Last Edited: 01/27/2021

Author: Angeline Gormley Angeline Gormley

Recognizing Your Strength: How You Can Thrive as a Woman in Recovery

Addiction recovery is a journey of ups and downs. There are also experiences in your recovery journey that are unique to you as a woman. This International Women’s Day, understand the mindsets and strategies you can use to successfully overcome substance abuse.

March 8 is recognized as International Women’s Day. On this date in the year 1913, nations gathered with the effort of removing discrimination against women while encouraging them to become active players in global developments. This day reminds women to fight for their rights and remain empowered in their various roles in society.

In regards to mental health and substance abuse, International Women’s Day also holds a significant place. Women can gain equal access to information, medical care, and rehabilitation for addiction and mental health issues.

If you’re a woman, you have the power of choice to create a better life. What are some ways you can leverage these changes to be successful in your recovery journey?

Understand your unique needs as a woman

Everyone has different needs when they desire recovery from substance abuse. For example, people might have addiction and mental health problems at the same time.

To make your recovery journey a successful one, it is important to listen to yourself and your needs as a woman. Some women have discovered that they need healing for:

  • Emotional trauma: Difficulties in childhood, bullying, neglect, and other forms of verbal abuse can cause emotional trauma in women.
  • Physical and sexual abuse: Domestic abuse and violence past and present affect many women and need to be addressed when treating addiction.
  • Self-worth issues: Many women struggle with their identity and self-worth as they face media influences and unrealistic standards of beauty and success.

Do you know what caused mental health and substance abuse problems in your life? By understanding the triggers that are unique to you as a woman, you can address them as you take the first step towards recovery.

Find a community of support

You can find encouragement by participating in communities that resonate with you as a woman. It is easy to fall into the trap of isolation, competitiveness, or comparison in your recovery journey, but these are not healthy avenues to pursue.

Many women have found support, healing, and accountability by gathering with others who are experiencing the same journeys.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Participating in expert-led support groups: Some treatment centers have support groups facilitated by addiction and mental health experts. You can join groups specifically for women, certain age groups, or other specific categories that appeal to you.
  • Receiving one-on-one counseling: Are there issues that you need to examine further with an expert? You can attend 1:1 counseling to understand and apply evidence-based methods in regaining control over mental health and substance abuse problems.
  • Joining virtual groups: There are also discussion boards where you can find encouragement while supporting others in their recovery journey. If you are not comfortable with in-person interactions, you can participate in these online groups.

Care for yourself

As a woman, you have a biological and mental makeup that you can focus on to further yourself towards recovery. You can care for your body through exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and finding ways to regulate your mental state. 

Some ideas that women find helpful include light to moderate physical activities such as stretching, practicing Pilates, or dancing, following a specific diet, as well as journaling and meditation. You can research some self-care methods and choose the ones you think are best for you while mixing and matching them according to your needs.

International Women’s Day: Recognizing Your Value

May we be reminded this International Women’s Day of our value and diversity as women. As you pay attention to your needs and the needs of others around you, we can find that strong mental health and substance abuse recovery are truly achievable goals.

Sources

internationalwomensday.com – International Women’s Day 2021

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Co-Occurring Disorders & Addictions: Examining the Not-So-Hidden Links

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – PTSD and Addiction

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Women’s Drug & Alcohol Rehab Resources

gero.usc.edu – Biological Differences Between Men and Women

womenshealthmag.com – 25 Ways You Can Practice Self-Care Every Single Day

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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