As you seek to put the scourge of substance abuse behind you, you will inevitably…
Finding Your Real, True Self After Addiction
Drugs and alcohol are mind-altering substances. When you are deep in your addiction, these substances change who you are. Getting your next fix becomes your purpose in life—getting money to get the next fix, or enjoying the brief pleasure from finally getting it. Your world revolves around your addiction.
Many addicts fear giving up their drug for many reasons. One may be the fear of facing one’s true self after addiction. Who will you be if you are not someone who needs that fix? What will your life mean without the chase and the high? What you will find out about coming clean is that you begin to start a wonderful journey of discovering your real, true, self.
Although you are on the path to self-discovery, the road is fraught with difficulties. At first when you have completed treatment or a rehab program, you may feel lost. You have been denying your true self for so long you may struggle to find it again. Here are some ways you can begin the search, and in doing so, find real peace in your sobriety:
• Spend time alone — This may seem counterintuitive to staying sober, but it does not mean being isolated. Just find a little time each day, an hour or even less, and sit alone with your thoughts. Time to yourself can help you reconnect with who you are without the influence of others.
• Meditate — Meditation is a powerful way to help you find your inner self. It does not require a great deal of skill, just practice. Learn meditation from someone who already practices it, or just spend time sitting in silence. Empty your thoughts, and focus only on your breathing.
• Get outside — Many of us today have lost our connection with nature and the great outdoors, much to our detriment. Numerous studies have shown that spending time outside and in nature has positive health benefits, including a reduction in stress. Try spending your alone time or your meditation time outside and see how peaceful you feel afterward. Or, simply go for a walk in a park.
• Keep a journal — Self-reflection is essential to good self-awareness. To get back to who you really are, you need to express your feelings and reflect on them. Set aside time each day to write. Write about whatever you want to, with no restrictions. Over time you will be amazed at how much you begin to learn about yourself.
• Read — Reading is another powerful activity that can help you rediscover yourself. It is a great way to spend time alone and to reflect on your own thoughts. Read whatever appeals to you and enjoy the time spent with yourself.
• Reflect on life before addiction — Depending on how long you struggled with addiction, your earlier self may be a distant memory. Try to think back to that time and remember who you were. What did you like to do? Who were your friends? What did others think of you then? Use your journal time to make these reflections and to rediscover what addiction stripped away from you.
When you start to actively practice self-discovery, you will be amazed at how much you learn and how quickly you come back to your true self. Living as your authentic self will give you a new sense of freedom that you have not felt since addiction took over your life. Enjoy the ride!