One of the greatest wounds that come out of addiction is self-harm. There is plenty of destruction to one’s life, not to mention the damage to those around you. But essentially, jobs, relationships, friendships, family bonds, trust, and dreams can get lost. If and when you reach the bottom of your life, which is often a turning point for many men and women to finally get help, there is very little left in one’s life.
However, that’s the thrilling part of recovery – you get to build it all back. You have the wonderful opportunity to heal those relationships, strengthen your skills and get back into the work place, rebuild the trust with yourself and others, and re-ignite the dreams that you possess within. For some, this is precisely what the 12-steps (from Alcoholics Anonymous) are all about. The 12-steps are a means to start with where you are in life now and work your way back to where you once were and beyond. With the right tools and support, you can not only return to where you once were in your life, but you can also go beyond that and reach the dreams you’ve always had.
If you’re not into the 12-steps, perhaps you’re looking for other ways to build your life again. Perhaps you need tools, support, and connections to create the life you want. There are a few different resources to turn to if you want to rebuild your life. As already mentioned, you can explore and use the 12-steps. If you’re a woman, you can try the 13 steps of the New Life Acceptance Program, developed by Women for Sobriety. If you’re interested in a non-spiritual program, you can try the Secular Organizations for Sobriety to find support among those who aren’t using religion and spirituality and still finding sobriety.
No matter the program you find, you might discover that the one thing that they have in common is reconnecting with yourself. Each program, including those not listed here, will likely invite you to do some soul searching, to go inward and ask yourself the following:
- What do I need to change in my life to stay sober or at least moderate my substance use?
- What promises do I need to make for myself?
- Who do I need to become in order to make the changes I want?
- What values do I really want to live by?
- What kind of support do I need in order to live the dreams I have for myself?
No matter the program you choose, the greatest antidote to the wound of self-harm in addiction is connecting with yourself. The greatest remedy to what you might have lost is diving inward and re-establishing a healthy relationship with yourself. And perhaps a quick way to do this is to ask yourself: What or whom am I staying sober for? Perhaps you want to stay sober in order to be the best parent to your children. Perhaps you want to get addiction treatment because you want to excel in your career. Perhaps you want to get the help you need because you want to finally settle down, marry, and have a family. Re-connecting with your dreams and with your innermost self can, in fact, be the greatest medicine in your recovery.
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