When substance use takes over our lives, a lot of things get lost in the shuffle. Probably the most important thing that gets lost is ourselves. We forget who we are, what we want, and the things we love to do. Often, our very personalities change, and we are literally strangers in the mirror. One of the best gifts that we can take advantage of in recovery is to rediscover ourselves.
The Before Version
As we begin our journey of recovery, it can be a time of reflection. In finding where we want to go, it is sometimes helpful to look back on who we were before it all begin. What did we like to do with our time? What were our favorite things? What kind of people did we surround ourselves with? What were our dreams for the future?
Sometimes, our previous version of ourselves was not entirely rewarding, either. Perhaps we were saddled with past trauma or pain that influenced all of our choices and behaviors, even before turning to substances. Yet at the core of ourselves, there should be some clues as to who we were and where we wanted to go in our life.
Often, however, there is much we can gain from looking at our previous selves. Even if we were not exactly the person we wanted to be, there are likely things we can remember about ourselves that are still inherently us. Whether it was the music we listened to, the hobbies we had, or the people we spent the most time with, we can now look back and draw from our past life experiences to rebuild our new selves.
Version 2.0: Healing
As we begin the healing experience, change is the plan. Not that we should intentionally seek to become an entirely different person – at the heart of our life experiences, we are all unique in who we are. During healing, we have the opportunity to sort through the parts that total the sum or ourselves and pick and choose the pieces that we still identify with as we grow.
For example, as we are in recovery, we may remember that as a child, we watched baseball with our dad, and we realize that not only were those fond memories which allowed us to bond with our father but that perhaps the sport itself calls to us and we truly enjoy watching it now. This type of realization is part of the healing process, part of building our new and improved, version 2.0 selves.
Finding Ourselves Again
Another part of rediscovery is to explore new interests and hobbies, as well as try out new lifestyles and ways of doing things. We may try new things and not like them at all, but being willing to try new things is empowering in its own right. Finding new interests and hobbies that we do like is exhilarating, and gives us the motivation to continue on our recovery journey. Exploring ourselves and opening our minds to new possibilities also keeps our minds open to continuing on our journey of wellness.
Some of the things we can do to explore our world are:
• Try at least one new food per week. We can explore various types of ethnic foods, we can try new recipes, new restaurants, or seek out different desserts, sides, entrees, etc.
• Take a class. Find a new sport, hobby, or other activity and learn about it. Try it on for size. In addition to learning something new and stretching your mind and body, you also have the opportunity to meet new people.
• Renew a hobby or activity. If there was something you used to do but stopped, pick it up again. Whether it be playing an instrument, some form of art, a sport, or whatever, pick it up where you left off and see if it still brings you joy and fulfillment.
• Travel someplace new. Is there a destination that you have always wanted to go to, but never got there? Take this chance, plan a trip, and jump into the experience with fresh eyes. You may be surprised by how enjoyable it can be to be present and alive and explore a new destination.
The Importance of Self
All of the work of rediscovery serves to transform ourselves into who we want to be now. This is crucial to develop a strong self-identity, but also to give us purpose. When we invest in ourselves and finding our purpose, then we also create an intention for staying sober and continuing to better ourselves. When we work to give our lives meaning, we are also telling ourselves that we believe in ourselves, that we matter. We are worth the work, and we value who we are.
Step onto this path bravely to recover your life and rediscover who you are. As you change courses from the shackles of addiction to the freedom of recovery, you can explore the world with fresh eyes. As you learn a new way of life, you can also make new choices about yourself and what you want. Rediscover passions from your youth and find new ways to express yourself and enjoy your new journey. You are worth a rebuild of your identity and what you like to do, from top to bottom. Seize this opportunity to rediscover yourself today.
Find yourself again at AToN Center. Call (888) 813-5928 right now to begin your journey explore your life to find your true self.