When I got sober, it was among the first times I invested in myself as an adult. In active addiction, many of us spend a lot of time neglecting self-care and living on instinct. If you’re sober or thinking about entering recovery, you’ve already made a huge self-investment.
While recovery is bolstered by support and community, the work is our own. Doing this work means that we are devoted to a future version of ourselves. We are committed to growing, because we want to see that version of ourselves thrive.
Active Addiction and Neglected Responsibilities
Being in active addiction often makes it hard to take care of our basic needs. Between my own experience in addiction and recovery, and talking to a lot of other sober people, I’ve learned that many of us didn’t keep up with our medical appointments or take care of chronic conditions during active addiction. We didn’t open our mail, or go to the dentist, or get help for co-occurring mental health disorders.
In some cases, there are legitimate barriers to certain things, such as not having insurance or money to pay for doctor’s visits. But in other cases, we’re avoidant in active addiction because we’re stressed and overwhelmed, and not in a place to prioritize ourselves.
As Charlie, who I interviewed for the Sober Stories series, said about what he does for his recovery, “Doing things like going to the doctor regularly. Making sure I’m taking care of myself, because I only ever get tempted to drink when I’m super stressed, and I only get super stressed if I’m not taking care of myself.”
Investing in Yourself is a Healing Process
This is one reason investing in ourselves is so important; it can protect us from feeling burnt out or overwhelmed, which can also protect our sobriety. Investing in ourselves means doing things that keep us physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, because we believe in our future. Active addiction often feels like being stuck in a perpetual, difficult present—but not because you’re able to live in the moment. Because you’re unable to imagine a future.
Like with anything you’re investing in, you want to check in regularly to see how it’s going. This is true for yourself and your recovery. It’s never a bad idea to evaluate your recovery program to see what’s still serving you and what isn’t. Investing in yourself in sobriety means knowing that you will always grow and change.
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 a recovery program that works for you. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.