Recognizing Your Uniqueness in Substance Addiction Recovery

Apr 25, 2022

Imagine the world if everyone was the same. The idea that no one is different from another seems outlandish. What would happen to the artists, athletes, academics, or skilled tradespeople? The thought of everyone having the same strengths and weaknesses is unthinkable. Your unique skills set you apart from others, just like your recovery does.

Your Uniqueness

Ask yourself if you would talk to a friend in the same way you speak to yourself. Would you try to deny what makes them unique? If not, then why would you deny your gifts? Learn to become comfortable with your inner self. Once you do, you can reduce your stress, unleash your creativity, and worry less about what others think of you.

Too often, people get caught up in their perceived vision of themselves. As a result, they overlook their accomplishments and personality traits that help propel them toward their future. 

You can find what makes you unique when assessing who you think you are and what you think others see. Once you have completed this assessment, sit down with friends and family to ask them the same questions you asked yourself. Compare the answers and incorporate their positive words into your conversations with yourself.

People see your good deeds, commitment to your goals, and potential. Your differences are an integral part of a whole, personally and socially. 

Your Environment

Who or what you surround yourself with impacts your mental and physical health. Surrounding yourself with people who share an interest in their sobriety can enable you to maintain and strengthen your commitment to recovery. Relating to those in your support system is helpful because you can find strength in a community. Most people seek comfort in groups that share interests similar to their own. It’s okay to want to be with others and share experiences – socializing can help your recovery. 

Healthy relationships or environments can foster your sense of self and belonging. Therefore, a relationship or support group that encourages your growth and helps you work toward a healthier self is what you should seek.

Researchers continue to study how positive social interactions affect your brain. What many have found is when you have a meaningful connection with someone or a group in recovery, you can boost your commitment to sobriety. In addition, being in contact with sober friends decreases your urge to drink or use a substance. 

Each person in a group or relationship brings something different. Your unique characteristic builds the dynamics that keep you involved with others. 

Your Recovery

You aren’t the same as your friend, companion, or recovery group peer. What makes you who you are is also what defines your recovery. For this reason, you should step back and see yourself for the strong, remarkable person others see. The differences you hold within yourself flow into how you face your recovery process. While you can go to 12-Step meetings, participate in alumni groups, and nurture your spirituality like those around you, remember: you’re not them. Regardless of the similarities you share with others – including their past, present, and/or relationships – all individuals need to remain true to themselves. 

Discovering your true self can occur while you’re in substance addiction treatment. Because the layers of guilt, embarrassment, or shame can slowly disappear, you can start to associate your unhealthy behaviors with your mental health or substance addiction. These behaviors don’t define you. They were a symptom of your depression, anxiety, or pain from past trauma. Your recovery and the values you rediscover are what will push you to be authentic.

A benefit to attending alumni or 12-Step groups is your peers will support and encourage your metamorphosis. In addition, they can help you celebrate your differences. 

Your Spirituality

In ancient Greece, spirituality was considered therapy for what was broken or caused pain. Likewise, today’s spirituality fits with the idea that those in pain or broken seek relief in something greater than themselves. 

The founder of Alcoholic Anonymous, Bill W., wrote that those who have spirituality don’t know it and those who think they have it, don’t. Think of spirituality as something you constantly learn about. Once you stop learning, you stop growing and can lose faith. 

Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, believed psychological suffering and the challenges in coping with suffering, including emotional and behavioral dysfunction, are the heart of addiction. His belief also says that treatment for substance addiction isn’t complete until one understands how alcohol and drugs affect and compel a person to use them. This is important because being aware of the role substances have in pain and suffering is essential to helping a person with an addiction. One way to address pain and suffering is through spirituality.

Regardless of how you define spirituality, consider how your spirituality connects you with something greater than yourself. Maybe you find spirituality in a hike in the mountains, being creative, or in church. Spirituality is what brings you closer to loved ones and those who support your recovery.

Your uniqueness lies in how you think, feel, and react to others. Don’t discount your strengths or suppress your personality. Let go of perceived faults or worry about what others think of you. Instead, learn to embrace your authentic self. You connect your mind, body, and spirit when you do, allowing yourself to heal and grow. As you embrace your differences, you can find your place in a community of like-minded people. While there, you can explore your spirituality and connection to something higher than yourself. The therapists at Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers encourage you to explore and discover what connects you to your recovery. Our faith-based program includes opportunities to participate in group, individual, and family therapy. In addition, you’re encouraged to participate in holistic therapies that can replace harmful habits and increase your coping skills. At Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers, you can find lifelong care. To find out more, call (801) 308-8898 today.