Self-awareness is an important part of recovery. Learning about both what triggers and what centers you can help you make healthy choices for yourself. Self-awareness also helps all your relationships with other people, improving quality of life and increasing your motivation to stay sober.
Reconnecting to Yourself After Active Addiction
It can seem like self-awareness is a given; you are in your head, so you know what you’re thinking and feeling. But I’ve found that self-awareness needs to be built—especially when you spent years in active addiction cutting yourself off from your thoughts, feelings, and needs.
Tips for Working on Self-Awareness
There are a lot of ways to do this building, and they’ll look different for everyone. Some of the ways I’ve worked on self-awareness are through going to therapy, meditating, trying new hobbies, journaling, and thoughtfully connecting with others.
By thoughtfully connecting, I mean that I really pay attention to how I show up in relationship to others. Our relationships can be a mirror, and they are a big part of how we move through the world. People close to us can also give us feedback that we may not be able to give ourselves. Paying attention to patterns in different types of relationships in our lives—and how we express big feelings like love or anger—gives us huge insight into ourselves.
Things like therapy, journaling, and meditating can all help us process those insights. A therapist can point out patterns if we aren’t noticing them ourselves; it’s hard to be objective about yourself, which is why self-awareness takes time and practice. Meditation is about sitting with thoughts and feelings, which can help us learn more about them. Journaling is useful because sometimes writing things down helps us become aware of thoughts or feelings we didn’t notice.
The Importance of Self-Awareness
Spending time learning about ourselves can seem like a self-centered pursuit. However, it’s really crucial for improving relationships. It helps us show up in a healthier way, where we aren’t unknowingly bringing our own issues into a given relationship. It helps us pause and recognize when something we’re experiencing is internal rather than caused by someone else. It also is important for understanding our own boundaries, so we can set them and we don’t become resentful for reasons we don’t understand.
Becoming self-aware takes time and practice, and isn’t a linear process. As long as you’re working towards it, you’re moving in the right direction. Recovery allows us the incredible opportunity to do this, which can only make life better.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build self-awareness so you can thrive sober. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.