Recovery can be really scary when we suddenly discover that we’re becoming someone else. We know how to be addicts. We know how to weasel, lie, beg, borrow, steal and employ massive denial to avoid knowing who we really are and protect our addictions, but we don’t know how to be sober. The “Old Me” is being consumed by this new thing that we don’t know how to do yet. Who will we be, anyway?
When we get into recovery, we’re facing unfamiliar changes, and humans hate change, regardless of our sobriety. We don’t mind having adventures, but we prefer to plan the overall experience and then be surprised by the little things. Most of us have probably dreamed about making major changes in who we are at one time or another, but we didn’t really think our grandiose imaginings were possible. Now, all of a sudden, changes are happening and we didn’t plan them.
The good news is, we don’t have to plan our futures right now. In fact, we don’t even need to know who we are right now. We can relax. We don’t have to have a scam, a next move, another direction to dodge. We may not be clear about who we want to be, but we can allow the program to take us to places where we have choices and the good judgment to take advantage of them.
We need skills to make it in sobriety, and early recovery is when we take the time to allow our bodies and minds to get back to something like normal — a process that can take up to a couple of years in some cases — while acquiring changes in perspective and the judgment and intuition that will serve us as sober people. There’s no single answer to “Who am I”, or “Who am I becoming.” As time passes and we accustom ourselves to the changes, we will eventually discover that we are different people: parents, children, philosophers, mechanics, nurses, lawyers, bowlers, readers — even sponsors.
Not just addicts.