Throughout the process of recovery, we undergo profound changes. We learn more about who we are, we reinvent ourselves, and we create a life that’s more fitting to what we want. In many cases, this involves a change in social networks.
The people we once abused substances with simply no longer fit into our life anymore and new connections take hold. Life begins to shift towards a recovery/sobriety perspective, and this changes everything. Even if it’s a significant change, it’s something that you should embrace, not fear.
Exploring a Change
It’s scary sometimes to think about a significant change – and even the act of pursuing addiction recovery can seem quite radical at first. Everything that we’ve come to know and get comfortable with, no matter how unhealthy these habits may be, is suddenly ceasing to exist.
We have to change our thought and behavior patterns for the better. In some instances, it’s exciting because we can see ourselves really taking hold of sobriety. However, the thrill of this newness can wear off, and we may begin to fear what’s to come.
Remind yourself of the benefits and the wonderful aspects of healing that can arise if you open your mind, body, and soul. Stability, peace, and happiness are right around the corner – but it takes consistent effort in recovery to get there.
Recovery is often considered to be some sort of mystical end game – a stage where a person no longer has problems and is completely worry-free. Just as for anyone in life, there will be significant changes – changes that feel uncomfortable at times. When these “growing pains” occur, it’s going to require a lot of strength and resilience to push through the ups and downs. In fact, it’s the trials and tribulations one faces in recovery that makes them stronger – and that’s why change isn’t all that bad.
Identity Seeking: A Common Experience
Previous studies have found that self-identity is a common theme explored for those in addiction recovery. Some people discover themselves through support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, while others find great insights through prayer and/or meditation.
Still, others find solace in speaking with their therapist about some of the deepest, darkest corners of their mind. Nonetheless, it’s common for those in addiction recovery to experiences many changes, such as:
- A sensation of being able to “restore” one’s previously positive identity – the one that was there before addiction took over
- Greater strength and love in building community through 12-Step programs
- Enhanced resilience after the first month of sobriety, which is often the hardest
- Changing from a personal perspective of being an “addict” to a “person in recovery” – which is much more freeing, holistic and compassionate
With that being said, if you’re currently pursuing a path of recovery or you have a loved one who is – know that it’s an entirely normal process filled with ups and downs.
The Healing Process
It’s a fantastic feeling to become stronger and more resilient – but it’s all taken day by day. Sure, substances can leave a person feeling “happy” and “high” for a set period. Still, nothing can compare to how wonderful a person can feel when they’ve been properly working on their mental, physical, and spiritual health. Part of this is because:
- Maintaining a life of sobriety means clearing out all that negativity that’s weighed us down before
- Becoming more grateful for the people, places, and things that bring us joy
- Getting more involved in what makes us happy and lifts us up
- Realizing that our identity is more about how we feel than anything else
Often, these aspects of identity and healing are hard to grasp because we want to quickly pinpoint who we are and where we’re at in life. As human beings, we crave the labels that come with us throughout life. Labels like “brother,” “sister,” “businessman,” or “hairdresser” have made it easier for us to identify who we are and what our place in the world is.
However, what comes with recovery is this stripped-down version of labels, which forces us to focus on strictly ourselves as human beings. Without all of the extra “fluff” that could shape us, we begin to think about what our beliefs, attitudes, and values are. The reality is that we’re all going to make mistakes, but the mistakes of our past don’t have to weigh us down.
Beginning the process of recovery is a dramatic and challenging change for anybody. Uncertainty, doubt, and fear can plague us every step of the way if we’re not properly supported throughout the process. This anxiety and stress is exactly what we aim to relieve here at Rancho Milagro Recovery. No matter where you’re at in the process of recovery, you’ll never have to do it alone. In fact, you can dive into the most challenging experience of your life while surrounded by experienced therapists and 24/7 staff on a picturesque ranch in California. You’ll get to experience the benefits of animal therapy, group therapy, yoga, and art therapy, in addition to an active alumni community. Stay connected from the very first step of your recovery journey to the last – we’ll be with you the whole way. If you’re looking to make a change and get sober, give us a call today at (951) 526-4582.