One thing about recovery I find really rewarding—and sometimes overwhelming—is the fact that I can show up. When we’re in active addiction, that’s really difficult to do. We are too caught up in cycles of craving and use, and not able to be present or make intentional decisions.
When we get sober, we can take real responsibility for our actions. This can be scary—it means we are in charge of our own lives and decisions, which is a big task. But it allows us to be a better friend, partner, child, parent, and person to those in our lives. It means we can take pride in our choices, because we really chose them.
One way you can practice showing up is by actively listening. Pay close attention to what the people you care about say. In recovery, I’ve tried to make up for the fact that I couldn’t be there for people during active addiction; one way I’ve done this is by remembering things my friends and family tell me are happening in their lives, and reaching out about those things. Checking in with your friends and family regularly is also a way of showing up.
Therapy, journaling, meditation, and other ways of building self-awareness also help you take charge of your life. You can’t take responsibility for your feelings, thoughts, and actions if you aren’t cognizant of them. Self-awareness is really important for recovery, but it’s not a fixed point—you can always be working toward it throughout your recovery and life.
Being of service is another great way of showing up. It allows you to be there for people in a really direct way, and helps you feel connected to a larger purpose. We’ve listed some ways to be of service from afar here, if you’re not taking too many risks because of COVID.
Showing up and taking responsibility for your actions is part of being sober—and it’s really worth it. It allows for deeper connections, better self-awareness, and improved quality of life.
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 find healthy ways to cope with stress, so that you can stay sober through whatever life brings. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.