Rebuilding My Personal Truth
What is your personal truth? Your personal truth is the dialogue you have with yourself when no one else is around. It defines who you are and what makes up your own being. Being an alcoholic and addict you can only imagine how your personal truth becomes twisted and disoriented as you grow and meander through your distorted existence. It is no wonder that when addicts find themselves in recovery, that their self-esteem and self-worth is somewhere at the bottom of the gutter. In recovery there are many practices that we can do to start reclaiming our personal truth and begin to start building our own personal truth, one brick at a time.
When I was deep into my addiction, my self narrative was anything but positive. I was running on nothing but negative personal rhetoric. I knew I was one lie away from destroying my protective wall that I built so carefully around my addiction. I told myself I was a worthless, useless, pathetic excuse of a person. I had somehow lied and schemed my way into an almost unidentifiable shell of my former self. Toward the end it was hard to even look into a mirror to see the person I had become. In public, I always kept my head down. The person who usually joked about life and was happy, could not even muster a smile. Drugs and alcohol had finally won the battle. I lived in this existence I created for many years. Towards the end, I tried many things to change. I tried a new job change and a geographical change to a new town to try to break the cycle. When those things did not work, I finally gave up.
When I got into recovery, things began to change in my life. I was fortunate enough to go to a dual diagnosis facility that focuses not only on the addiction of drugs and alcohol, but the underlying issues that leads an addict to a life of destructive behavior. During treatment, I was diagnosed with PTSD from an incident that happened years earlier. I got help for my depression. I learned tools to help me deal with stress and anxiety in the outside world. I was also given the beginning tools on how to learn to treat and talk to myself. I learned about myself and what values I possessed that were worthy. I started to see the good in myself. I was encouraged to be proud of who I was and what I was capable of being. I learned how to start holding my head up high. Treatment introduced me to those beginning steps of reclaiming the old me. However, once I walked out of those protective gates, it was up to me to carry the information I was given and to apply it to myself in the real world.
Today, life is much easier for me. It was a gradual process that did not happen overnight. For the past four years, I have been a continuing work in progress. I continue to rebuild my personal truth each day. It is an ongoing process that never ends. As Dr. Phil says, “It takes a million ‘that a boy’ to make up for one disparaging remark.” I have made use of individual therapy, medication management, journaling, meditation, and positive affirmations to help me get through the years. Not to mention 12-step meetings, book studies and the gracious help of a sponsor. I read anything I can get my hands on that covers addiction and mental health issues so I can become proactive about my disease. Being a Lead Advocate for Heroes in Recovery has also helped me rebuild my personal truth. Being an advocate gives me the opportunity to meet other addicts and help them share their story with the world in hopes of breaking the stigma associated with addiction. I also get to share on topics that helps me stay sober each day in my monthly blogs. By rebuilding my personal truth, I have become a better person who tries to live a life of purpose, honesty and humility. Today, I choose to hold my head up high.
If you would like to share your story with Heroes in Recovery, you can contact me at Bo@heroesinrecovery.com and I will help you with the process. When you share your story with Heroes in Recovery you help break the stigma associated with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Thanks for reading! Please comment and share! I love hearing from you.