We rarely felt comfortable authentically expressing ourselves to others when we were in a state of active addiction. We became chameleons and changed every aspect of who we are to become who we felt others wanted us to be. Eventually, we came to a point where we lost touch with who we were behind the mask that we wore in front of others. In sobriety, we are given the opportunity to finally address the spiritual and emotional problems that led us to play roles rather than show our true selves. All sorts of problems crop up when there is an internal conflict between the person we are and the person we present to others. We sacrifice our authenticity as a means of achieving validation from others, and lose touch with our inner selves in the process. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains: “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.” The constant fear and tension caused by the inner conflict causes us to sink deeper and deeper into addiction and alcoholism as a means of escaping the reality of our suffering. The process of getting back in touch with our true selves can be uncomfortable, especially early in sobriety. We spent so much time being restless, irritable, and discontent—when we no longer self-medicate our emotional natures with substances, we have to finally sit with ourselves and look at the roots of our spiritual sickness. However, if we can learn to be comfortable with ourselves, we are finally in a position of being able to listen to our inner voice. Rosa Medina-Fassett, in a 2016 Huffington Post article, 7 Ways to Live as Your True Self, explains, “Listening to your inner voice will help you become aware of and identify your true self with honesty. It will help you strengthen your voice and overpower anyone else’s voice you are hearing. Ask yourself questions and become aware of how you respond mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically, and to what you have to say. It will help you identify your wants, likes, dislikes, desires, etc., without judgements and restrictions, and as a result help you naturally start living as your true self.” When we are able to allow ourselves to stop playing roles and listen to the inner voice of our authentic self, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our needs, and our desires. Then, we can make goals that reflect our newfound understanding and begin progressing toward a life of love and joy.
Your story can be one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in Laguna Beach, offers the opportunity to develop all the tools necessary to achieve sobriety in a beautiful beachfront environment. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777