’m going through.”

All of these thoughts end up turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy, and ultimately cause people to fall back into the cycle of addiction. Not all self-talk is negative either. Some is defensive, like “I don’t need anyone’s help.” Others are problematic, like “it’s okay if I have just one.”

This type of self-talk will damage your self-esteem, hurt your ability to cope with stress, and possibly lead to setbacks that may make it harder to recover from your addiction.

What to Do About Negative Self Talk

Negative self-talk is first controlled by identifying that the self-talk is occurring. Be aware of the things that you’re telling yourself and the behaviors and feelings that come as a result. If you are able to notice that that self-talk is occurring, you take away its power.

You also need to have positive, healthy coping strategies to deal with stress. Examples include physical activity (hiking, jogging, etc.), art, and other strategies that take time, focus, and effort. Positive coping activities will distract your mind and make it easier to control how you feel, and what drives you to feel like you need drugs and alcohol.

It’s also very important that you stay open to addictions counselling. In the Greater Long Island area, call Marc Shulman today at (516) 732-0273.