When we walk into addiction recovery, there’s already a notion that we hold of ourselves. A self-perception – and it’s this perception that weighs heavily on the way we view ourselves, others, and how we relate to society as a whole. Most commonly, those at the beginning of their recovery journey identify themselves as “an addict” – and this is probably in large part due to the way society has framed those with addiction over the years. Media tends to depict this wretched, “lost” person as an “addict”, when really that’s not the case. We’re people with families, with friends, with jobs, with our own challenges that we’ve overcome. We’re people with histories, traumas, mental health issues, health conditions and more – and the identity of “an addict” truly takes away all of the other aspects that make us human.
A 2015 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that while those at the beginning of recovery hold “the addict” identifier, more time spent in recovery helps a person change their narrative – to one of recovery. Once a person starts viewing themselves as “a person in recovery”, they’re able to apply this social role to other areas of their life, such as with school, work, and home. One person shared their recovery story via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “In my last rehab program, life and behaviors began to change. I was liking myself again and remained in the last program, after graduation, to work helping others. I became hungry for recovery.”
The journal Addiction Research & Theory argues that this social identity change comes a process:
- A person changes their self-identity to a “person in recovery” after they’ve received reinforcement from others, such as through treatment
- Recovery emerges through group therapy sessions, individual sessions, 12-Step programs and more, which fosters learning and greater control over a person’s own self-perceptions
- Recovery can influence others, which can help change the overall narrative of addiction recovery
If you’re ready to pursue treatment and begin the path towards healing, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu. It’s never too late.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.