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Searching For Yourself in Sobriety

July 14, 2022

Many people who live in Hollywood may have initially arrived in L.A. looking to find themselves or find an opportunity. This sentiment is embedded in the symbol of the historic Hollywood sign, as this is a place where many come to follow their dreams. However, it can be easy for people to get swept up in the darker undertones of the culture, only to find their true selves masked in substance abuse and mental health issues. 

When an individual decides to take the road to recovery, this process can feel like the person is searching for their true self all over again. However, this time, it can be a healthy new start and the person can approach it with a new perspective. Recovery is a process of finding who you are and who you can be without substances. Although this can feel overwhelming, many facets of recovery can help you find peace through personal development. 

Becoming Self-Aware

When it comes to staying sober, many of us get so caught up in the process that the goal of remaining clean makes us forget to be mindful about who we’ll be in sobriety. Getting sober is only the beginning of the journey and crossing this threshold can be a doorway to a new opportunity to reconnect with yourself and what you want out of life. It is important to remember to be mindful in order to develop a clearer sense of your character, motives, feelings, and desires. Figuring out what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you like and dislike can help you become more self-aware, providing a newfound sense of purpose and meaning in recovery. Being self-aware can also help you become more honest with yourself and sincere with others. The more we begin practicing mindfulness and present-moment awareness, the more confident we can be about living a life that aligns with our truth.

Self-Acceptance

Once we have a better understanding of who we are in recovery, truly accepting our truth is essential. Self-acceptance means you recognize and embrace yourself despite quirks, deficiencies, and past behaviors and choices. Moving forward and living authentically means that you can realize the wounds you have and the mistakes you have made, accepting both your strengths and flaws as valuable parts of who you are. It is also critical when we come to accept ourselves, not to compare ourselves with other people. Everybody is at a different stage in life, and to compare your chapter 5 with someone else’s chapter 15 can potentially cause you to doubt yourself. We are all unique beings who are in the process of growing. 

Accepting past mistakes and understanding the immense effort recovery has taken shows you are strong and capable. This means you are able to acknowledge past harmful habits and give yourself a chance at changing them for the better. Asking loved ones who you trust and respect for feedback on your progress post-therapy can also give you a more objective perspective of who you are. Allowing yourself to be who you are with an understanding of how your loved ones see you, can provide you with feedback on whether you’re living authentically to your true self. Mastering this skill of self-acceptance and self-love is also key to emotional freedom. 

Developing Emotional Intelligence

A major component of addiction is that it tends to numb our feelings. By self-medicating with substances, we are attempting to dull difficult emotions rather than work through them. In recovery, this can be a time to develop healthy techniques to work through painful feelings, build better emotional intelligence, and recognize good emotions when they arise. Learning new ways to cope with the discomfort of negative emotions is crucial. Some of these strategies—such as meditating, breathwork, and journaling—can help you process your feelings in a healthy manner. 

Feelings of shame, guilt, and regret may be emotions that rise up in recovery. Having remorse for your decisions can be a difficult thing to process. However, working on building emotional intelligence by finding peace, acceptance, and compassion for yourself may be some of the most significant work you do in recovery. 

Getting to Know Yourself

Spending some time getting to know the “new you” can be the fun part. You may have already learned that no matter where you go, you will be there with yourself. It is crucial that we come to like ourselves. Take this time to play with new thoughts, experiment with new passions, and try new hobbies. Through this process, you can become much more aware of who you are, what you love to do, and what you want to do with the rest of your life.

Once you have done the hard work of getting sober, living in recovery can make you question who you are without substances. This process can be frightening as it can make you feel like you must find yourself all over again. However, this can be an opportunity for making new dreams and finding clarity regarding who you are and what you want. As many people come to Hollywood looking to find these answers, they may come to find that the answers were within themselves the whole time. During recovery, having a place that understands who you are can help you to become more confident in sobriety. Located in the Hollywood Hills, Alta Centers provides premier treatment to those who want to continue following their goals, dreams, and aspirations as they develop who they are in a substance-free environment. If you or a loved one is seeking help for mental health or substance-related issues, call (888) 202-2583.