Self-awareness is defined as, “the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” Self-awareness should also be extended into one’s own mental states – when it comes to addiction and mental illness recovery, even mental health in general, self-awareness is the golden key. By being consciously aware of yourself, you can take appropriate measures to effectively cope with whatever negative thoughts or emotions you’re experiencing – thus helping you in the long run. As you can see from above, self-awareness often takes a lot of time, patience, and discovery.
For many people with addiction, feelings of being trapped can cause repetitive behaviors of inaction or substance misuse. Taking ownership and recognizing one’s problems, however, are a wonderful way to build self-awareness – and doing so gets the ball rolling towards seeking help and making decisions for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. If you’re currently in a treatment program for mental illness or addiction, a self-awareness component you may be working on is identifying triggers and how they impact you.
Once you’ve begun self-awareness, you can then move on to self-regulation; an example of the difference between the two terms is this:
Self-awareness: Whenever I am around this person, I almost relapse because they try to get me to use again
Self-regulation: Distancing yourself from that person; no longer including them as part of your social circle because they are not conducive to your recovery; telling them ‘no’ and leaving to return home if they pressure you to use
Self-awareness is critical in recovery because it’s the only way you will learn from past mistakes and hold on to tools that will prevent you from making future ones. You must be patient however; self-awareness does take time to build. It’s worth it, and you will be proud of yourself as you move forward in this beautiful journey called life.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men the journey of finding freedom from addiction. Creating a sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men revolutionize their life through total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474