Substance abuse is viewed in many different ways by the scientific and medical communities. Some theorize that it’s a medical disorder, a physical condition that once activated becomes tough to beat because of physical symptoms of withdrawal and the phenomenon of craving. Others in the community believe it’s a spiritual disorder, a case of emptiness that’s being filled with the sensations given to drug users that they otherwise could get from a spiritual program. Still, others believe it’s a psychiatric condition, something where a patient is using because of a mental disorder (AKA: self-medicating behavior). No matter what addiction is, we know that it causes a tremendous sense of loss to sufferers, and usually, the last thing a drug or alcohol problem takes from its denizens is a sense of self.
We all have some kind of sense of self, who we are as people. Whether you see yourself as a “kind” person who helps others, or a “provocative” person who challenges authority, or just a “student” trying to get through school, there’s a sense of self that follows us all our lives. When drugs and alcohol are entered into the equation, that pervasive sense of self becomes cloudy and mired in confusion. It’s part of physical reaction to drugs and alcohol and part reaction to the things that these substances take away. For example, a student may have to drop out of school because of a drug or alcohol problem. The loss of self is one of the cruelest tricks of a substance abuse disorder.
Substance Abuse and Loss
Think of everything that drugs or alcohol take away during the course of use. It’s a progressive ailment, robbing you of areas of your life so subtly that you rarely even notice that you’re losing something until it’s already gone. At first, you might lose:
- Stable relationships
- Work performance
- Financial stability
- A sense of self
When you finally see that these things have slipped away from you, the one thing that you might miss the most is the stable sense of self you once had. Where did you go? Most importantly, what can you do now to get a sense of self back? Inpatient drug rehab is one way to recover a sense of self.
Getting Back in Touch
Think of your old self as a friend you haven’t talked to or known very well for a long time. You know that friend is out there, and you remember and cherish the bond you once shared, but you can’t see or hear them now. How do you get back in touch with yourself when a substance abuse disorder has robbed you of a sense of self? Inpatient drug rehab is one very effective way to contact that “old friend” called yourself. During your time in rehab, you’ll be surrounded by helpful healthcare professionals whose job it is to re-establish the sense of self you’ve lost.
When being checked in, you’ll have what is called an intake. During this initial interview, the rehab will find out about your past medical and psychiatric history, learn more about your substance abuse patterns, and then use the information to craft a plan for you that helps you recover. The intake is extremely important for patients and the facility that uses it to help. Always be honest in an intake. It contains information that will help professionals help you the most.
How You Get a Sense of Sense Back
Something as abstract as recovering a sense of self isn’t actually all that abstract once you think of the practical things a rehab does to help you get back in touch with yourself. For example, group meetings give you a chance to absorb the experiences of others and apply the lessons to your own life, and they give you a chance to share some of your own experiences with others. These meetings alone help you get back in touch with who you were before the addiction took hold. Individual counseling sessions are all about getting back in touch with yourself and discovering who you are now after your experiences in addiction. It’s a beautiful process.
If you feel like you’ve lost yourself to drug abuse, you’re not alone. Millions of other people struggle, but many of those people also recover. If you want to get well today and get back in touch with yourself, just contact our counselors. They’re available 24 hours a day. Call 800-723-7376.