“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
Addiction serves not only as a dysfunctional thought and behavioral pattern that enslaves users into a prison of their own creation, but also as a destructive means to escape one’s actual purpose and meaning. We are all designed to a fulfill a greater purpose within the universe, specifically tailored to our set of strengths and weaknesses. Ignoring that this principle exists, and isolating is a sure-fire way to abuse unhealthy coping mechanisms and remain stuck in life.
While in active addiction, people’s worlds become as small as “Where am I going to find my next bag?”; this will become their mantra and sole mission to accomplish. Recovery is enormously helpful in that it will broaden the individual’s horizons to include much more than just themselves and their next high. It has become clear that just eradicating drug use is not enough to conquer the problem; users must find meaning and driven purpose in any context they can. If surrendering to a higher power is too much, they can start where they are and find meaning in animals or the outdoors. Eventually, life becomes clear and abundant to the extent that they can see beyond themselves: this is the key to success in recovery— getting out of the self and asserting one’s presence in the larger community.
We have discussed in length how relationships can be an enormous barrier in the recovery process, but now I would like to speak to how meaningful connections can enhance recovery and improve outcomes. Building a supportive network of like-minded people is paramount to achieving any length of sobriety. Finding and working towards your purpose will not be enough if still surrounded by negative influences and the envy of those still stuck in the horrid cycle of addiction. It is crucial to find and seek guidance from those who have more maturity and a thorough understanding of addiction to guide you through any roadblocks and provide emotional support. These positive ties will help by holding you accountable for your actions and helping you walk through difficult emotions.
Remember: Find your purpose AND build supportive networks of like-minded individuals!!