The Importance of Maintaining Your Identity in Recovery
You are more than a statistic.
When entering a rehabilitation program or system, it’s easy to feel like you are just another piece in the machine. You are told that the program has helped x-amount of people, that they have accomplished y-amount of feats. A list of numbers, probably in the hundreds or even the thousands, to show you that this system works. When you are faced with your diagnosis, you are told that millions of others suffer from the same thing that you do. You are given even more numbers to help you feel like you are not alone. A lot of places encourage you to feel like you are a part of that crowd. It speaks to something bigger than just these programs too; our need to feel included. Being told that there are others like you is a common and prominent method when empathy or sympathy is expressed.
There is absolutely a value in this; to feel like you are not alone in your suffering is a monumental accomplishment in recovery. When first faced with your struggles, it’s easy to feel alone, trapped in yourself with no one there to help you. After all, how can anyone help you with something that only you experience? We are taught that there is strength in the team, that by coming together, we can create the power to change and affect anything we want. And that’s an absolutely fair claim to make. We, as people, are often grouped into numbers. We are stripped of our humanity and forced to be viewed as nothing more than a tally mark. And while these programs are good-natured, and come from a place of wanting to help others, there is the danger and consequence that, in doing so, the program is catered to help a greater number than specific people. It’s quantity over quality. It’s not so much a sin of these systems, but more just an unfortunate reality. As I said, it comes from a place of wanting to offer support.
There will always be value in the “we”. But don’t lose sight of the “you”. The difficult reality of these struggles is it is unique for every person; how you feel or what you experience will not translate completely to someone else. We all experience things differently and thus we cannot expect the exact same method to work.
With our individuality comes the truth that we all need different things to help us. While it’s easy to believe that if it worked for one person, it can work for you, it’s still important to remember that you are you. It is always good to try and if it works out for you, then perfect. There is definitely a reason that these processes exist; because they’ve worked for someone before! But don’t feel discouraged if it does not work with you. It’s not the end of the road if something doesn’t work for you. Adjust, accommodate, and keep working. Keep moving forward.
Recovery is hard work, incredible hard work. It is not something that will come overnight, or in a day, week, or even a month. With hard work, comes failure. You will fall short in some respects, even in your recovery process. But that doesn’t mean that YOU are a failure. You are your own person and you need to remember that. Your value is too important to gloss over just because you are different from someone else. Don’t hold yourself up to a standard set by someone else, don’t compare your trials to those of someone you know.
Remember the “you”.
Your support system is here for you. Your recovery is for you. Don’t be afraid to speak up
for yourself and ask for what you need, even if the person before you didn’t. Be adamant in your needs; don’t sacrifice that for ease. If a rehabilitation center, or doctor, or program can’t help you with what you need, don’t feel discouraged to seek help somewhere else. Recovery is a fight and you have to keep fighting for yourself; this extends into these situations as well.
Statistics are a beneficial tool to have. Knowing that you are not alone can be a huge first step to beating your addiction or struggles. But one tool does not constitute a tool belt. You cannot build a house with just a hammer. You cannot fix a leak with just a screwdriver. You need more, you have to incorporate more. Don’t rely on those numbers in making your decision; don’t sacrifice your individuality in order to get it over with. Stand up, speak for yourself, and find the right way to help you get through what you need to get through.
You are not alone in your struggles, but you are you, and that can never be forgotten.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to contact the team here at TrueRecovery.com. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]