For many of us who have made changes in our relationship with drugs and alcohol, this question of who am I sober is a large, often looming one. Many of us have spent years and years deeply entrenched in our addiction. Often as a result of that addiction, so much of our personality, our interests, and just who we are as a person gets pushed to the side. This means that once the substance is no longer part of our lives, this feeling of emptiness can persist. We also have likely (depending on how young we started drinking/using) missed out on many of the important pieces of development that allow us to develop a strong sense of self.
This often leads to us feeling like we are “playing catch up” in recovery when it comes to accomplishing life goals, learning life lessons, building relationships etc. It also for many of us means we are really having to revisit our likes and dislikes, as well as develop new interests and hobbies. This can be difficult and leave us feeling a little lost. So how do we start to begin this process and work to really develop that sense of self as a newly sober person?
Often, a helpful starting point can actually be thinking back to the things we enjoyed before we started drinking and using, even if that means going back to our young childhood. Do you remember enjoying coloring as a kid? Go get an adult coloring book and give it a try! Maybe you were an avid runner prior to addiction struggles? Go on a jog and see how you feel! It doesn’t mean that we will love everything we try, but it is a really good starting point for reconnecting with some interests and hobbies, as well as building that sense of self, and doing that is a huge win for our likelihood of long term recovery!