Many people who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) tend to lose a sense of their identity. You may wonder who you are and what you should do with your life. These difficulties are a result of the mind-altering effects of substances. When you are deep in your addiction, these substances can change who you are and how you perceive yourself. It takes a lot of work to find your true self during recovery.
Full recovery includes the ability to connect with your true self healthily. In a sense, addiction recovery offers a rare opportunity for self-inspection, which can lead to self-discovery. Connecting with your true self is a pathway toward self-compassion and whole-body wellness.
What Happens to Your Self-Identity During Addiction?
Addiction can flip your life to revolve around getting and using drugs or alcohol, even at the expense of caring for yourself. When you have SUD, you may undergo drastic changes in your appearance due to negligence of personal hygiene or nutrition. Additionally, your loved ones may notice changes in behavior and personality.
Gradually, you may stop caring about how you look or what others observe you doing because your focus is more on the substance than relationships. Shame and guilt may have also eroded your self-confidence. The loss of self-identity means that you have lost touch with who you truly are and present yourself as who substances force you to be.
Once you lose the ability to reflect on yourself, that connection with your true self gradually dissipates. You may experience difficulties maintaining deep connections with others or feel indifferent to other people’s needs. Relational difficulties can make you withdraw even deeper into substance use.
Recovery Is an Opportunity to Reconnect With Your True Self
When you go through addiction recovery treatment, you have taken a step in a positive direction by overcoming denial. Realizing the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on your life, you may want a fresh start. Addiction recovery helps the body and the mind reboot and reset to make room for your authentic self to reemerge.
Removing the presence of substances through detox and rehab prepares you for the journey of self-discovery. When you achieve early sobriety, you are in a new space for finding your true self. You will look at yourself through fresh and kind eyes. This lens of self-compassion is critical for sustainable recovery.
Therapy for Self-Discovery
Working with cognitive-behavioral therapists may be a beneficial way to begin the process of self-reflection. You may already recognize how substances have changed your brain to the extent that your behaviors are vastly different from your pre-addiction self.
Other body-mind connection therapies, including experiential and creative interventions, create a space for you to calm down and process what is happening internally. For example, through the simple exercise of journaling, you can mark your everyday experiences and rebuild your self-consciousness.
When you have more awareness to observe how you react to daily situations, you may have space to ask yourself what things reflect who you are. This is a valuable question in the search for your true self. So take time to ponder on this and dialogue with your inner self.
Using 12-Step Meetings Help You Discover Your True Self
12-Step group meetings carve out space for verbalizing and expressing your emotions. Through sharing your experiences and hearing affirmation from others, you can build a deeper connection with yourself and others. You will realize that you are not alone in your struggles. This can be powerfully motivating.
Participants in 12-Step meetings embark on a shared journey to discover their true selves. These meetings’ foundational principles of honesty and humility prepare people for candid conversations. You can learn ways to establish self-care boundaries from the facilitator and peers.
Verbalizing your fears during recovery can help release the anxiety and stress that often leads to pretense and self-alienation. By becoming a better listener to others’ needs, you can grow into your own sense of authenticity and altruism. That curiosity of others can help you get out of emotional isolation.
Rebuilding Relationships to Find Yourself
Supporting and caring for others in need can foster a positive self-image. You will regain a sense of purpose and self-worth. This is why humans are designed as social and communal creatures. We depend on each other to thrive.
Living an authentic life as your true self means that you deal with fears and negative feelings healthily. Every individual has the power and agency to live in self-acceptance and self-love. If there were only one purpose for your life in this world, it is about finding your true self and staying with it. Being healthy and sufficient within yourself is the foundation of all other aspects of your health.
Did you feel lost while using drugs and alcohol? Are you struggling with who you really are, even during recovery? Regaining your sense of self-identity can be a long journey. You can benefit from receiving guidance from experienced recovery experts who can help you regain self-awareness and self-confidence. There are many evidence-based therapies that help restore the mind-body connection so that you can have a healthy self-image. The mental health experts at Laguna Shores Recovery teach you how to better connect with your true self by leaning into effective self-care techniques and mind-body connection activities. Early intervention is vital for sustainable recovery. Do not delay treatment. Call us today at (954) 329-1118.