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As recovering addicts, there are different ways in which we self-identify that hurt us, that hold us back, and that are defined by the limiting beliefs we believe about ourselves. We feel as though we’re not good enough. We feel unworthy and unlovable. We feel ashamed of all the things we’ve done wrong and the ways in which we’ve hurt the people we care about. Our addictions have dominated our lives and wreaked havoc on everything we love. We feel as though our lives have been ruined. We come to identify with our shortcomings, failures and mistakes. We see ourselves as addicts and little else. We forget about all the other wonderful things that make us who we are. When we want to start actively working to heal ourselves from our addictions, we have to change how we view ourselves. Our self-perception and how we identify ourselves can make all the difference in whether or not we’re able to recover. If we don’t believe in ourselves or see our goodness, we’ll most likely continue to be self-deprecating, self-sabotaging and self-destructive. We’ll repeatedly want to turn to our drugs of choice to escape the pain of how insecure and self-hating we are.

Transforming how we self-identify means thinking more broadly about who we are as people. We’re not just our addictions, we’re also our talents, gifts, strengths and passions. We might not remember what they are, because our lives have been so consumed with our addictions and difficult issues for so long. We might not feel as though we know ourselves yet, what we’re good at, or what our purpose is. We might not have given time or energy yet to self-exploration and introspection to discover who we are. It can be really hard to figure out how to think about ourselves, how we feel about ourselves, and how we identify ourselves. Wherever we are in our self-discovery journey, we can be more openhearted with ourselves to create a self-image, a self-perception and a self-identification that are self-loving, self-accepting and self-supporting.

Your mistakes don’t define you. Your addictions don’t define you. Your mental illnesses don’t define you. You are so much more than your pain. You will find your purpose. You will be happy. You will figure out who you are and create a beautiful life for yourself.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.