To the status quo, addiction is an indicator of a life gone awry. The word carries the heavy burden of shameful whispers, disappointed looks and the idea that something must be wrong with the person abusing drugs or alcohol.
But that’s not the truth. Addiction is a disease. According to Partnership to End Addiction, roughly 23.5 million Americans live with an addiction.
If you are one of these individuals, there are two essential things to remember:
- Addiction does not define you.
- You are not alone.
The truth is addiction is a complex condition. Just like you are a complex human being. You have thoughts, feelings and emotions. You have things you like and are passionate about and some things you equally dislike and avoid. And while addiction gets tangled up with who you are, it only means that you start living your most authentic life when you begin addiction recovery.
Understanding Who You (Actually) Are
When you begin your addiction recovery, you can expect to expose many raw areas in your life. These experiences often reflect painful times when we lived through trauma, chronic stress or acted out negatively towards the people we love.
It can bring up a lot of shame and reiterate the idea that you will always be someone with a problem. You may be dealing with shame in addiction recovery. But this is a typical response when you start uncovering the ‘why’ behind your addiction.
The critical thing to remember here is that as you move through your addiction recovery experience, you begin to rely more and more on positive aspects of your identity while learning to accept the negative ones. Little by little, you will use these parts of yourself to paint the whole picture of who you are. You can be sure that the “person living with addiction” will not be the star in your story.
Here’s a good exercise for you. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write a response to each of the questions below:
- …do I value?
- …is one strong belief I have?
- …is one boundary that I am working on?
If you aren’t sure of what to put down, then that might be an excellent place to begin building the foundation of who you are.
Addiction is Just One Piece of Your Story
Addiction is not who you are. It never was, and it never will be. Instead, it will merely be a part of the complex, human story you get to share. No matter if you are building or rebuilding your life after addiction, getting to really know yourself can rewrite your entire narrative.
A recent study from Recovery Research Institute found that people who go into recovery often have transformational experiences to their identity. From personal goals to values and even social roles, these changes can help you create and maintain life-long sobriety.
If you are still unsure of who you are and where you should start your recovery journey, we at Promises Brazos Valley can help you get started. Our drug rehab in Texas offers individualized treatment plans to support our diverse population. Call us at (844) 667-8240 to learn more about our programs.
Get to know your most authentic self today.