You probably can't think about William Shatner without thinking about Star Trek, just like you'd have a hard time not seeing Spider-Man if you hear the name "Toby Maguire". Associations seem to stick with different personalities, although not all of them are positive. If you know you're an addict, everyone in your life knows you're an addict, and everything you do revolves around being addicted; it's become your identity. Breaking with that identity can make coming clean almost as hard as the withdrawal symptoms, and to do it, you need a lot of help.
Remember Who You Were Before You Became Addicted
It's probably hard to distinguish between who you perceive yourself to be now and the addiction you have. Others, too, may think of you as "that person who drinks a lot" or "the druggie" on the block or in the family. Especially if your addiction is the motivation that gets you out of bed every morning, it's really hard to see yourself for who you really are: a worthy, capable person who wants more out of life than what you have now.
Remembering who you were before the addiction, what you wanted, and things you loved can get you back in touch with the side of yourself that's needed to dig your way back. It's not easy, but somehow, you have to set your self-image apart from your addiction.
Consider Relocating, If It Would Suit Your Circumstances
Unless you likely wouldn't do well with a major change in your life, relocating to a completely new area may aid your recovery considerably, especially if addiction is your main identity. A fresh start, a new job, and a new circle of friends can help you separate yourself from your identity of addiction. Often, when an addict stays in the same neighborhood, mingling with the same people, they tend to repeat the same mistakes.
Ask a counselor or other addiction professional if a clean break would benefit you, and what, if any, complications you can expect from such a drastic change. Staying one step ahead of challenges may help keep you sober, especially since moving is a stressful experience. Being able to move away from your old neighborhood may be one of the only ways to escape your identity of addiction, from your own perspective and from those around you, besides aiding you in actually becoming sober.
Make Positive Changes, Wherever You Make Your Home
Whether you pack up and head out or remain right where you are, you must have some positive aspects of yourself and life to focus on, in order to sever the tether with your addiction. A class at a local college, a new or second job, yoga, art, volunteering, or anything else that gets you out of the house and into something good. Make new connections with people who live healthy lives, but keep the lines of communication with addiction recovery services open, always.
Have A Counselor On Speed Dial, No Matter What
Almost nobody can end an addiction on their own and there's no shame in entering a program or seeing a counselor. However you seek help, make it for the long-term. Listen to the professionals, take notes, and memorize the things they say that really reverberate with you and your life. You could start seeing a counselor locally, then have them recommend another one to you if you were to move. No matter what, though, dedicating yourself to recovery means sticking with a program and working closely, for as long as it takes, with the addiction professionals who know how to get people clean, and keep them that way.
By the time addiction becomes your entire identity, your self-esteem is beaten down next to nothing. Your courage and confidence whittle away, too, until there's really nothing left but you and the substance(s) you abuse. You know, ultimately, that you're more than your addiction. You know there's an awesome, responsible, caring and capable person somewhere inside you, it's just a matter of bringing them out again. Don't you want to? Isn't it time to? For more information, reach out to centers like The Lakes Treatment Center.