For the recovering addict, particularly those who dealt with addiction for long periods of time, it can be hard to determine your place in life following rehab. For an addict in the thrall of addiction, that addiction quickly becomes the bedrock of their identity, meaning they can become unsure of who they are separate from their addiction.
So, once they’re out of treatment and in longer-term recovery, the former addict finds themselves discovering a new identity for themselves as they are forced to ask themselves, “Who am I after recovery?”
Addiction can subsume everything in a person’s life, including their personality and sense of identity if allowed to go on for long enough. The addict will find their interests dwindling as they focus on little more than feeding their addiction until the cheerful guy with the woodworking hobby is little more than a sullen victim whose only occupation is doing whatever they can to score another hit.
This can especially be true of those who stumble into addiction early before they even had a chance to fully establish their identity. People in their 20s can agonize over the question of who they are when their biggest challenge is simply leaving the cocoon of school and family. The question can be much harder for someone who is trying to leave behind addiction after it formed the bedrock of their existence through what is meant to be their most formative years.
This can leave the recovering addict feeling adrift, lost without bearings as they try and determine the sort of person they are when addiction isn’t at the center of their life anymore.
There’s no easy answer to the question of who they are, either. For those who had a strong identity before addiction, they can strive to reconnect with that person they used to be: try to establish an interest in old hobbies or interests, reach out to old friends and to their loved ones and become who they were meant to be before addiction intervened.
For those without that foundation, however, it can be especially difficult to discover their post-addiction identity. Any old interests they managed to maintain in the throes of addiction may not be ones they can pursue now if they only trigger cravings once more. This type of recovering addict may have to try and build an entirely new identity for themselves from scratch.
They don’t have to do it alone, though. Friends and family may be there to help. No one is entirely without some sort of foundation to who they are, no matter how consuming their old addiction was.
And they’ll be working on this through treatment, with help from professionals at a rehab facility such as Good Landing Recovery, which can help the recovering addict begin to lay a new foundation down for who they want to be, built on the bedrock of themselves rather than on the unstable chaos of addiction.
Discovering a new identity in the wake of addiction can be one of the hardest parts of the recovery process, but asking “Who am I after recovery?” is a question that can have a strong answer with hard work and help from the right places.
Give Good Landing a call and let them help you find the answer to that question for yourself.