A large part of addiction recovery is finding a way to express yourself and your interests safely. It can be a journey to redefine someone’s own identity. Finding a way to express oneself involves coming to terms with their interests and time. It can be very easy to isolate during times of recovery, whether due to the notion that nobody could understand the trials or simply not wanting to inhibit others with their issues. Finding a hobby or other means of self-expression is a direct way of defining oneself outside of their past addiction.
Try Different Things
Finding new ways to express oneself is more complicated than it may seem at first. Before someone can begin finding a new hobby, they need to deconstruct several other practices or ill-advised coping mechanisms. It can be challenging to know what hobbies or methods of self-expression will stick with someone. Having a lasting hobby that keeps someone interested for a long time is integral to mitigating the chances of a relapse.
Therefore, keeping an open mind and being willing to experiment with new ideas and activities is an essential part of broadening one’s horizons to the various opportunities available to them.
Clothing and Appearance
Changing one’s appearance is a very personal kind of self-expression. This can take many different forms, but it always serves the same goal. The point of changing one’s appearance is to undergo a very physical, tangible change to symbolize the internal transformation that is taking place internally. Changing your appearance can include a new haircut, trimming facial hair, or letting it grow out.
Clothing can be an expression of colors and ideas, as well. Even sporting a shirt plastered with one’s favorite movie poster is a form of self-expression and something that someone can carry with them everywhere they go. Expressing oneself through clothing involves several factors. Someone must know who they are and how they want to express themselves, and they need the courage to do so in a public way.
Music and Art
There is something compelling about the act of creating something. Assembling a work of art is a personal journey. There is never a “wrong” way to create art or play music. Instead, artistic endeavors are fluid and malleable by nature and provide different ways to achieve this goal of self-expression. Playing music, painting, or even writing stories or poetry are all personal journeys for each person.
It can also be done entirely at one’s leisure and doesn’t constrict itself to any particular time of day or year. Nor do these kinds of creation necessarily need to involve others’ input and actions. Art can be created and experienced all on a personal level without losing its value to the artist.
Cooking is another aspect of creation that goes often overlooked from a therapeutic standpoint. Cooking new dishes gives someone a way to work both with color and flavors to express themselves. This can be done with light servings of vegetables or a hearty and heavily seasoned savory dish. It also presents a way for people to keep a healthy body and mind as they watch their health more carefully.
Cooking is also an inherently social action, as someone rarely cooks for themselves. Instead, it becomes a therapeutic act of service. Learning to express support and love is just as important as receiving it. Cooking provides a service that can act as both a hobby and interest for the person in recovery and a bridge to reestablishing trust among loved ones.
Practicing methods of self-expression is vital in reestablishing one’s own identity. Recovery from an addiction of any kind requires constant change. However, that also opens the doors to many opportunities to find new ways for people to express themselves. Discovering someone’s identity in sobriety is a difficult task. Still, it can be freeing when someone finds a hobby about which they are passionate.
Fashion, music, art, or culinary expressions are just examples of ways people can choose to start themselves anew. Finding a new hobby or means of expression may take some trial-and-error. Still, it is something that makes up the cornerstone of recovery by establishing an identity free of drugs, alcohol, or other addictions.
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Alta Centers was established to help you take that first step to sobriety. Specializing in creating a new, communal environment from detox forward, Alta Centers champions the modern, positive side of sobriety. By establishing a fundamental sense of involvement and personal connection, Alta Centers gives everyone the tools they need to both begin their journeys to sobriety without isolating themselves from the world around them. For more information on the programs offered at Alta Centers, or for inquiries about how treatment would look specifically for you, talk to one of their professionals today at (888) 202-2583.