Monday, October 22, 2012

Who Am I?

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Who am I?  It is one of the toughest questions you will ever answer for yourself.  It usually starts in teenage life around age 12 or 13.  If that age isn't awkward enough with all the physical changes we go through such as zits, it is even worse when we are faced with this existential question for which we usually have no clue how to answer.  Do you know who you are?  Have you figured it out yet?  

One important point to consider in this regards to this question is this: are we always just the same person or do we change through time to become a different person?  Are there qualities that are constant and those that change inside us as we adapt and experience life on life's terms?  For example, I am a redhead (insert ginger joke here).  I'll always be a redhead however I have changed considerably in the way I look now versus when I was a teenager.  As a teenager, I couldn't gain weight to save my life.  I could eat the buffet AND the table and STILL not gain weight.  As an adult, that problem has been solved with a little issue known as 'metabolic decline' (a.k.a. I don't burn calories off like I used to)! 

What about on the inside?  I hope that I am not the same person I was when I was 12!  If so, forget everything I am about to write.  It will do you no good.  

When people enter recovery, they are usually faced with an existential question like "Who am I?" because their entire world has changed.  Everything they identified themselves with and used to create who they were is now gone.  No more drugs.  No more alcohol.  No more parties.  No more being the cool guy or girl in the party scene.  Welcome sobriety!  Most people don't welcome it because they are having an identity crisis.  I don't blame them.  It's hard enough figuring out who you are without drugs and alcohol! 

The important task in recovery is figuring out your new identity which, paradoxically, is really your old identity before you started partying.  It's usually the person you always knew you were but tried to run from through the alcohol and drugs.  Maybe you really wanted to be an academic but feared what people would think so you became a "stoner" instead.  Perhaps you wanted to be a police officer and bust drug dealers but didn't believe you could do it so you started dealing drugs.  These examples sound far fetched but they happen all the time.  

No matter what...first things first:  Remember that the number one quality you now have is being a sober person.  That is the first quality of your new identity.  The second quality of your new identity is that you are a person who is willing to learn about who you are, that is, you are open to self-analysis and change.  Last, you are a person who can change.  You already have if you've quit drugs and alcohol to become a sober person! 

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We love helping addicts and alcoholics figure out who they are as they decide to get sober.  Are you tired of trying to be someone you're not?  Why don't you call Jennifer and talk with her about our detox options so you can work on being who you really are anyway.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

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