Recovery from addiction is about more than getting sober or clean. Recovery is about understanding the root causes of the addictions. Stopping the addictive behaviors is an important step to recovery, however, this is not enough to lead a happy and healthy life. When you do not look into the deeper causes of your addiction, you may miss out on all that recovery has to offer you. Addiction is a temporary solution to deeper problems. Addiction fills the void of the real issue: a lack of connection. If addiction is the opposite of connection, then you may need to strengthen your connections to recovery.
Building healthy connections is valuable to those in recovery. Each person in recovery experiences this void in different ways. Feeling a lack of connection can occur in many different areas of your life. You may feel a lack of connection to your family, friends, your emotions, your work, or multiple areas of your life. Where are you feeling a genuine lack of connection? Do you feel a strong bond with those important to you or do you have superficial relationships? Are you open about your emotions or do you close them off from others? Have you become so closed off to others that you do not even understand your own inner life?
Recovery Starts From Within
Recovery involves looking inside yourself and finding what is missing. You have to be honest with yourself. You may have grown up in an environment, where being vulnerable or sharing emotions was considered a weakness. You may have learned to shut yourself off entirely from others and never learned how to build meaningful connections. You may have learned early on that life is hard for everyone and felt guilty about speaking up about your needs. You may have even begun to feel bad about having any feelings or needs at all–shutting yourself off from others and denying any feelings for yourself. Now that you are in recovery, the healing process starts with you being open and honest with yourself.
Being Honest With Yourself: The First Step to Connection
Being honest with yourself is one of the first steps to building healthy connections with others and the world around you. If you are not honest with yourself and how you feel about things, how else can you understand what you want or need from others? You would struggle to maintain healthy boundaries with others if you are unaware of–or in denial of–your feelings and desires. You may also be in recovery due to outside circumstances that have seemingly “forced” you into recovery, like being arrested or an ultimatum from your spouse. When confronting the consequences of your addictions, you may need to look inside yourself to find what is important to you to continue in recovery. Being honest with yourself can be challenging and take some work. Like any other skill, you can learn to get in touch with your feelings and inner self. Take some time to ask yourself questions, like:
- Why is recovery important to you?
- When did you notice that you were losing control? Did someone else need to point this out to you?
- When was the last time you felt happy without alcohol or other substances?
- What is your biggest regret?
- What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
- Who inspires you?
- What does your ideal day look like from the time you wake until you go to bed?
- What are you most afraid of?
- How do you feel you look to your loved ones?
- If you had all the money you ever needed for the rest of your life, what would you do?
- What are your favorite things to do?
- Do you love yourself? Why or why not?
- If your childhood self could see you today, would they be happy with who you are? Why or why not?
- If you could go back five years, what advice would you give yourself?
- What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your life? Are you living them now?
- If not, what is holding you back from living your best life?
By asking yourself questions like these, you can begin to restore the connection you have with yourself. Once you begin to understand more about yourself, you can begin to build stronger connections with your loved ones and the world around you. As you answer these questions, be honest and accept any painful feelings you may have throughout the process. You can only heal by experiencing your emotions. Holding them back or protecting yourself from pain, regret, or rejection may be holding you back from living your life the way you dreamed.
The connections that we have with others and with the world around us can determine our overall quality of life. By building strong connections with the things that we do and the people that we love, we can enhance our lives and feel more engaged in life. When we lack a connection to our inner-selves, we may struggle to connect with others. We may not know what we truly want or need. We may not know when we need help or even recognize if we need help. During recovery, you may need to take time to rediscover yourself. You may need to look deeply within yourself and face harsh truths about your self-perception. Everlast Recovery Centers can help you learn more about yourself and your place in the world. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25 to learn more about our recovery programs.