Recently, I've been asked a lot about finding yourself in early recovery. After careful consideration, I've concluded that it's not so much about 'finding' yourself, but the journey to create yourself.
- Who am I without this addiction?
- What do I enjoy?
- How do I honestly feel?
Before you know it you are lost in your own identity crisis, on shaky ground at best.
It's easy to understand that you feel these things, and they are normal emotions that every one of us faces when we quit an addiction. Keep in mind that a lot of these addictions have become as much of a habit as showering in the morning, so it's a bit off-putting when we have to change things entirely.
That reality itself is enough to make a lot of addicts not even attempt to quit! Trust me, I've been there! It's scary, and daunting to even comprehend everything that will change when you change your relationship with your DOC (drug of choice).
Finding yourself without this addiction is a terrifying thought - then add to that losing a lot of what is comfortable and normal in your life and the fear can be nearly crippling.
-after all, do we even like the things we thought we enjoyed before? I remember when I had my first sober social outing and the question even came up, "so what do you do for fun?" It wasn't until that moment that I even realized, I don't really know what I do for fun. The truth is, nothing different than I had been when I was drinking. At some point, I forgot that I did things because I enjoyed them and thought drinking enhanced those activities; instead of being ingrained in the activity, to begin with.
Have I changed?
So it turns out I still love the same music, the same activities, the same hobbies as I always have, and actually have found and adopted new ones as well. Taking out the aspect of drinking didn't detract from anything. In fact, not drinking enhances the things I still love and introduced me to new things that I never thought I would love. So I wonder...
What if we are thinking about this the wrong way? Follow me on this, just maybe recovery isn't about finding yourself. Maybe it's more about the process to create yourself.
Building the life that we want doesn't have to be scary, and in fact, the thought should be somewhat exciting!
You have a chance to break down the parts you don't like and rebuild them in better ways; with the knowledge, you have gained. Everything you have been through, seen, and experienced will help you in this revamping process.
The beauty of creating
Try not to lose sight of the fact that we are meant to change and adapt as we learn and grow. That there is no shame in becoming a new and better you. Moreso, I would be more ashamed to be the same person I was last year.
Change, and growth is something we as humans should push and strive for, always finding new ways to improve our lives and in turn, the lives of those around us.
You aren't a puzzle that was made to fit together only one way. The beauty of life is that you get to change and mold!
You are a human, not a puzzle!
Like a piece of art, and you can always add and subtract to that artwork as YOU see fit!!!
Remember, you are the author of your own story; edit often and ruthlessly! You have the pen to create yourself, and your life.
You don't owe it to anyone but yourself; after all, this masterpiece is your life!