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Women's Recovery

The Line Between Self-Love and Narcissism

Women all over the world are brought up in society with a deep-rooted personal conflict. We are taught to be confident, but not too confident. We are held to a different standard of acceptable behavior than are men. Society’s idea of how women should look, behave, and even think presents many challenges. No wonder so many women struggle with secret addictions, whether it be drugs, alcohol, eating, not eating, sex, shopping, you name it. We must learn to accept ourselves, to practice self-love, but not to the point of narcissism. The line between self-love and narcissism has been blurred and the media and society are usually of no help. Those of us in recovery must find that middle place between the two.

So What’s a Girl to Do?

In the last few years, there has been an uprising of strong women around the country and around the world. Women have been fighting for the right to be equal, to be valued, and to be heard. In America especially, brave women have been speaking out to be considered equal and to promote self-love throughout the female culture.

It is no secret that many men are raised with the notion that they can be and do whatever they want in life. They are admired for their bravado and sexual status, while women are held to a lower standard. Women, however, are criticized for exhibiting the same behaviors. But we are finding our way, despite such thinking and we must continue to learn to like ourselves.

My Own Experience

I’m not sure when it happened, but over the years, I started to truly and deeply hate myself; not just how I looked, but the way I thought, the way I acted in certain situations. I never felt pretty enough, or funny enough, or stylish enough, except when I was using. That was a cure-all for all the worries and anxieties and fears that constantly swirled around in my brain.

It’s funny, my mother always raised me to think for myself, be proud of who I was, and to take no b.s. from any man (or woman, for that matter). This wasn’t to train me to be rude, but she never wanted me to feel the way that she felt, to be controlled by an abusive male figure (her father) or to feel trapped in a crappy relationship (my father). However, over the years, as I became a teenager and idolized whichever pop star and model was popular at the time, I slowly developed this agonizing hatred for my curly red hair, flat chest, and awkward social interactions. So I tried to become someone else, I dyed my hair a thousand different colors, I bought clothes that showed off way too much, and I delved heavily into my addiction.

be proud of yourself

Down the road, my addiction caught up with me, and I crawled into the rooms of AA. I had been burned by women in the past (always by my own actions) so I immediately resented every single woman in every single meeting. I never reached out, I never made friends, and I never admitted I was hurting. I relapsed… a lot. However, with each relapse, I discovered that women reached out to help me, even when I didn’t ask. I have spent more time in the rooms, and have surrounded myself with God-conscious, badass women of integrity, and I have learned about the value of getting to know myself.

Self-love has been one of the most rewarding and enriching areas of my sobriety. When before, I would feel vain and narcissistic for wanting to do nice things for myself, today I welcome any and every chance I get to embrace the opportunity to enjoy myself.

Another thing I have learned from these women is that “I am an independent woman who doesn’t need any man (or woman, depending on what you’re into). I can enjoy myself by myself, or I can go out with the girls, or sit on the couch with them, and feel more love and support than I ever could in a forced relationship.

Self-love can only really become a dangerous entity when we do it to the extreme, just as with everything else in life. If we place ourselves above others, or our feelings over others, we can become narcissistic. The line, however, is not a thin one. As long as self-love is being practiced by doing the next right thing for others, and for ourselves, we are aligning ourselves with our higher power.

Why Do We NEED to Practice Self-Love?

Again, the better question is why don’t we?! Let me tell you something sister, you are a bad ass. You have been through hell, and have come out the other side. You are here, getting sober, taking huge, scary, exciting steps to change your life, and you are going to tell me that you are not a bad ass? No way!

If we don’t practice self-love and if we don’t love ourselves, who else will? We come into these rooms alone, isolated, and afraid of other women, and afraid of being ourselves. However, when we finally admit defeat, and become ready to let other women into our lives, we begin to learn to love ourselves.

Self-love is important to us because it teaches us how to be loving and tolerant of others. Valuing and appreciating ourselves aligns us more with the will of our higher power, who, if yours is anything like mine, loves us endlessly and without judgment.

