Understanding Yourself in Recovery

The great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, “The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.” When we enter into recovery, we often felt disconnected from ourselves for quite some time. We don’t know what truly makes us feel happiness aside from intoxication, nor do we know what makes us unhappy.
Recovery is about more than just no longer drinking alcohol or using drugs– it is a thorough and rewarding process of coming to understand facts about ourselves that we may have previously ignored or dismissed. Our experiences helped shape us into the people we are today. Many of us had extremely negative and painful experiences during our time in active addiction. As a result, we built up walls around ourselves to keep others out and we began playing a character that we thought others wanted to see.
The main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, referred to as the “Big Book”, explains, “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see.” We want others to see a certain image of who we are, without allowing them to experience who we truly are on the inside. In this manner, we begin to lose touch with ourselves and others. The illusion we present become so deeply ingrained in us that we begin to believe our own deception and lose ourselves in the process.
In recovery, we are finally able to tear down the walls that we have built and begin re-examining the narrative we have constructed for ourselves. The disparity between who we are and who we present to others begins to lessen, and we find a news sense of comfort with ourselves that we could never have previously imagined. We no longer have to live with the constant tension between our true self and the character that we play in front of others. We may even find certain new likes and dislikes that we were never ever aware of. As the Chinese philosopher  Lao Tzu once said, “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”

Your story doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering as a result of addiction. You can make the brave decision to seek help now and begin building a happy, joyous, and free life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a substance use disorder and dual diagnosis treatment center in the heart of Laguna Beach, utilizes a multifaceted approach led by a diverse clinical team to support clients’ self efficacy, autonomy, and self awareness in recovery. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777