User Profile

Kenny Elgaard

Bio Statement Discovering The real You In Alcoholism Recovery
Finding the real “you” in alcoholism recovery is a course of. It is a journey.

I'd say that it took me at least a number of years to essentially “find myself.” At the least to the level where I felt a lot more comfortable in my own skin.

After all the journey continues to today, years later. I am still discovering who I really am, uncovering deeper layers of understanding about myself, and so on.

It is because it is a course of and not an event. You don’t get up at some point and declare your self to be “recovered.” That will suggest that there is no such thing as a more growth to be had, no more improvement that you possibly can attainable make in yourself.

No, the actual you is one thing that is continuously discovered and crafted over a lifetime. It's a journey of reinvention that by no means ends.

I imagine that that is at the least partially because of the random nature of life. As new things happen in your world you may have to change and evolve. That is a part of how we grow. There is an inner journey occurring but there is also a set of external circumstances that affect your journey.

Because of this the alcoholic who has ten years sober might have a really different every day practice than the one that has ten weeks sober. They may declare to “work the same program” however their daily routine is probably not equivalent. And that's Ok. The purpose is that they both need to discover themselves in that moment, to seek out out what they should do so as to maneuver ahead and maintain sobriety.

Discovering the true you is an exploration in self honesty.

Shedding your id in early restoration by surrender

I must admit that I was terrified to get clear and sober.

I had wrapped up my private id within the medicine and the booze. I felt like self medicating was a part of who I used to be.

I used some excuses like “Getting excessive and drunk makes me extra social. I am extra enjoyable to be round when I am drinking. I'm extra outgoing.”

Those have been a few of the excuses that I advised myself as a result of I was afraid to get sober.

In reality, my addiction didn't make me any better of a person, and actually it made my persona quite a bit worse in some methods. However I couldn't see that by way of my denial.

Before I ever drank I used to be a naturally shy person, and getting drunk and high tended to deliver me out of that shell. In fact typically it obtained pretty ugly and I was full and total mess, however I clung to the false perception that “alcohol fastened me.” I thought that it cured my social anxiety. I foolishly believed that drinking daily was a net positive for my persona.

Everybody else who knew me in life could tell that I can be a lot better off sober, even when I used to be slightly bit shy and quiet. However I could not see it for myself.

And so as a result of I had been drinking for a number of years and that i felt like alcohol was part of my character, I was afraid to let it go. I used to be afraid that if I obtained sober I would be like the outlet in a donut. I was afraid of turning into a non-individual. Wouldn’t I simply be boring and sad if I obtained sober? That is what I actually thought at the time. This was part of the fear that kept me stuck in my denial. I was afraid to face life sober.

And it is hard for a (considerably) younger individual to get sober as a result of you are essentially strolling away from all your drinking buddies.

My complete world was made up of people who I drank and bought high with.

Suppose about that for a moment. I used to be 25 on the time and my whole life consisted of getting drunk and excessive with a bunch of friends.

And some folks tried to convince me that these folks that I got excessive with weren't actual mates, however I don’t buy that. It was darn hard to let go as a result of some of these folks actually were my friends. Don’t discount that. It’s not truthful! And it is not fair to try this to other individuals. You could drink or use medicine with these people, but that does not mean that they are not actual friends. Certain, in some instances they might just be utilizing you or hanging around out of convenience, but in other cases it is possible for drunks and drug addicts to kind real friendships.

And that is tough.

As a result of the truth is that you have to stroll away from these relationships. Whether they are “real friends” or whether or not they are just “worthless drinking buddies,” it is hard to walk away from these people and be completely alone.

However wait! they say. You are not totally alone. Because you possibly can go to AA, you can go to therapy, you possibly can meet new people in recovery and you can have all of these new friends who are sober now.

Effectively, sure and no. That's true that you will most likely meet new people who are sober immediately. And you can rebuild your life and find healthier relationships. But it’s not essentially simple for everybody to do that. This was one of many challenges that stored me in denial for therefore lengthy. I am not one to run out and make quick pals as a result of I am relatively shy. So it was laborious for me to do this. (This is finally why going to long run rehab worked so effectively for me. It robotically gave me a new set of buddies and a new assist system).

Early restoration is a bit like being shot out of a cannon. Not less than it was for me. I went to rehab, I by no means noticed any of my drinking or drug buddies ever again, and i needed to rebuild my life and all of my relationships from scratch. This was like being dumped into an icy chilly lake while you are nonetheless asleep! It is kind of a shock to the system. And it's a complete lot of fear and unknown to deal with suddenly.