Practicing self-love teaches us patience, and understanding, and tenderness. We are our own worst critics, so when we can stop in moments of self-doubt, and thank our higher power for allowing us another day, we can learn how precious we are.

Getting Help at Wayside House

If you are a woman struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Wayside House can help. We offer a women-only program and provide a safe, supportive environment to recover in. We have outstanding treatments and therapies that are often only found in more expensive programs. We offer inpatient rehab with various therapies, relapse prevention education, outpatient, and aftercare, as well as programs for medical professionals and veterans. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more.

Testimonials

  • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

  • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

    Alexandra N.

  • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

    Amanda O.

  • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

    Amy G

  • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

  • “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

    Allen S.

  • “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

    Rita P.

  • “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

    Katrin O.

  • “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

    Jan S.

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      What People Are Saying

      • “I have always supported Wayside House — I know women who have come through their program and support all they do. If you don’t know about this fabulous place I encourage you to become involved and find out more — they are an anchor in Delray Beach and their history speaks for itself.” 

        Nancy S.

      • “I went through Wayside House & it was the first place that actually felt like home to me. The staff actually care about their clients and their sobriety. I worked through so much here without fear of being judged. I love wayside & it will always have a special place in my heart along with ALL the amazing women who work there.”

        Mandy W

      • I so wish I could tell the girls how much Wayside saved my life,  and after 31 years sober, it still is just “One Day at a Time” and “The Serenity Prayer.” I will always remember those first days of being at Wayside and how the girls , the counselors , and the House put me back on track to living a fulfilled and Sober life . I followed the AA steps, got a wonderful sponsor and have followed that path ever since. — Pamela R.

      • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

      • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

        Alexandra N.

      • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

        Amanda O.

      • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

        Amy G

      • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

      • Allen S.

        “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

      • Rita P.

        “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

      • Katrin O.

        “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

      • Jan S.

        “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

      • Leah J.

        “I just wanted to thank you for how you and the team make the world a better place.  I won’t claim to understand the things you sacrifice, but you are truly wonderful for doing so.“

      • Janine T.

        “I  highly recommend Wayside Women’s in Delray Beach. My daughter completed their wonderful program, she’ll have 2 years July 1st. They have an active alumni. I couldn’t say enough good things about them, they’ve been doing this since mid70’s.”

      • Stacy J.

        “ Thankful for my sobriety and for Wayside! “

      • Susan B.

        “Wayside House was and is an amazing place to me. I am on a journey that is better than I could have ever imagined. The strength of the women that came before me, that are beside me, and those that are there now teach me how to live “.

      • Lisa D.

        “Wayside saved my life and I will never be able to repay them for everything they have done for me.”

      • Dolores A.

        “Wayside house saved my daughter’s life. She transformed into the beautiful woman I knew she could be. It’s only been a few months but one day at a time she and I are enjoying her recovery journey!!!”

      • Jeanne H.

        “We appreciate all that you do to help individuals in recovery, demonstrating God’s love in our community. Your staff at Wayside House continue to help in so many ways, women and their families that need the love, care and support that you are able to provide. Thank you so much for all you do for them.  May God continue to bless you, your staff and your volunteers each and every day for the light you provide for our community.”

      • Susan C.

        “ Wayside is “the light”! Congratulations on the article in the Palm Beach Post
        for all you do to make the commitment to help those in need.”

      • Lynne B.

        “I will always be grateful to Wayside for giving my daughter the tools and knowledge to live a sober life on the outside. You changed her life thank you thank you thank you, may all the people that pass through your wonderful cozy house succeed in sobriety as well.”

      • Katy B.

        “I am sober and happy today thanks to Wayside.”

      • A.D.

        “Having the opportunity to go to Wayside was the best thing I’ve ever done. They lovingly deconstructed my life so I could put it back together. They are a serious program that gave me the ability to understand myself in a way I never thought was possible. They didn’t baby me and they taught me how to be beautifully authentic with myself and those around me. I really can’t thank them enough.”

      • Susan T.

        “Please keep up your wonderful work; the kids of south Florida need you.”

      • Jaimie K.

        “I am making this donation and thank you for all you do!”

