How Does Addiction Steal Our Identity?

Living with addiction, it can be incredibly easy to forget who we are. Our addictions and the lifestyles we create around them take over our entire lives. We give all of our energy to prioritizing our addictions and making sure we can get the high we feel we need. When we’re addicted to a substance or behavior, all else can pale in comparison. Nothing else matters to us. We shirk our responsibilities and neglect our obligations. We give up on our dreams. Our goals and life’s mission get sacrificed. We can feel as though we’ve wasted years of our lives, giving our energy to things that depleted us of our energy, our hope, and our motivation. We lose sight of our purpose. We don’t feel aligned with our inner selves anymore. We feel lost and misguided. We feel disconnected from the truth of who we are.

Our addictions manipulate us into believing that we are nothing more than addicts. We start to believe that our life stories begin and end with our history of addiction, rather than being interesting and complex stories comprised of our many varied experiences. We start to identify as addicts and little else. We forget all the different elements that made up our identities. We forget that we’re multifaceted individuals with unique and special talents, gifts, strengths and passions. We feel unable to remember who we were before addiction took hold of our lives.

Addiction is a convincing liar. It tells us we’re not good enough, that we’ll never amount to anything, that we can’t have the things we want out of life. It makes us believe we are incapable of living without drugs. It tells us we’re not strong enough to recover and do what’s best for ourselves. It overtakes our entire lives, influencing our behaviors, our thoughts and feelings, and our decisions. We perpetuate toxic recurring life cycles as a result of our addictions. We believe the lie that we can’t heal ourselves, and we remain stagnant, giving up on ourselves, not even trying to get better.

Who am I? What do I love about life? What am I grateful for? What things bring me excitement and satisfaction? What makes me see life as an adventure? What makes me feel fulfilled and aligned with my purpose?

Let’s ask ourselves these important questions. Let’s think back to the time before our addictions took over our lives and our minds, hearts and spirits. It’s absolutely possible to reclaim our lives, to find our joy, to recreate ourselves, and to redefine our identities.

Your new life starts today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery. treatment programs.