The last few weeks, I have been in a funk. No, I haven’t thought about using. No, I haven’t doubted being sober. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I felt hopeless and lost in recovery. It was almost as if I was in a deep depression. Nothing seemed to work right. I didn’t want to do any work or even write which always calms me down. I didn’t want to do a damn thing. Honestly, if I didn’t have my little ones, I would have laid in bed all day feeling sorry for myself. Have you ever felt like this? Like no matter how hard you try or how good you are doing, it simply isn’t good enough. You almost feel as if you have no meaning, no purpose in life.
Personally, I felt as if I needed to find myself. Somehow, for some reason, my focus was off. Now, let me begin by saying, I was also sick for two weeks so, I believe that was what started this whole situation. I had to lay around, rest if you will to try and feel better. I tried to write but, I felt so damn scatterbrained that I couldn’t get a sentence out. Then, I started to panic. That feeling of utter defeat and failure kicked in. Next thing I know, my mind began to go in a thousand different directions.
- Was I on the right path?
- Was this job right for me?
- Should I change my focus?
- Am I content with my life?
- Will I ever be financially secure?
- Am I headed in the right direction?
- Am I happy in my relationship?
Ahhh! The questions just kept flooding through my mind. All of that plus more. I started pondering if I was being true to myself. Does my style reflect my personality? Should I change the clothes I wear? Should I change my hair? Do I need more tattoos? Are the ones I have too much? I mean, I began questioning every little thing in my life. Was I having an identity crisis? Not entirely but, I had to check myself. Take a personal inventory. Do a bit of a self-discovery or as I like to call it, a REVIVAL. Every once in a while, we all need a little pick me up. We all like validation to ensure ourselves that what we are doing is right for us. If we let ourselves get too deep in our own mind, it leads to trouble.
That trouble has a name in our world. It is called stinkin’ thinkin’. So what is stinkin’ thinkin? What does it mean? Stinkin’ thinkin’ happens when you got lost in recovery. No matter what phase of recovery you’re in. You could be a newbie, just off the streets. Even a recovering addict with 30 years clean. Stinkin’ thinkin’ can help your world crumble in a moment’s notice. Stinkin’ thinkin’ is when you do nothing but think negative thoughts. When you believe that nothing you do is good enough. You believe that you are a failure. You will never amount to anything. All of your time in sobriety was a waste. Your life is a wreck, nothing got better.
Plain and simple, having stinkin’ thinkin’ is a set up for failure. A relapse waiting to happen. If you start feeling lost in recovery and that your life has not improved since being sober.Then you will go right back to using. Although, keep in mind that just because you’re having a moment or feel a little lost in recovery doesn’t necessarily mean your bound to relapse. Feeling lost in recovery is comparable to feeling lost in life. There are different phases, different paths to follow. For us that are in recovery, our sobriety is our life. So, if we feel lost in recovery, we are lost all around.
New To Recovery
When people are brand spankin’ new to sobriety, they often feel broken and defeated. Part of them even feels as if they don’t belong in a sober lifestyle so, they try to get better and fit in as quick as they can. As addicts, we expect instant gratification and that is not the way that it works. Just because you stopped using drugs, doesn’t mean that your entire life will miraculously change and become better. You are going to have to work hard at staying clean. As well as get a job, pay bills, make new friends, take care of your legal issues and so on. Your problems won’t vanish because you aren’t doing drugs. That is why they say getting clean is the easy part, it’s staying clean that is hard.
Also, a newbie in sobriety will often feel hopeless and lost. They have no clue what to do and how to live without using drugs. They have no coping skills and are an emotional wreck. A person new to sobriety will often feel lost in recovery. Newbies must find themselves. It is going to be an emotional rollercoaster, they are embarking on a journey. It’s time to live the life you have always dreamed of. To have a fresh start. So, how does one discover who they truly are?
Think way back, to the person you were before addiction. There is no way to say this gently. You will NEVER be that person again. You have seen too much, felt too much, and experienced a different type of life. That lifestyle you came to accept is something that many people will never experience. Not because they are boring or afraid but because they don’t want too. You didn’t wake up one morning and say I am going to be a drug addict. I am going to steal for my dope, rob my family blind, crush all my hopes and dreams, go to prison and rehab a handful of times, and then die of an overdose. I’m pretty damn sure that was not what you had in mind for your future.
