Your first moment of self-awareness in sobriety could be the day you knowledge you can’t drink or take drugs in safety. Self-awareness might spring from the depths of despair—”I can’t do this anymore, my life is in a shambles.” Your spouse might give you an ultimatum—”get some help or get out!” Still another scenario is that you knew you had a problem, but refused to do anything about it—alcohol or drugs were your best friends.
There’s no shortcut to self-awareness, but it’s well worth the bravery because change depends upon it. Along with the ups and downs, heartache, shame, guilt, remorse, laughter and joys of sobriety is the need to regulate our emotions and make changes to our behavior. In order to gain self-awareness, we need to be willing to see ourselves as others do.
We can be so focused on a task, that we don’t recognize we’ve cut in front of someone at the store. We interrupt colleagues at work and friends with whom we are conversing. We don’t call home when we are going to be late. These examples of rude and inconsiderate behaviors are but a few of a hundred more, such as exaggeration, narcissism, bullying, baiting, normalizing, name calling, aggression, cheating and lying. Some behaviors can be an indication of a mental disorder, while others are coping mechanisms carried over from childhood or other traumas suffered as an adult.
In recovery we can work towards making lasting changes in our behaviors, and strengthen our ability to regulate our emotions. To accomplish this we can practice self reflection. What behavior of mine caused my colleague to become angry with me? I didn’t think I did anything wrong. Sometimes we just can’t see the impact our behavior has on another. In these cases, we can become curious. I’m curious, you seem angry with me, did I do something to offend you? They may offer their perception of the event or situation. Their reaction to our inquiry could be hostile. We need the self-awareness to be able to ascertain whether their reaction had nothing to do with you. It needs to stay with them.
While we practice self-awareness, we also may need guidance. Having a therapist who can offer insight into our reactions can help us implement emotional and behavioral changes necessary for a more balanced recovery.
“I think self awareness is the most important thing towards being a champion.” Billie Jean King
Our motto at Infinity Malibu is Infinite Change • Lasting Recovery. We offer outstanding medical, physical and emotional care in a unique and highly polished setting—essentially everything you need to begin your lasting sobriety. Your life depends on you and we believe in you. Call 855-608-8495 right now.