In recovery and mental health circles, the terms “self-discovery” and “finding yourself” are often used. Understanding these terms may help our perspective on what our goals are. Self-discovery is the process of learning more about ourselves through various methods.
Things we learn can vary from our needs and motives to our character and potential. The idea of learning about ourselves may seem silly to some people because we are the only ones experiencing our lives and living inside our bodies. Surely we know ourselves better than anyone else, right? What could we possibly learn about ourselves that we do not already know?
The human mind is something that even science has yet to understand fully, and there are mechanisms within that allow us to function correctly. For example, trauma is something that negatively affects our lives yet can go unnoticed for years. At times, our brains may even block out traumatic memories entirely as a survival mechanism.
Looking within ourselves can reveal trauma from years before and bring it to the surface. Although this may sound negative, looking within to heal past trauma can be a powerful tool in our life journey. Also, not all things we find will be unpleasant. Looking at our feelings or past may reveal that we are stronger than we thought, and we should be giving ourselves more credit for the person we have become.
Finding Ourselves During Treatment
Beginning addiction treatment is the start of a new journey. It can be an important time of personal growth, new experiences, and challenges. Whether it is your first time or not, treatment may lead to self-discovery. F
or many people, a treatment center may be the first place they receive mental health therapy. People often use substances to cope with trauma in life or to deal with negative emotions. Therapy can help us understand ourselves better and allow us to answer some critical questions. Here are some examples:
#1. What am I using substances to deal with? Answers to this question may include trauma, mood disorders, and strong negative emotions such as shame or guilt, among others.
#2. What is addiction stopping me from achieving? Substance use disorder often prevents us from reaching goals that are important to us, which can cause our mental health to worsen.
#3. What kind of person could I become while sober? Many people report feeling like a much different person after becoming sober. Although changes can be scary, sometimes they allow us to become someone we can rely on and be proud of. In time, we can even become a person others also depend on.
We can learn many other things about ourselves during our growth process, but these are some places to start. Treatment is an essential step in our lives and can lead to some life-changing and possibly life-saving modifications. Speaking with a mental health professional could lead to a better understanding of ourselves, regardless if we are struggling with addiction or not.
Self-Discovery During Recovery
The self-discovery process does not end when treatment finishes. Often it is just the beginning. While in recovery, we should be proud of ourselves for completing treatment and take our new life changes at a healthy pace. During this time, it may be valuable to continue therapy to understand further who we are and who we would like to become.
One important thing to keep in mind is that we define who we become through our actions and words. No matter who we used to be in our past, we can change for the better. If we set goals for ourselves and work diligently, we can improve our mental and physical health.
Learning who we are can also mean learning our potential for the future, and we are often far more robust than we think. Continuing therapy, practicing mindfulness, and picking up holistic activities can keep us on a positive path forward and aid in finding ourselves. Just like during treatment, having some questions to answer may help us towards self-discovery. These questions may be helpful to discuss in therapy. Here are a few:
#1. If I keep up the good work, what could my life look like five years from now? Imagining possibilities of the future can help us set goals that can positively impact our lives. Doing it from time to time can help us guide our path through life.
#2. What are aspects of myself that no longer serve me? After making positive changes, we can often notice behaviors, personality traits, or parts of life that no longer benefit us and may hold us back. It can be helpful to assess them to see what we can change.
#3. What accomplishments are within reach and would make us proud? While setting goals, it is helpful to try to start small and set ones we know we can reach. Even achieving seemingly small goals can help us build momentum and lead us toward making impactful life changes. Achieving goals that make us proud is when we start to change from who we are into who we would like to become.
Self-discovery is a vital part of our growing process in life. This is especially true for those of us in either recovery or treatment. While experiencing significant changes, we often look within and think about who we are. That image may change drastically over time, so checking in on it is valuable. Seeking addiction treatment can often be a difficult step, and that’s why it is crucial to put your trust in the right hands. If you or a loved one is looking for treatment, Everlast Recovery Centers is here for you. Our caring and professional staff is ready to treat both addiction and related mental health issues, meaning you can begin your healing process for both your body and mind. We offer various therapies and treatment plans tailored to fit your specific needs and goals. To learn more about what we can do for you, call us today at (866) 338-6925.