For those of us struggling with addiction, we know just how destructive and debilitating it can be. It can transform our minds, our relationships, and our lives, often in painful ways. It alters our sense of self and our self-image, impacting how we operate both inwardly within ourselves, and outwardly, in our relationships with other people. When we’re working to heal from our addictions, we’re eager to get back to our normal lives, even though our former lives were usually anything but normal. They were filled with toxicity and unwellness, self-destructiveness and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Rather than dealing with ourselves and our emotions in healthy ways, we used avoidance, denial, suppression and self-medicating to cope. As we’re recovering, we’re becoming entirely new people. We’re developing healthier patterns and learning better ways of coping with our pain. We’re confronting our addictions and mental health issues, along with all of the factors underlying them and contributing to them. We can’t return to our former lives as they were, even though we desperately want to, because we have started developing totally new perspectives, thought patterns, emotional responses and behavioral tendencies. We’ve been working to recreate ourselves, and as such we will need to rebuild our lives rather than returning to them as they were.
It is totally normal and common for us to miss the lives we led before. We got accustomed to them. They were what was familiar to us. They provided us with the safety and familiarity of our comfort zone. What we learn, however, is that our comfort zones often keep us trapped. When we’re too comfortable, especially in our emotional pain, we’re not pushing ourselves to change or do better for ourselves. We stay stuck, stagnant, numb and paralyzed. The fear we have of the future can be terrifying. We would rather stay in the familiar than venture into the unknown. As we’re recovering, though, we’re starting to gently push ourselves up and out of that destructive comfort zone, in order to rebuild our lives and start anew. As we come to terms with the loss of our former lives, we’re able to reimagine and redesign our lives, so that we can rebuild them and create even more fulfillment and happiness for ourselves.
Rebuilding our lives means examining and addressing our past so that we can imagine a better future for ourselves. It means analyzing our past choices so we can make better ones going forward. Recovery requires that we rebuild our sense of self, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationships with others. All of this intense work helps us to rebuild our lives with more self-empowerment and self-awareness, enabling us to expand and move forward into the futures we’ve designed for ourselves.
When we’re working to rebuild our lives in recovery, we need the support and encouragement of people who believe in us and in our recovery. Call Riverside Recovery today for more information: (800) 871-5440.