For many years, living with addiction meant I was living various roles that I would act out. Living a double life for so long meant that I really lost myself as the substance abuse continued to further blur the lines between reality and my own delusions. In fact, because I started so young I never found my true self and instead became many shallow versions of the man I thought would be best for the moment.
In recovery, learning that it’s ok to be me is a hard thing when I don’t know who “me” is. As I sobered up it felt like I was a stranger to myself, perhaps like a sort of amnesia of the spirit and soul. It took building and participating in honest friendships, working the steps a few times, and gaining some insight about myself and God in order to clear the insane thinking. Only then was I was able to begin to learn about who and what I really am and who I want to be. The process has freed me from that constant subtle fear I used to have.
Today I have nothing to hide.
It is ok for me to be me and I’m no longer a stranger to myself or ashamed of whom I am. By becoming vulnerable to the truth, with myself and close friends, I have gained a tremendously strong and peaceful clarity of mind and spirit. The journey of self-discovery, and the resulting insight it provides, always takes place in the efforts of today that help me understand my past and guide my future.
Life is much easier when I’m not constantly trying to figure out who I should pretend to be.
Instead, I can have the trust and faith to just be me, safe and secure in the knowledge that just being me is all that is ever really required. I have found an entirely new type of freedom as a result of the ongoing self-discovery of my work in recovery. It has brought me an increased understanding and insight of who I am and what I stand for in life. It has given me self-assurance—a comfortable sense of knowing myself. When I speak and live my beliefs honestly there is a simple truth and acceptance about how it feels
Today, the privacy I enjoy within my own self is a calm peaceful space where I can sit with my Higher Power and enjoy the comfort of having my own valid place in the world. I am relieved of the excessive concern about the opinions of others because I am truly at home with myself.
(Post inspired by the January 30 entry in ‘A Year of Days’).