Our addictions have a way of completely overtaking our lives and along with them our identity, our sense of self, and our feelings of self-worth. We label ourselves as addicts and can’t see beyond that label. We start to believe that our complex identities have been reduced to our addictions and the difficulties we’ve incurred because of them. We can’t see beyond our pain to remember all of the wonderful things that make up who we are. Our addictions are a part of us, they are a formative part of our life experience, and they often comprise a huge part of our life story. That doesn’t mean, though, that they are the entirety of our identity. Who we are goes so much deeper than that.
We’re so much more than our illnesses, our unwellness, our dependence and attachments. We’re so much more than our mistakes, our regrets and our shame. To help ourselves recover, we want to start seeing beyond all of that and reclaiming not only who we were before our addictions took hold but also who we can be as we heal. We are our goals and dreams. We are our passions, our work, our purpose and our gifts. We are our creativity and our inspiration. We are our self-expression. We are all the special talents we might have forgotten about, neglected or sacrificed. We are all of our successes and accomplishments, no matter how small and insignificant they might seem. We are our ambition, our perseverance and our resilience. We are our commitment and our dedication to our recovery. We are all the things we want to manifest in our lives, all the things we want to create and do and be. We are all the ways in which we help other people, uplift and inspire them. We are everything we hope and aspire to be, not just the things we wish we weren’t.
We can create a new self-image based on the version of ourselves we’re becoming, rather than the old version of ourselves that we’ve steeped in shame and self-condemnation for so long. We can start to see ourselves not as who we’ve been in the past but who we are capable of being in the future. How does this version of you think, feel and behave? What are you doing, where are you living, and what makes you happy? How are you moving through life? What choices are you making? How do you think, speak and feel about yourself? Are you lifting yourself up or knocking yourself down? Do you love yourself?
Part of our healing entails seeing who we are beyond our addictions, formulating a self-perception, a self-image and a sense of self-worth that is built on self-love.
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.