Why We Go Missing
Addiction compels us. Addiction creates a dependency that is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Our whole lives have been hijacked by the need for alcohol or other types of drugs. We are no longer in control. Perhaps we function enough to look like we have control, but in reality, our minds and bodies are constantly distracted by the need for a substance. Physically, it seems like we are there, functioning on some level. But in reality, we have gone missing.
The trouble with addiction is that our dependency becomes more important than anyone or anything else in our lives. Do we want to resolve our differences or share tender moments with our partners? Of course. Do we want to be there for our child’s first game or recital or birthday or whatever? Absolutely. And maybe we were physically there, maybe we even remembered to pick up the cake. But dependency means that we cannot truly enjoy the sights, sounds, emotions, and memories like those without addiction. That is to say nothing of the external behaviors we may exhibit because of the substance we are using.
Behaviors That Keeps Us from Showing Up
In addition to the constant compulsion that keeps us from being present even if we are physically there, addictions wreak havoc on our finances, decision making, and more. Finding money to pay for our substance abuse becomes a higher priority than all other commitments. We make choices based on accessibility to substances rather than our health, safety, or family members. We engage in behaviors that are risky or find ourselves in legal trouble because of the substance use itself or our insatiable need to access it.
Whatever keeps us from showing up, our relationships are usually harmed because of the addiction, some irreparably. But most of all, the addiction and the pursuit of alcohol or drugs keep us from showing up for ourselves. We lose who we are, our focus is on feeding the addiction, not our souls. Sometimes we lose our jobs, our family members or even our freedom before we even notice that we have lost ourselves.
Finding Ourselves Again
If we are to the point that we realize our life is out of control, or if it is a family member that needs help, the first step is to seek help in treating our addiction. Leaving the detox or inpatient “bubble” means that choosing a sober living facility like The Bridge will teach us to live life on life’s terms without being a slave to fear. We can find ourselves once again in a setting where our recovery comes first, and there is plenty of support for us.
Recovery is like a rebirth. As we balance reconciling our past and learning to live in the present, we have the opportunity to take inventory of our selves. We can learn to show up for ourselves. This can mean simple things like reconnecting with an old hobby that got lost in our addiction, or finding new things that we enjoy. It means taking a long hard look at our priorities and aligning them to support our health and happiness.
In order to truly show up, we need to be present. That is easier said than done. Substances change our bodies and our minds and have lasting effects on our ability to function in all aspects of our life. But being present is basically the opposite of how we have been living for as long as we have been living with addiction. Through recovery, we gain tools to help us to be alive again and to feel the here and now without lingering on the past or worrying about the future. And when we are present, truly present, then we show up for ourselves. Showing up for ourselves means listening to our bodies, feeling whatever emotions we are feeling for whatever reason, and just being true to ourselves in that moment.
When we can be present, when we are true to ourselves and living in the moment, then we are capable of showing up for others, too. Not just physically keeping our commitments and being at work or school or with our friends or loved ones. We can give them our full attention. We can listen to what is being said and actually hear what they are saying. We can respond confidently and coherently and give back to the conversation. Showing up gives us a voice that we can use for good. We can share our stories and affect change in our families and communities. Showing up gives us power, compassion, and strength to give back to everyone we care about. Showing up helps us recover our lives.
The Bridge NYC is a boutique luxury sober living facility for men seeking a concierge experience to balance outpatient programs, school, or work-life resulting in a sustainable, lasting recovery. Call (646) 928 0085 today for more information about admissions or The Clean Fun Network.