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Finding My Purpose in Recovery


When someone’s active in their addiction, finding a purpose in life seems counterintuitive. Addiction leads us to a point where we’re surviving on instinct, rather than actually living life. Some of us had a clear-cut purpose before we started drinking and using; and some of us didn’t. However, once we get sober and begin to work a program of recovery, many of us still don’t have a clear-cut idea of what direction we want to go in life.

In my own experience, I had a vague sense of purpose when I was younger. I knew that I wanted to do something creative, and once I found performance, I felt as though I had a direct path in life. I wanted to be a successful performer. I focused my energy on becoming the ideal candidate for movies, songs, anything. However, the rejections hurt worse than I let on, and I let that deter me from pursuing my passion. When drugs became a part of my life, my so-called purpose changed dramatically. I still loved performance and the techniques that went into it, but now I wanted to use those talents and experiences in a different, illegal venture. In the midst of my addiction, I wanted nothing more than to become a large scale drug smuggler. For years, I hung onto that idea and glamorized it. When I got sober, it came to my attention that being a drug smuggler wasn’t conducive to recovery in any way. I felt lost because my life had lost any sense of direction it had. During the first months of my sobriety, I rediscovered performance and realized that my passion for it had never left; I just hadn’t given it any energy or effort. Just like that, my life held a sense of purpose again.

Everyone is born with talents and skills – things that come more naturally to some than to others. Throughout our lives, we have the option to work on and expand these strengths. Whether it is sports, debate, care-giving, organization or a multitude of other things, everyone has something to offer the world around them. Purpose doesn’t have to be a single, defined cause of why we’re here. So long as we’re passionate about what we’re doing, and we’re using our given talents and skills in a way that doesn’t hurt people, we have a purpose. It may not always be easy to carve out a niche for ourselves in the world, but as long as we’re true to ourselves, we will have found a sense of direction and purpose that can help us to establish a sense of security and peace.

Addiction takes away a lot of things in our lives, and our internal sense of direction and purpose is no exception. Once we find that we are in recovery, getting that sense of self back can be daunting, because we’ve operated on a primal, survival-based way of living for so long. However, if we can find the things in us that are our talents, skills, and passions, and we are willing to work on and improve them, we will have found our purpose in this life.

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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Life, Recovery · Tags: Addiction, Purpose, Recovery

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