The poet tells us to “know thyself”; yet how many addicts really want to? Especially if we grew up in dysfunctional circumstances, many of us believe other people’s definitions of who we are, and have trouble accepting that we exist without their regard.
Who and what we are is not fixed. We are not meant to be defined by others, but others are always there, willing and available to tell us who we “should” be.
While the recognition and attention of others is necessary for all human beings, it ought not be at the cost of giving up — or failing to recognize — our true selves.
In recovery we can recreate ourselves. As we grow in our program we can come to see who we really are by stripping away the layers of old paint that our addictions and other people have applied — layers that have obscured the selves that we are intended to know and build on using our own perceptions.
When, through working a program (and with other help if needed) we begin to learn who we really are, we can create selves that are not forced into molds by the pressures of other people, or by minds fogged with the delusions of addiction. Then we can truly come to know and cherish that person, and love our own creation.