I remember learning about healthy self-esteem and coping skills back in 5th grade. The kindly and enthusiastic teacher explained to us that we each have an “IALAC” sign that we carry around with us every day. The acronym stands for “I Am Loveable And Capable.” She emphasized that we could be more resilient to depression, anxiety, and addiction if we felt valued and competent.
She explained that throughout each day our individual IALAC signs get torn, smeared and beat up in many ways through trying and painful events and interactions that occur in our day. Some days we go to bed at night with our sign in fairly decent condition, other times, after particularly rough days, we may go to bed with nothing left of our sign but a crumpled scrap.
The events and interactions in the day can either polish or deteriorate our sign and hence our feelings of self-worth and wellbeing. Uplifting happenings like being invited to lunch by peers, being complimented on our appearance or having a family member express their love and appreciation for us make our “I Am Loveable And Likeable” sign shine! We end up feeling more confident, encouraged and valued amidst these affirming experiences.
Negative events or interactions such as arguing with a friend, receiving criticism from a boss or experiencing failure in pursuing a goal can beat the “IALAC” sign into smithereens. Then we may end up feeling discouraged, depressed or even hopeless.
Without excellent coping skills, it is extremely difficult to combat all the negative happenings that occur in our daily lives.
For those struggling with addiction and substance abuse, these daily disappointments can build up and lead to desperately seeking escape from the resulting feelings – often in the form of abusing an addictive substance or other harmful behavior.
Further, those in recovery from substance abuse may find themselves vulnerable to relapse when their days are difficult, and they feel stressed and unsupported.
How do we develop these essential coping skills to combat the hardships in life and remain positively focused on our strengths and the good things in life? For many of us, these self-esteem sustaining coping skills of resilience, self-comforting, morale, self-dignity, assertiveness, etc. were unfortunately not demonstrated or taught in our homes or schools.
The good news is effective coping skills can be learned! We don’t have to suffer alone with depression, anxiety, and angst in life! We can learn life-enhancing insights and coping skills through our work in online talk therapy, text therapy, and web-based therapy programs.
The exciting advent of online mental health counseling has fairly and miraculously opened up the opportunity for anyone to seek help and coaching in coping with life from trained online counselors.
No longer are suffering people hindered in seeking help due to travel constraints, inconvenient limited scheduling times of a therapist, or being limited by local counselors that may not have the specialty training that is needed.
The person who is hurting and needs help right now can quickly speak with a trained professional counselor who is well trained in many different therapies such as the highly self-empowering online cognitive behavior therapy.
A quick online search of “online therapy” will bring up several options for you to consider. There are many online counseling programs, but It is wise to choose one of the reputable therapy online services, such as Talkspace, which provides advanced security and technology that is HIPAA compliant and better equipped to keep your sessions private.
So, if you are seeking support, insight, and counseling to better cope with life and refrain from destructive habits such as substance abuse, you may want to consider the valuable tool at your fingertips and reach out to an online counseling program.
1. Hathaway, B. (2018, May 29). Online program outperforms standard addiction treatment. Retrieved March 12, 2019, from https://news.yale.edu/2018/05/29/online-program-outperforms-standard-addiction-treatment
2. Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/telepsychology
About the author:
Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC founded Addiction Hope® in January 2013, after experiencing years of inquiries for addiction help by visitors to our well-regarded sister site, Eating Disorder Hope®.
Many of the eating disorder sufferers that contact Eating Disorder Hope also had a co-occurring issue of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and process addictions (such as gambling, sex, shopping, etc).
Because she believes in holistic recovery that addresses all of the destructive patterns or behaviors engaged in by the individual, it became clear that it would be helpful to also have a site that deals foremost with addiction, for those that suffer from addiction as a primary concern.
Jacquelyn Ekern is a licensed therapist and she is President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. which operates both the Addiction Hope and Eating Disorder Hope organizations and websites.
Jacquelyn enjoys art, working out, dogs, reading, painting and time with family.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from multiple physical, emotional, environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on March 19, 2019
Reviewed by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 19, 2019
Published on AddictionHope.com