Addiction causes us to lose touch with ourselves. Our ideas, emotions, and attitudes become controlled by our insatiable desire for the next drink or drug. Eventually, we come to a point where we feel as though we are inseparable from our addiction; that addiction is our identity. One of the great joys of sobriety is being able to finally get back in touch with our inner self and recognize who we are when we are not controlled by addiction.
There is great danger in identifying ourselves by our addiction. We are more than that. Suffering from a disease does not mean we are the disease. Meghan Ralston of the Drug Policy Alliance explains in a 2013 Huffington Post article, entitled I’m Breaking Up with the Word ‘Addict’ and I Hope You’ll Do the Same, “I may be in the fight of my life with drugs, but I am not the drugs that I take. I am a fighter, a survivor — I am never merely ‘an addict.’ Please do not destroy the totality of who I am by reducing me to that one word. We retain our full humanity despite our challenges, particularly when our challenges are much deeper than our attention-grabbing drug use might suggest.” Falling into the traps of self-identification with addiction makes us prey to misery and hopelessness. We may suffer from a disease of the mind, body, and spirit, but we are much more than our affliction.
Eckhart Tolle, in his book Stillness Speaks, explains, “When you know who you truly are, there is an abiding alive sense of peace. You could call it joy because that’s what joy is: vibrantly alive peace. It is the joy of knowing yourself as the very life essence before life takes on form. That is the joy of Being—of being who you truly are.” When we begin the journey of recovery, we are engaging in a process of self-discovery. We are finally able to see ourselves and the world around unclouded by the fog of addiction. It is a wonderful time for us because we are able to explore our true desires, wants, and needs. We may even be surprised by what we find.
Your life doesn’t have to be defined by addiction or alcoholism. You can begin the rewarding journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth in recovery by making the decision to seek help now. The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers highly effective holistic care that is individualized, non-institutional, and cost-effective. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 762-3707