Personal Growth After Getting Clean
I was talking with someone a couple days ago about my experiences and how I remained steadfast in my quest to be drug-free for good, especially early in the recovery period. It has been a long time since the days where I would sit in my muddied past and regret the way I used to live as an addict. A big part of my ability to put my addiction in the past for good was to gain acceptance with my past and use it as a way to move forward in life, gain perspective on all of the ways I’ve grown since I left that lifestyle behind. As I was thinking about this, I couldn’t help but reflect, in a positive way, on just how much my life has changed for the better now that drug addiction is part of my story but no longer a destructive part of my life.
With that said, in what ways have I grown as a person since overcoming my addiction? The easy answer is in every perceivable way, but for the purposes of being transparent, I’m going to break it down a little bit. The first thing that stands out is the fact that today I consider myself to be a dependable person. Anyone who has struggled with addiction or been close to someone who has knows that dependability is not often associated with an addict. There was one way I could always be counted on as an addict and that was the fact that I was going to let you down, one way or another. If I made a promise, I was likely to break it. If I told you I would be somewhere at a certain time, I would likely be late or simply not show up. If I told you I was going to do something, you could count on it not being done. That is not who I am today. I show up to work on time, and if I tell you I’m going to do something I do it. My words are no longer hollow, they have merit and it is has become extremely important to me to follow through with my commitments. Today I pride myself on being a dependable person, and that likely comes from how undependable I used to be when my addiction ran the show.
Another area that stands out is my integrity. This was an area of my life that was an empty cupboard as an addict. My morals had ceased to exist in a constant effort to secure the next fix, no matter the cost or consequences. That doesn’t resemble how I live my life today. I’m in no way a perfect person and I still make my fair share of mistakes. The difference is that when I do make mistakes I don’t feel okay about them, I’m not content with anything that doesn’t gel with the person I have worked hard to become and the person I strive to be. My mistakes are much fewer and far between, and when I make them, I don’t point the finger. I can easily take responsibility for my actions and do what’s necessary to make any corrections that need to be made. This doesn’t take any tremendous amount of effort anymore, it’s simply a part of my growth as a person and the distance I have put between the life I have now and the life I had as an addict.
There is a lot more I could write about the personal growth I’ve had since cleaning up my life, and perhaps I will in the future. For now, I think the easiest way to sum it up is that I see personal growth as part of the natural evolution in a person’s life. As we gain new experiences and new perspectives, we find better ways of doing things. Addiction robbed me of that for so many years because I wasn’t really living. The rapid personal growth I have experienced in a relatively short amount of time has been the result of actually finding life again, a way of life that isn’t destructive but that brings about the peace and joy that life can offer when living a certain way. Every day I discover new things about myself and the world around me, instead of being stuck in a world full of misery and pain. If you or anyone you know is struggling, there is a world out there full of endless possibilities not burdened with the suffering that accompanies addiction. Please reach out for help, find the personal growth in your own life that is waiting for you.