As an addict I am learning about self care.
I suppose it’s the same thing as self-love. But in very practical terms. My wife often points out my character defects (who needs to do a personal inventory when you have a spouse who will do it for you?). One thing she often reminds me about is my self-loathing.
I am not always aware of my tendency to hate myself or to feel a certain disgust for myself. Actually, I love myself. And I would never knowingly do anything to hurt myself.
It’s just that I’m not always aware of my attitude about myself. I’m not always aware that I’m thinking and saying things that reflect a negative attitude toward myself.
For instance, I’m forever bemoaning the fact that I work with someone who drives me nuts. This person wrote the book on self-loathing… she’s an expert!
And somehow I allow her attitude to rub off on me. And I go home at the end of my workday carrying all this negativity with me. And I habitually ‘share’ it with my wife, describing how insufferable my job has become as a result.
In fact, it’s my complaining that has taken on a life of its own. And I end up ‘wearing’ this attitude day after day, unaware that self-loathing has become a part of my daily routine.
It wears me down. I feel tired much of the time. I have no energy to do the things I want to pursue. Self-loathing prevents me from engaging in self care. Doing the things that nurture me, help me in my recovery.
Self-loathing is a habit that I must learn to stop. Self care is the way I can avoid it altogether.