Rediscovering Your Identity After Addiction

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Addiction generally prevents you from considering the abstract concept of identity. You might be too engrossed in the addiction to ask, “Who am I?” Questions like this may arise when something goes wrong and when you are forced to face reality. There may be a genuine desire to “be a better person,” but addiction takes over and that desire is buried.

This can change if you undergo addiction treatment. After detox and residential treatment, the drugs are out of your system and you will have had time to reflect and recover. You then may wonder, “Who am I beyond my addiction?” 

For a successful rehabilitation, you must work hard to reclaim your identity. The challenge is to begin your journey of self-discovery. Once you take a step towards self-discovery, it can even help you recover from addiction.

What Is Identity?  

Identity can be defined as experiences, memories, relationships, and values that shape your sense of self. Family, friends, classmates, and experiences shape identity. Identity encompasses numerous elements, including appearance, preferences, relationships, culture, abilities, and skills. All of these factors influence your sense of self.

How Can I Find My Identity After Addiction?

After addiction treatment, you may struggle to figure out who you are. You may feel bewildered and even humiliated during this stage. What has defined you, how you spend your time (and money), and who you associated with lately all may have related to addiction and substance use.

You should not be humiliated, but you should acknowledge your feelings. Recognizing these feelings is a start. Then you need to connect with yourself, discover your motivations, and decide what you want to become. Allow yourself time and space to redefine yourself.

Many recovering addicts find refuge in yoga and mindfulness practices like meditation. Join a jogging group, a gym, a boxing club, or a yoga and meditation group in your neighborhood. Find others who share your passion and can help you develop it.

You could resume hobbies and interests you abandoned due to addiction. Maybe you liked to sing. Learn to sing again, if you wish. Sing with your guitar-playing pal. 

Maybe you used to read a lot. Join a local book club or acquire a library card to get out of the house and locate a safe place to read. 

Perhaps you have always adored pets. Adopt a shelter pet or volunteer. 

Maybe you enjoyed nature. Hike. Go camping or rock climbing. Find what you enjoy doing, and do it.  

Consider Your New Identity as a Result of Your Recovery

There are numerous options and paths to take. One benefit of sobriety is the ability to reclaim your identity. When you ponder what you lost in your addiction, it may seem difficult and bring up a range of feelings, but make sure you always redirect your thoughts back to what you will gain post-recovery. That is the key to reclaiming your identity after a period of addiction.

Rediscovering your identity post-addiction is not an easy task. You need to lay emphasis on self-care and acknowledge your feelings. At Avalon Malibu, we utilize experiential methodologies, expressive arts, and research-based psychotherapies, for your treatment. Call us at (844) 857-5992.

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