And that i can remember going via this course of, of checking into rehab, of assembly new individuals, and drifting away from my previous relationships, and the feelings that came along with that. It was a whole mess of feelings suddenly. And it was scary as a result of I did not know what was going to occur every day. And i had no assurance that I'd ever be completely happy again.

And that terrified me nearly to demise. At the very least with alcohol, though I used to be miserable ninety nine % of the time, I knew that it worked each occasionally. Generally I might have real fun while drinking. And that was one thing to carry on to, despite the fact that most of my addiction had turned to misery.

But in sobriety, there was nothing to grasp on to at first. There was no real hope. How would I ever be completely satisfied once more? I had no religion. I needed to hope that I would become glad. And that was very scary.

Building a new life in early sobriety by taking recommendations from others

So I was in treatment and i started to act and feel a little bit more like a normal human being. I went by way of detox and that i started to eat wholesome meals and i began to (attempt) to sleep on a regular basis. For what it is price, my sleep was fairly sporadic and messed up for the primary yr or so of my sobriety. Later on it straightened out an entire bunch and received significantly better. But that took a couple of year or so if I remember right.

But I was in rehab and I used to be nonetheless fairly scared. I had no actual confidence that I would keep sober for the long run. I did not know what to anticipate. Nevertheless it felt completely different, as a result of I had truly surrendered this time. That was new to me. Previously I used to be nonetheless using self will, attempting to determine how I may control my drinking, or what medicine I may efficiently substitute for alcohol. That wasn’t actual surrender. However this was totally different. This time I was critical. This time I actually was ready to vary, ready to listen.

So I began listening. I took recommendations. Individuals advised me what to do, and that i did it.

Fascinating. I did not believe that this would make me completely satisfied, thoughts you. I did not really believe it.

They informed me that if I went by treatment and then went to meetings on daily basis and began doing all of this stuff for my restoration that my life would get higher and i would be completely satisfied.

I did not consider it.

I did not suppose that it will work for me.

I assumed: “Well maybe it works for some other folks however they don't seem to be like I am. They are totally different. So I'd never be pleased.”

But I had no real choice apart from to go along with it. Actually I did have an possibility, my possibility was to go relapse and drink. Or I may stay in restoration and hearken to what they informed me to do and to try to follow by with it.

So I stayed, despite the fact that I didn't assume it would work. I was so afraid that I would be miserable without end. That was my huge concern.

And slowly my life started to change.

Very slowly at first, my life began to get better.

I'd notice that I had gone for several hours without interested by how miserable I was speculated to be. You already know, as a result of I was depriving myself of alcohol and medication.

And then later on in my recovery I even had a complete day the place I never thought about drinking. I had been so completely happy and distracted all day long that I never thought of drinking.

That was a miracle.

This was somewhere around the six month level of my sobriety. Solely six months! Right this moment I've over thirteen years sober. And it simply keeps getting better and better.

I had falsely believed that the actual me was someone who was always going to be craving alcohol.

Critically, that was a part of my id. Or so I believed.

But it surely turned out that this was unsuitable. That part of me fell away after solely six months in recovery. And it was changed by someone who was happy to be on a journey of self discovery.

I can remember feeling enthusiastic about restoration, someplace throughout that first year, because I used to be learning so many new issues about myself each day. It was kind of like waking up and rediscovering life yet again. And it was fun.

And it still is enjoyable. But in an effort to get to that time you have to make it by that preliminary detox, the surrender course of, the exhausting part that is the beginning of every restoration journey.

It will get better later. It really does.

Determining what works effectively for you in restoration and learning extra about yourself in the method

What does it imply to reinvent yourself?

Change. It’s all about change.

Recovery is nothing if not change. You might be trading in an previous set of habits for a brand new set of habits.

This can be a technique of self discovery. You must try new things. You must be keen to take heed to individuals and try their concepts and actually put them into practice.

Once they recommended that I am going to AA meetings, I was terrified of doing so. However I went anyway, because I felt like my solely alternative was to drink.

When my sponsor instructed that I chair an NA meeting in a restoration heart, I did that too, despite the fact that I was afraid to speak in entrance of others. I did that for two years straight, one night time each week. It was positively good for me. Although I never would have simply executed that alone, until somebody had suggested it to me.

