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Remembering Who We Were Before the Addiction

Addiction is so powerful that it can take over your life in drastic and devastating ways. Not only does addiction wreak havoc on your daily life, your health, work, relationships, goals and dreams, it can psychologically manipulate you and convince you that you are worthless and that your life is little more than the pain and regrets of your addiction. You might feel like the addiction has completely taken over your life, and that your mistakes and wrongdoings define you as a person. You are no longer the complex human being you once were, full of potential and possibility. You are reduced to being merely a user, and your life story is reduced to the history of your addiction, how it began, and how it took over your life. You are little more than the mistakes and wrongdoings you have come to identify yourself with. Your soul and spirit lose their vital connection to one another. Your motivation in life has become how to get high, how to numb the pain, how to score your drug of choice. You prioritize your addiction over pretty much everything else in your life, and it becomes all-consuming.

But as we are struggling to extricate ourselves from these self-destructive patterns, we could begin to tell ourselves a new set of truths: that our addiction is one chapter in our lives but not the whole story, that living through our pain strengthens us and empowers us to choose a better life for ourselves, and that we are far more than the drugs or behaviors we feel so ashamed of. Rather than continuing to dwell in our shame and regret, we could choose instead to tell ourselves things like “I’m proud of you for fighting to stay alive. This pain will be over soon.” When we are feeling scared, vulnerable or weak, we can affirm “You are brave, strong and powerful. I believe in you.”

What did you love to do as a child? Before you started using. Before your addictive behaviors set in. If you loved to write, you are a writer. Start a journal, take a class, or start songwriting. If you loved to swim, find a community pool or a nearby pond or beach. There is an infinite abundance of resources and opportunities, both online and off, to help you explore any new hobby, interest, skill or healing tool you want to develop. Our life story does not need to end with our addiction. Addiction fools us into thinking that we are merely addicts, and that our lives have been reduced to our addiction story. But if we try, we can remember who we were before the mess. We can take steps to reunite with that person, to reemerge as the person we always had the potential to be.

We listen, and we understand. Many of us have personal experience with recovery. Enlightened Solutions offers therapy, mentoring, and friendship. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.

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