Finding yourself in sobriety is something you should work on every day. Knowing yourself can help you avoid stress and possible relapse.
When I was in the deepest part of my alcohol addiction, I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. I hated who I saw and the person I had become. It wasn’t just that I had become tired or that my skin was starting to show the effects of alcohol abuse. It was more about the fact that I had drifted so far away from this “Amazon Warrior” I had always strived to be. I could no longer look in the mirror and say, “Jeanna, you can make a difference.”
In the deepest part of my alcoholism, I had lost the will to fight for the things I believed in my heart were right. In fact, I had become so detached from my values that I no longer had a clear understanding of my right from my wrong. I was a,
- teacher who left teaching behind.
- mother who chose to drink instead of attending her daughter’s award event.
- daughter who hid from her parents, so they wouldn’t know how much I drank.
- law-abiding citizen who had been arrested for public intoxication. TWICE!
In the deepest part of my alcoholism, I had forgotten who I was.
What Does Knowing Your Real Self Mean?
To be honest, I had forgotten who I was long before I even started drinking. As a kid, I had dreamt of traveling the world, doing important work, and being an amazing drop-in aunt. My favorite Brady Bunch episode was the one where Mrs. Brady’s sister flew in and gave special attention to Jan. That’s who I wanted to be.
I don’t recall as a kid ever planning a fairy tale wedding. Still, at my wedding, I wore a pearl-embellished white dress with a 15-foot train, sent out 250 invitations, and had 7 bride’s maids. That wasn’t my wedding. I wanted a white summer sundress in the woods with a few of our closest friends. Instead, I caved to other people’s expectations.
That’s how my life went until I started drinking. That’s when things really started shaking up, but I still didn’t know who I was. If you have ever heard me say, “you have to uncreate before you can recreate,” demolishing my life with alcohol so I can start again from scratch is what that’s about.
Finding Yourself in Sobriety for Easy Recovery
Finding yourself in sobriety and knowing what you stand for makes life so much easier. Living in your true self means that you no longer have to second guess your decisions or ask for permission to do something. Instead, you instinctively know what you need to do, and you do it.
Making a decision becomes second nature, taking stress and anxiety out of your way. It also means you don’t have to cave into doing things that you don’t enjoy. This doesn’t mean you won’t from time to time. In fact, sometimes we have to try activities that don’t appeal to us at first in order to discover what does appeal to us. It does mean, however, that if you have a friend who likes to party but you know that you need to be alert in the morning for your children because you value family time, saying no to the friend becomes a lot easier.
If you have ever held a drink in your hand and felt the push and pull of your brain telling you that you want and don’t want to drink at the same time, knowing your true self will take that ambiguity away from you. I’m not saying it will be easy to put the drink down. In fact, many researchers believe that addiction cravings are very real. I am saying that it made it a whole lot easier for me because I knew that I couldn’t be the person I wanted to be while I was drinking. And I wanted to be that person much more than I wanted to be drunk. Knowing my true self simply made alcohol, not an option.
How to Find Your True Self
As mentioned, I had to uncreate my life in order to recreate it into one I wanted to live, one that represented me. Alcohol helped me do that. It was this bittersweet gift that took everything I had built away from me and gave me in return a clean slate where I could start all over again.
Just doing that by itself didn’t answer the question, “Who am I?” though. I still had a lot of work to do.
If you look in the mirror and realize you don’t know who you are or that you don’t like the person you have become, you may be feeling a bit dismayed. Don’t worry though. With time and patience, you can begin finding yourself in sobriety. Start with these 3 activities.
1. Write about things that come second nature to you, that you enjoyed as a child, or that you have wanted to try but never gave yourself permission to.
2. Make a list of things that you have accomplished that gave you energy and that you were proud of.
3. On a piece of paper, draw a circle inside of a circle. Then on another piece of paper, make a list of people you know. Starting at the top of the list, identify the things you like and don’t like about those people. Put attributes you really like in the inner circle and attributes you sort of like in the outer circle. Everything else goes outside the circles. Your true self lies in the core of those circles.
What You Can Discover
Here’s what I came up with.
- As a child, I loved to play school, and my favorite role was that of the teacher.
- I felt most alive when I was teaching and motivating others to be who they wanted to be and do what they really wanted to do. It excited me when their light bulbs lit up, not about the subject matter (English) but about themselves. I felt especially inspired when they learned that they could even though they were previously certain they couldn’t
- My values are personal growth, authenticity, and giving grace.
Today, every decision I make leads me back to being the person I want to be. When I ask myself, “will drinking alcohol help me be that person?” the answer is always no.
By finding yourself in sobriety, you will know how to make decisions that don’t come with stress or the afterburn of regret. Instead, you will be able to look yourself in the mirror with confidence and proudly say, “I am who I was meant to be.”
When I look back at the reasons I drank, I get two answers. The first is something like I wanted to let loose or I didn’t like how I felt. I also get a deeper answer: You didn’t know how to live in your own skin because you didn’t know who you were. Instead, you became the person you saw in the mirror.
I didn’t like that person very much.
Finding yourself in sobriety isn’t an easy task. You have to push back at the voices in your head that say,
- You aren’t enough.
- This is all there is for you.
- You aren’t worthy.
You have to be courageous enough to dig deep into your soul to see how amazing you are no matter how loud the negative voices yell back at you.
When you do, though, you will discover that your confidence and self-esteem increase and making decisions become much easier. The best part is that by finding yourself in sobriety, you also find the motivation you need to make recovery from alcohol and drugs a possibility.
Get Help Finding Yourself in Sobriety
Do you need help finding yourself in sobriety? If so, Now Sober might be the program you need.
For me, getting sober was less about not drinking and more about healing from my past. It was about cleaning up my negative thinking, discovering who I was meant to be, and knowing I was worthy of living an amazing life. If you would like to more about how Now Sober can help you to find yourself in sobriety, contact us today.