“Who am I?” is a common question people ask themselves in early recovery. In active addiction we spend our time drinking and/or using drugs, figuring out how to get more, and trying to clean up the messes we made in the process. When in the grips of addiction, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are, what we’re passionate about, what we stand for, and what gives us motivation. It’s common for people in early recovery to feel lost and not know what to do with the extra time they have now that they’re not using drugs or drinking.
Rediscovering who you are is a crucial part of recovery. It’s important to find the things that ignite a fire in you, that make you happy, give you a sense of purpose, and introduce you to positive people. You may think, “I’m a drug addict, that’s who I am” but you’re way more than that. The drugs don’t have to rule your life anymore and they don’t define you. Through patience, support, and an open mind, you can rediscover who you are and where you fit in society.
Through meditation, you can calm your mind from any stress, anxiety, fear, or worries you may be experiencing and focus on what’s important most to you in your recovery. Meditation can help you get in touch with yourself and discover your inner self.
Discover Your Interests
You will find that you have a lot more time and money now that you aren’t using. It’s important to explore ways to spend your time so you don’t feel bored and potentially relapse. All of us had things we loved before we started using, maybe you used to enjoy singing, riding your bike, reading, making art, playing sports, spending time in nature, etc. You can start by trying things that you used to be passionate about, that used to make you happy. You may find those things no longer align with who you are today. Try new things, try everything, even if you’re not sure you’ll enjoy doing it. It may come as a surprise to you, that you enjoy those things now. Even if you don’t enjoy what you try, it will help you identify what you do and do not love and give you more of an idea of who you are.
Become part of a community
Once you identify the things you enjoy, you can meet people and build up a community of people who share your interests. There are also many different support groups for recovering addicts that you could join. Being a part of a positive community is an important part of addiction recovery. It gives us a sense of purpose, allows us to build up a network, and builds healthy relationships with people. We’ve all heard the saying, “You are who you surround yourself with.” If we surround ourselves with people who are drinking or using drugs, we will eventually relapse. If we surround ourselves with people who are living a productive life without drugs or alcohol, we will be productive people in recovery as well. Surround yourself with people who share your interests, who have what you want, and learn from them. The influence of other people is strong in our lives, so find a good community to be a part of.
Identifying and working towards goals can help you become the person you are meant to be. Write out old goals that your addiction held you back from accomplishing and sort out which ones you no longer identify with. Add on new goals that you have now that you’re sober. They may be short-term or long-term goals, but it is good to have something to work towards. When we just look at the big picture, sometimes it can be overwhelming. Setting short-term goals can help us feel accomplished along the way. If every week you accomplish one thing that puts you closer to the main goal, before you know it, you will be conquering your goals and making new ones. Leading you to become the person you strive to be.
Therapy is a fantastic tool that can help you discover who you are. A mind is a busy place, there may be trauma, underlying mental health disorders, or other things going on with us that we covered up with substance abuse, therapy can help us uncover those things. There are different therapy modalities that can help you get in touch with yourself and discover who you are.
Finding yourself at Oasis
Early recovery can be hard to navigate on your own. At Oasis Recovery Center we offer a holistic approach to recovery and give clients a safe space to explore who they are. We see recovery as healing the person as a whole. We have weekend activities every week such as; mountain biking, golfing, pottery, kayaking, bowling, horseback riding, fishing, etc. Through our weekend activities, we introduce clients to hobbies and interests they may otherwise not try. We also offer Life Coaching, which offers extra support to help people identify their goals and help set up a plan to accomplish them.