And so this is how the restoration course of has labored for me. I had to take suggestions. Someone advised me what to do, and i did it. And generally it labored out properly and sometimes it didn't. If it didn’t, then I just dropped the thought and moved on with my life.

One time a therapist recommended that I meditate each day. They taught me the best way to do seated meditation. They actually encouraged it as a result of it made such an enormous difference in their life as nicely.

alcoholismSo I tried it for a while. I meditated day by day. Generally I did a few periods each day. And it appeared to assist a bit, but it surely never actually clicked for me.

But then later I found another type of meditation. I took another suggestion and i began running long distances outdoors. This was, for my functions, even better than meditation. It was a type of meditation.

So one suggestion worked while one other one didn't.

They have a saying in recovery: “Take what you need and go away the remaining.”

Exactly. But so as to try this, it's important to pattern a complete bunch of ideas. You might have to test issues out in your life and see if they be just right for you or not. And in the event that they don’t, you just leave them there, and move on.

And in order you do that in your restoration, as you test new concepts out and keep the ones that work for you, you slowly realize that you're discovering who the true you is.

Self development is driven by way of self honesty

In order to essentially have interaction with private progress in long term restoration you have to get honest with your self.

Most of us are pretty trustworthy with ourselves. But all of us still have a minimum of a tiny bit of denial in our lives.

After i first bought sober I used to be still driven by 1,000,000 different forms of worry and a whole lot of denial.

Since then I have slowly been uncovering the deeper truths about myself, like peeling back the layers of an onion. Finding out who I really am on the inside. And it may be scary as a result of you might not always like what you find.

But the bonus right here is you could change it! You may change who you're, how you behave, what you consider about your self. It is all negotiable.

And that's where “doing the work” comes into play in restoration.

I found early in my recovery journey that I used to be liable to self pity. I did not even notice this at first, that this was a game that my brain would play. It wanted to feel sorry for itself all the time.

And i realized that this was not helping me.

So I had to lift my stage of awareness. I had to concentrate. I needed to decide, after which decide to repair this problem.

And so I did the work. I grew to become vigilant. I made a “zero tolerance policy” with myself with reference to self pity. It was not allowed.

Then I did the footwork. How was I going to keep up this new promise to myself? What did I want in order to pull this off?

I asked for assist. I asked for suggestions and recommendation. And that i discovered that I wanted to practice gratitude. That was going to be a giant part of my answer transferring forward. I needed to embrace gratitude so as to overcome my tendency towards self pity.

So that is how self honesty can result in personal growth. In reality, without a point of self honesty, there can be no growth in any respect. You need to get sincere with your self so as to move forward.

It's about elimination as much as it is about discovering new issues

Who's the true you?

Is it things that you simply want to find about your self? Do it's essential discover?

In some regards, what it's worthwhile to do is the opposite.

Consider yourself as a clean slate. If you find yourself at peace, if you find yourself most like “the actual you,” you might be just a blank slate. Content material. Peaceful. Pleased. No issues or issues clouding your thoughts. That is the true you.

So how do you get there? Do you want to seek out one thing?

Not essentially.

Slightly, I consider that you have to get rid of.

If there is work to be achieved, then that work is essential to create the clean slate in your life.

My thoughts is consumed with one million different types of worry and anxiety. This was especially true after i first came into sobriety.

Every day it will get a little better, if I work at it. Each day I get nearer and nearer to achieving the blank slate.

What am I anxious about as we speak? What fears are driving me right this moment? What's the source of my unhappiness?

I think doing the work in recovery means tackling those questions and eliminating issues.

I eradicated my self pity. I acquired sincere with myself and i tackled that problem and i eliminated it.

So my life became more peaceful. More content. I became happier. Nearer to the blank slate.

In case your thoughts is stuffed with fear, anger, shame, guilt, anxiety, or any of that different negative garbage….then you definately won’t be pleased.

Everything may very well be going excellent in your exterior world, but in case your thoughts is consumed with adverse ideas, will you ever really be joyful?


Subsequently you must do the work. You must try for the blank slate. Get back to peace and harmony and inside balance.

And that takes work. You might need to ask for help.

After which you take action, and also you discover extra of who you actually are.

The actual you. The blank slate.

What about you, have you ever discovered your true self in recovery? Are you continue to on that journey now, as I feel that I am? Tell us within the discussion forums. It solely takes a second to register!