Next, think about your life during active addiction. I’m sure at first it was fun, exciting, and dangerous. You got a rush of adrenaline from everything you did. Between the lifestyle and the drug high, it was incredible. What could be better? Then, you ran out of money, you had to commit crimes. Jails and institutions. Slowly, you burnt your bridges one by one until you were left all alone. Your family gave up after trying to help you time after time. It wasn’t fun anymore. The drug was all you thought about. It was all you did. You used to live and lived to use. Think about the long days and endless nights when you were dope sick, crying, and begging for the torture to end. How could it get this bad? How did it come to this?
Finally, you got clean, fresh out of rehab and ready to start living a sober life.Yet, there is one question that you can’t answer. WHO ARE YOU?
It begins to eat at you. You thought you knew exactly who you were. A few months ago if someone asked you who you were, you would simply reply: “I’m a junkie”. Ouch, that doesn’t sound so cool now, does it?
Feeling Lost In Recovery?
Hold on, it’s not over yet. People new to recovery aren’t the only ones who will feel lost, hopeless, and without purpose. We all have to find ourselves every now and again. It doesn’t matter if you have been clean for 3 hours of for 3 years.
Not only recovering addicts but all people need to do a little soul searching every once in a while. As recovering addicts, we may feel lost in recovery while other people can feel lost in other areas of their life. People feel confused all the time about the path they are on, whether or not they chose the right career, or if their relationship is healthy.
People grow, they change. They outgrow relationships, discover new passions, and discover new things about themselves all the time. Your direction or path can change at any given time. You may feel lost in life or lost in recovery simply because your interests have changed. Your goals for the future are no longer what they were a year ago or even a day ago.
This is simply healthy growth and development. So while you may feel lost in recovery, you aren’t. In fact, you are simply finding yourself, discovering new things that you enjoy and want to pursue. If your focus has changed then that’s fine. If you feel lost or stuck, take a break from what you are doing and reevaluate the situation. You may find that you are becoming a different person than you once were. You are discovering exactly who you have grown to be.
So what do you do about it? It’s not as if you can put your life on hold while you are finding yourself. I’m not telling you to take a vacation or go off on an expedition through the mountains of Peru so you can see what you are really made of. As recovering addicts, we know how strong we are, what lies within us. So, now it’s time to put all of that to good use and find out who we truly are. So in order for you to have a fresh start, begin achieving your goals and your dreams – you must know the answer to this question.
WHO ARE YOU?
That is the first question in a series of others designed to help you discover the person that you have evolved into throughout your recovery. If you can answer that question easily than you are a step ahead of me. Every time I feel lost in my recovery or overwhelmed with life, I ask myself that very question and guess what? I can’t answer it. Yet, when I’m on top of my game and feel as if I am able to conquer the world and you ask me: WHO ARE YOU?, I can give you an honest answer in a split second.
The answer to this one question will change over time. Next time you are feeling lost in recovery, lost in life. Just remember, that people change, people grow, they evolve. Their hopes, needs, and dreams can change over time and that is alright. That is what self-discovery is all about. You must grow in order to find the real you. Finding yourself will allow you to achieve all that you desire. So in essence, feeling lost in recovery is truly a blessing in disguise. It’s your mind’s way of saying, work with me, it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
If you liked this post and are willing to dig deep and find the real you, then sign up below to get Discovering The Real You. It’s a workbook with 15 deep meaningful questions all focused on finding the real you. Every time I get in a slump as I just was, these are questions I ask myself and journal about. Also, each time I answer the questions during different times in my life, the answers are different. Hmmm? Think about that one. I guarantee it will light a spark within you to show the world what a bad ass you have become. So, let’s do it.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you felt lost in recovery? As if maybe you don’t belong in a sober world? Did you give recovery a chance and become an absolute bad ass? If so, tell me how you did it?
Also, I want to know how you refocus and clear your mind? Do you know who you truly are, deep inside? Can you answer that matter of factly? Let me know how you feel about all of this. It’s deep and serious, it’s something we must all go through in life.