In my experience, recovery shows you strengths you either didn’t know you had, or weren’t able to carry through on. While becoming more self-aware when you’re sober can show you where you might need to grow, that doesn’t mean fixating on your perceived flaws. Playing to your strengths—and the strengths you’d like to have—can be empowering.
I’ve found that my self-esteem and confidence have improved significantly in recovery. This doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge when I have work to do; in fact, I’m always looking to learn and grow. But I’ve found it much more helpful to lead with my strengths, which I am now more aware of and able to own.
For instance, I know that I am good at holding space for people to share what they’re feeling. When trying to help someone in my life who is struggling with their sobriety (or anything else), this is one way I know I can be supportive.
Mutually supportive friendship is good for my own recovery, and therefore moments like these are important for all parties. I also know I’m intellectually curious, so if someone in my life is going through something, I might learn about it in order to be a better support.
There are many other ways one might support someone in their life who is having a hard time, but they might not play as much to my strengths. Learning who you are in recovery means knowing what you do best and where you struggle.
When certain things are more challenging to you, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt them; it just means you’re more aware of where and why you’re challenged so you can come up with solutions. Focusing on your strengths can also include those you wish you had; you can make goals to practice becoming stronger in those areas.
Many of us come out of active addiction with some guilt or shame about the ways we acted. Recovery is an opportunity to break free from that shame and acknowledge how strong we are.
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 grow in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 833.641.0572.