“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
For many of us, the beginning of recovery is often filled with a sense of obligation. We’re busy adjusting to life after treatment, trying to repair the damage we did when we were using, or just trying to exist day to day while avoiding relapse. There isn’t room for much else. It may not feel like there is a whole lot of time or energy left in our days to think about who or what we want to be, now that we have a chance to grow up.
We show up to treatment feeling like fully formed human beings. Whatever age we are, we’ve spent a lot of time developing our identities. In some ways, it’s more uncomfortable to think about changing “who we are,” than our obvious need to change what we’ve been doing. It’s worth thinking about how much of our identity is a result of our substance use, and how it impacts our ability to grow and change and to stay clean and sober.
There’s a reason many of us feel reborn in recovery: this process gives us an opportunity to be rid of the worst parts of ourselves, while adopting a new outlook, new passions and new interests. After we’re secure in our recovery basics and have our post-treatment plan working, we can start thinking about where we want to go in our lives. We shouldn’t put any pressure on ourselves, but self-discovery is at the center of the recovery process.
Eventually, we need to start to thinking about what we really want to do with our lives. If we’re unhappy with our current circumstances (job, living situation, relationship, etc.) we can’t afford to let the fear of change keep us from moving forward.
Do we want to get another degree or complete our unfinished education? Do we want to try and start a family? Maybe it’s time to move out of the old neighborhood where substance use had us trapped? As long as we stay clean and sober, the recovery process gives us many chances for improvement.
Living in recovery gives us the chance to make some basic healthy choices each day. Making these positive choices reveals even more opportunities to make other choices that build upon those basics. All of these choices will help us learn more about ourselves than all the barstools, baggies and broken promises littering our past ever could.Back to Blog