Although there has been progress in the way that society views those who suffer from the disease of addiction over the past 20 years or so, the fact remains that sufferers of this disease are often characterized in a unidimensional manner whereby we are labeled merely in relation to our status as addicts. What makes dissociating from the addict label so much more difficult is that the impact of addiction in one’s life is so overwhelming that sometimes we might see ourselves in the same unidimensional way too! In early sobriety, a majority of our lives consist of attempting to foster a solid recovery program, and if we are to successfully accomplish this feat, we may choose to wear the addict label unabashedly. There is no problem with identifying with the disease, the plight of recovery, and the struggle of maintaining sobriety as this journey is deserved of respect and even admiration. This mind state can become problematic, however, if we fail to see that we are much more than sufferers of the disease of addiction.
Once again, there is nothing wrong with feeling pride in relation to the victories we earn in sobriety, and in fact, they should be celebrated. On the other hand, we do not want to relegate ourselves to a single identity because when we think of ourselves only as recovering and sober addicts, we limit our imaginations of what else we could become. Think of it this way, if we were able to make the decision to choose sobriety and walk away from drugs and alcohol, we were able to do something that most sufferers of this disease do not do, which is to give ourselves a chance at life. Imagine what else we could do if we took the same courage, vigor, and commitment that we put into recovery! The point here isn’t for us to leave behind our identity as addicts, but rather it is to not view ourselves as simply addicts. In fact, we can be anything we want to be so long as we are free from the chains of addiction. It even helps if we start to frame our language differently; rather than thinking of ourselves as addicts, we can think of ourselves as individuals who happen to suffer from addiction. This small linguistic change can really change the way in which we perceive ourselves, and in turn, can open up possibilities for a new way of living.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474