      • Pam H.

        “Celebrating 29 years 7/22/2016. Sponsoring, 3-5 meetings a week, and forever grateful to Wayside House!”

      • Laura B.

        “I will be celebrating my 17th year clean and sober.  PLEASE share with the celebrants that I am with them in spirit even though I can’t be with them.  Wayside rocks!  Remind them to stay until the magic happens.”

      • BH alumni

        “I just want to give a shout out to the Wayside staff and alumni who organized and participated in the first annual gratitude dinner. The entire evening was absolutely devine! Wayside House saved my life and I am so very happy that you are at the helm.”

      • Brenda

        “Just walking down memory lane! I Love Wayside House! I went through twice!!
        LOL!! Clean and sober today! Love to all the women! XOXO”

      • Ashley

        “Thank you to Marlies and the Posner Center because without your guidance I wouldn’t have been pushed to pursue what I love and want out of a job and school. You’re amazing!”

      • Colletta D.

        “Proud to be a donor supporter of your efforts.”

      • Sara W.

        “Wayside House saved my life. It was a place that gave me a purpose to follow my dreams. And gave me a life that I never thought could be possible. It is a place where God lives in the lives of so many recovering women. Thank you.”

      • Andrea S.

        “So many miracles and beautiful souls are at Wayside. It’s a very special place.”

      • Phoebe M.

        “What an incredible gift to have gone to Wayside House.  Keep up the great work!”

      • Kathy G.

        “I’m so grateful to be a Wayside Winner 12/89 . One day at a Time.”

      • Christine D.

        “I have to commend Wayside House. They are a 1st class treatment center.”

      • Christine A.

        “I went through Wayside House in 1991 and have been clean and sober for 23 years. I have had four children, two grandchildren, and am happily married. The aftercare and parenting groups that Wayside had is something that helped me so very much as a new parent who was fairly new in recovery. I now have a Bachelor’s degree in social work and am working on a Master’s degree in counseling specializing in addictions counseling. If I had not been placed in Wayside House so many years ago I would have never been able to achieve the things that I have in my life. I am forever grateful for the blessing it has had in my life!”

      • Jeffrey Lane Esq., Weiner, Lynne & Thompson P.A.

        “Wayside is the benchmark by which I hold other similar facilities too.”

      • John Lehman, President FARR

        “I know many women whose lives have been greatly impacted by the quality support they experienced while enrolled and residing in your program. My first hand knowledge dates back to 1980 and I can attest to Wayside’s long tradition of excellence.”

      • J.L.

        “Wayside House saved my sobriety at a critical time in my life. My HP knew I needed to be there and surrounded by strong women who believed in me. Thank you!”

      • Evelyn H.

        “ My life has changed very deeply. I have been given the gift of life in sobriety and treating it like a present.”

      • Cynthia F.

        “I hated God & tried not to believe in any higher power before getting sober. Now I know that each day is a gift and
        that all things are possible through my spiritual connection. All of life is a miracle and for the ultimate good.”

      • Liz D.

        “I just wanted to send my gratitude and thanks for all you have done for me and thousands of women out there recovering from addictions.”

      • Sally W.

        “God bless your work at Wayside.”

      • T.P.

        “Thank you for all that you have done to make me experience Wayside and the true change in my life through this program. I am grateful.”

      • Cindy

        “To all of you fortunate enough to celebrate the holidays at Wayside, I hope you find peace and happiness.
        My Christmas at Wayside was one of the best ever as I received the lasting gift of sobriety. God Bless you all!”

      • Anonymous

        “ My children have been returned and I have found God.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House and God have given me a life I never thought I deserved.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House played a very big role in treating our daughter. We will be forever grateful for you and our blessings from the Lord.”

      • Anonymous

        “ I have restored relationships with my family and learned how to love others. I am accountable, help and trust others and enjoy living life. I have peace and I don’t worry. I know that everything is going to be OK. I also attend three meetings a week and sponsor several women.”

      • Anonymous

        “ By spending time with my awesome God every morning who saved me by touching my life while at Wayside. God continues to draw me close to him.”

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