One of the ways that substance abuse impacts the people around us the most is in our inability to show up for others. Whether it is at home, with friends, or at work, time and time again we make promises, and time and time again we break them. It is not that we are trying to hurt them, we want to be there. We just don’t know how to. How can we be there for the people in our lives again?
We are unable to show up for others because we are not even there for ourselves. Substance use becomes all-consuming. Because of what the substance does to our brains, we are focused on whatever it takes to get that next drink, that next high, that next fix. We are not even concerned for ourselves, because if we really looked in the mirror both physically and metaphorically, we would have taken action well before we got to this place.
Regardless of where we have been or how we got here, now we are here. We are willing to take the big step into recovery. As we shed the layers of substance use and prepare to boldly walk back into our world substance-free, one of our biggest concerns is for the other people in our lives. We know we have let them down, the forgiveness piece is another whole problem to solve, but how can we show up for them? How do I know that I won’t let them down again?
One of the life-changing skills you will learn in recovery is the ability to be present. This is more than some strange spiritual jargon. It is the act of being able to focus only on what is happening right here and right now. This can be particularly challenging for us when we have lived for substances, allowing them to control our every thought, motivation, and behavior. That type of focus did not serve us well and was the biggest reason we have been unable to show up in our lives until now.
When we are able to live in the present, we are not worrying about things that have happened before, we are not focused on what we are having for dinner. We are simply here. Now. This means that if we can be present now, we will be able to be present tomorrow at 3 o’clock for that work meeting. We can be present tonight for that date we promised our partner. We can also be present for our best friend’s birthday party next week. Being present is literally showing up, wherever we are, whenever we need to be there. It is also being truly present, not distracted or some version of ourselves. It is us. Here. Now.
Living with Humility
In the past, perhaps we made excuses for not showing up. Maybe we even blamed others or other things for being late or going missing. However, by adding humility to our vocabulary, we can be honest and vulnerable when life happens. Being humble enough to accept responsibility for the things we had control over, being humble enough to apologize if we fail to meet the expectations of others or promises that we made… humility is a sign of strength rather than what is sometimes perceived as a weakness. When we are humble enough to admit to our humanity, then we are able to more fully connect with all of humanity.
Living with Integrity
The words honesty and integrity are rarely associated with us when we use substances. That is because we are not honest with ourselves when we use substances. If we do not have integrity when it comes to our relationship with ourselves, how can we have integrity in the rest of our lives? As we submit ourselves to recovery, as we commit ourselves to our personal recovery, and as we begin to live our own recovery, we learn to have integrity. When we have integrity, we show up. We say we will do something, so we do. We say we will be somewhere at a certain time, so we get there. It is actually that simple to show up.
No one is perfect. However, people are drawn to people who are authentic. When we are present, have humility, and live with integrity, then we are real, genuine, and authentic. We are authentic when we are true to ourselves. When we live our lives in the best way we know how to we will also do the things for ourselves that we know will make us healthy and happy, and we are always honest with ourselves and others, then we are authentic.
How can you be there for others? How can you show up? Be present. Live with humility. Live with integrity. And be authentic. How can you do those things? Find your recovery. Live your recovery. Be your recovery. Everything you need is inside of you, you only need to ask for help to become the person you want to be. You are powerful and you are worth it. So are your friends, co-workers, and family. To show up for them, you need to show up for you. Show up by making that call today.
How can you be there for people in your life again? Find out by calling AToN Center at (888) 535-1516. Show up for your family, for your friends, for your co-workers, and most importantly for yourself.