It’s hard to believe this is already my tenth Safe Coping Strategy post. These began as a challenge from my counselor, as I expressed some difficulty getting this blog off the ground. She suggested I do a regular post, each week, on the same day, on the same theme. The Safe Coping Strategies have been a great topic, and choosing one each week to write about forces me to review the whole list each week. It’s been good for me.

This week, I chose:

Compassion. Listen to yourself with respect and care.

In recovery, there’s a lot of making up for lost time to do. There’s a lot of apologizing for past behaviors to do. And there’s a lot of stuff to regret.

This is all normal and natural, but you have to stop once in a while and give yourself a break. Reward yourself for positive choices and steps in the right direction, no matter how big or small. Do something compassionate for yourself, even if that’s just buying a sweet treat at the bakery.

Recovery is all about healing. But more than just the physical healing you’re doing. It also involves emotional and mental healing. You’ve been through the ringer. Your emotions have been so high and so low, sometimes in the same five minutes. Not to mention, you’re actually learning how to deal with feelings all over again. While you used, you were able to ignore and deflect feelings, put them off for another day. But now, you have to feel it all. And sometimes that’s hard.

So listen to yourself, recognize your emotional needs. Talk to someone when you need to, take some alone time when you’d rather do that. Do something that elevates your mood. More importantly, do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

Healthy self-esteem is key to a successful recovery. The belief not only that you’re capable of being sober, but that you deserve to be sober. You deserve that kind of life, and all the amazing things that go along with it.

So, while you’re working on making your amends and earning back trust, don’t forget to stop once in a while and pat yourself on the back. Do something nice for yourself. Have compassion for yourself; you’re going through something very difficult, and you should be treated compassionately.

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