Who are you? If you are addicted to drugs, you may not really know how to answer that question. Even when you are newly sober, you may not entirely be sure. Drug treatment helps you awaken your personality, character, spirituality, and more. But let’s take a look at how a person’s identity can be lost with drug addiction.

How Alcohol And Drugs Affect Your Sense Of Identity

A person’s identity is complicated. It’s composed of how you see yourself, how others see you, what’s really there despite what you or others don’t see, and what nobody can see. So a good portion of your full identity as a person is generally not known to you. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just reality for everyone. Some people make the most of what they do know about themselves and what they can gather from others’ viewpoints.

When you introduce drugs and alcohol in excessive quantities, pieces of your identity start getting clouded. First of all, the acute effects of drugs and alcohol blur the short-term memories of your actions and feelings. This adds to the part that you don’t know clearly about yourself.

Part of your identity is also your personal growth and maturity. This involves having your ideas and beliefs challenged, giving up some of them, and embracing new ones. This usually includes emotional pain, surprise, some suffering, stress, and even confusion. Drugs and alcohol cloud those experiences and disrupt your emotions. This reduces your ability to have self-understanding and self-worth.

Life Addiction Has Great Personal Emptiness

A person with drug addiction or alcoholism has great emptiness in their life. That’s more than likely why they begin drinking excessively in the first place. They may have felt the need to block some of their self-understanding and emotions as a child or young adult. Sexual abuse, divorce, mentally ill parents, family chaos – any of these things may have disrupted their process of self-understanding.

When the emptiness becomes too much, drinking and drug use cover up the pain. This blocks even more self-understanding and personal growth. Their identity has been fuzzy and disrupted for such a long time, their drug or alcohol use becomes the most obvious element of their identity.

Drug Treatment Leads You Through Self Discovery

If you have an identity problem like this, you really need to start drug treatment. Just going cold turkey with no direction and no support won’t help you rediscover yourself. Drug treatment counselors can help you uncover what the drugs have been hiding. You can begin to learn about yourself with the support of other recovering addicts and professionals. When you know that alcoholism and drug addiction has taken over your life, get your identity back by beginning drug treatment.

By Wendy Lee Nentwig