Once in recovery, we may find ourselves at a crossroads between what we used to enjoy before struggling with substance abuse and what we thought we enjoyed while actively struggling with substance abuse. We may have become closer with people who were using and damaged our relationships with sober friends and family.
The way we behaved in different environments and social groups may have caused us to feel like we had two separate personalities. These two different lives we lived may leave us feeling confused about who we are. Fortunately, recovery presents us with opportunities to rediscover ourselves.
Life After Treatment
When we have completed treatment, we may hesitate to know where to start with resuming or rebuilding our lives. There are many factors in returning to the outside world.
Are we able to return to our old line of work, or do we need to (or want to) find a different job? Who do we want to reach out to make amends or just check in with? What will our living situation be? How can we make sure that we can stay stable and sober? Do our current friends not practice a sober lifestyle? How can we make sober friends?
These questions may seem overwhelming. However, taking them one at a time can help us direct our lives going forward.
Reconnecting With Ourselves
At the core, we know ourselves better than anyone else. We spend time with ourselves 24/7 and know all our deepest thoughts, and we will be in our own company whether we like it or not. Therefore, it is extremely important to reconnect with ourselves. How can we reconnect with someone who has been with us all along? One simple approach is to see beyond who we have been and envision the type of person we want to be.
How do we imagine ourselves presented to the world? Do we have any hobbies that we like or think that we might like? Is there a style of clothing and aesthetic we would like to embrace? Is there any form of music, hobby, intellectual pursuit, or religious or spiritual activity that could give us meaning, identity, and enjoyment? Are there any creative outlets we would like to explore — drawing, painting, singing, cooking, gardening, writing, or something else entirely?
We shouldn’t write anything off before we try it, but we can also get direction by thinking about anything we have always wanted to try or pursue more regularly. The great thing about reconnecting with ourselves is that there are no rules and no one to tell us how to do it.
Reconnecting With Others
When we are unsure of ourselves, it shows in how we interact with others. If we lack self-confidence, we may come off as defensive, snobby, or rude. We may not realize it, but it may scare people away. Additionally, untreated trauma can continue to affect us in ways we don’t notice, making us vulnerable to people looking for targets. It can also hinder our ability to grow as people.
Fortunately, if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and honest with how we feel about ourselves, we can begin to make breakthroughs and find healing. Working through trauma and other relational wounds with a therapist can help reconnect us with our authentic selves and the people who want the best for us. Sometimes we need to work through our pasts to learn how to love ourselves and be ready for healthy relationships.
It can also be helpful to stay connected with support groups and have people we can contact when we need support or guidance.
Trying New Things
During our time of personal reconnection, we shouldn’t be hesitant to try new things. There are many interests, specialties, and activities that attract groups of like-minded people. We can think about trying things we never have, and we might be pleasantly surprised.
Maybe we have never thought about playing golf, but we try it and discover a love for the hobby. We can meet other individuals through golf and become friends who meet and talk outside of the golf course as well. Maybe we have never been horror movie fans, but a friend invites us to a movie night that turns into a weekly movie club.
When we are open to new things, we can discover new things about ourselves. As we get older, it can be helpful not to be set in our ways but rather open to new ways of life.
Rediscovery in Recovery
Overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) is a huge accomplishment, and we owe it to ourselves to explore all aspects of who we are and who we could be. There may be hobbies or activities that we were told as kids that we weren’t good at and have never tried since. However, we can change the narrative.
People do not become experts overnight. We can go back into the world with the mentality that the limitations imposed on us as children do not have power over us, and we have the freedom to try whatever we like.
Whoever we are, we are unique. It might get lost in translation during our struggle with substance abuse, and we may not have emerged yet to our full personalities until after treatment. Whatever the case may be, we all deserve to reconnect with ourselves and find out who we are. The journey of self-discovery is an exciting and freeing one.
During recovery, we may not know ourselves like we used to. Struggling with substance abuse can change our personalities; once we are sober, it may feel tough to find ourselves again. We may not want to be that person anymore, or we may feel as though we have no idea who we are. Reconnecting with ourselves is important, and it can also help us heal relationships that were damaged during our struggle with substance abuse. After all, when we are feeling insecure, we may give off the impression of being rude or defensive. However, when we connect with ourselves, we can relate to others in a healthy way and show up as the best versions of ourselves. It is okay to feel overwhelmed. The process of self-discovery may be daunting, but we are worth it. For guidance, call 449 Recovery at (949) 435-7449.