Evolution of Self in Recovery

My HipstaPrint 4[2]I like the idea that we evolve as a person, and that there is no way to divorce or ignore any part of our past, present, or future.  I like that we build on our strengths from the past and learn from our weaknesses.

I consider the before recovery (BR) and after recovery (AR) time periods as quite different.  BR is marked by a dwelling in the problem, numbing myself with alcohol and other drugs so that I could simply exist, but not really live.  Since the first day, AR has been a solution oriented existence where I am strive for accountability in my actions and to live life on life’s terms to the fullest extent possible.  Yet the BR is not a period with no merit and only misery.  Nor is the AR a period of only bliss.  Rather, I see the distinction between the two periods as one of direction or orientation – something as simple as the glass being half empty (BR) vs. half full (AR).

Importantly, the BR and AR periods work with the same basic materials of self.  I find that in both periods, many of my interests, beliefs, avocations, pleasures, are similar.  A clear distinction is in the BR period so much of my existence was a matter of potential and in the AR period actualizing that potential.

For a bunch of years now I have said and firmly believe that if everything I have ever done and every breath I have ever taken has gotten me to right where I am today, I would not change a thing.  I realize that is a rather self-indulgent statement, and does not account for the trail of destruction I left while actively practicing my addictions, and I still do leave today but to a lesser extent.  Recovery is a matter of progress and not perfection after all.  I have a choice today of living into my experience, strength, and hope, or not, as I continue to build on my past self into my future self through my present day life.

6 thoughts on “Evolution of Self in Recovery

  1. BR I responded to everything as if it was about me. It is embarrassing to write that, but it is true.
    AR I can recognize what is mine to own and what isn’t.

    This change in focus has been monumental.

    • I agree that it can be quite embarrassing to realize how self-centered and “self will run riot” the BR period can be – and certainly was for me. But having the knowledge of that fact and the ability to make the choice to change focus is an absolutely incredible gift.

      thanks for sharing

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