How to find your purpose as a recovering drug addict

Something we often struggle with in the earlier stages of recovery is trying to understand what our individual purpose is. The reason one doesn't often see people with many years of sobriety time struggling with this issue is because those who never find it often relapse and continue the cycle of addiction until they come to such an understanding.

Where do we begin with finding our purpose as recovering addicts?

Finding one's purpose begins with a few simple things: honesty, awareness, and sincerity. We must come to a deep understanding of who we are, not of our "ego" self, but of our essence, of the truth about our "soul." By recognizing "the part" we play in the world, and all the different masks we take on and off on a daily basis, we can begin to see the patterns of "the actor" we all embody, often without conscious realization we are even doing so.

Coming to the realization we are playing a role in this world often leads us to a deeper understanding of our inner world and what parts of that role take a toll on us and what parts of it we truly love. This realization is a byproduct of raw, unadulterated honesty with the self, which is more or less the gateway into knowing the truth about who we are. We must first understand who we are on a spiritual level in order to be lucid about knowing the activities and behaviors that bring us meaning in life. Without it, we often operate under the guise of very powerful illusions and external validation that we confuse for inner sanction and peace.

When we find the perfect symbiosis between who we are and what we do, and not only find meaning and value in our lives, but also provide the same for others, we have begun walking the road of purpose. Too often than not we identify with a purpose in the external world, leading us to a disillusionment with life and for addicts, especially, an overall dissatisfaction with the world. That is not to say that there is nothing to be said about finding fulfillment from the world beyond us, but simply that when there is a dissonance between the two worlds we often seek gratification from things like substances and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Purpose is an act of balance, and of finding harmony between yourself and the world. When we discover this harmony we find meaning and become passionate about our every day lives and contributing to the lives of others. Since we are less affected by the outside world and discover a sense of equanamity as well, we also begin to radiate unconditional love and see the world with less judgment, becoming a beacon of light and hope for others struggling with the pain of an enslaved existence.

"The purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself and whatever science or art or course of action he engages in reacts upon and illuminates the recesses of his own mind. Thus friends seem to be only mirrors to draw out and explain to us ourselves; and that which draws us nearer our fellow man, is, that the deep Heart in one, answers the deep Heart in another, - that we find we have (a common Nature) - one life which runs through all individuals, and which is indeed Divine." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Reason Why Drug Addicts Lie

We were always told as kids "don't lie." But we were never told why. Was it for control? Was it to have the upper hand on the actions before they were made, in an attempt to stop our will? Or was the meaning deeper than we could ever imagine?

After multiple run-in's with truth and falsehood, I have come to many conclusions about the truth and it's importance to life and spirit.

Lying is much easier to do, it doesn't take much energy from the brain especially if you are a naturally creative person. It's second nature to imagine possibilities and to dream up fantastical idealistic realities. But at what cost?

I was always told as a kid, you need to be more of a realist, and I resented that. Why buy into the world's views if they have caused me so much strife? With this I digress...

Lying affects our self-esteem and many other things

Telling a lie directly affects your self-esteem because the truth of your actions diminishes, and you become incongruent to your truth. The actual strength / power of your being starts to lower all the way down the scale of energy into guilt and shame. What I have also noticed is that: if you are in a collaborative or loving "frame," you will lose that "state." This is because you have been dishonest not only with the other person, but yourself as well, which brings me to the next point.

Our parents never told us that if we lie, we will suffer the most consequences out of anyone. Not actually understanding the depth and weight of this statement can be catastrophic. Lies can lead you to a point where you are in direct opposition to what is real and after a time you will not be able to tell the true from the false in your own mind.

Another detrimental side to lying that is more passive, is omitting the truth. Sometimes it's just easier to not say anything and brush it under the rug, or suppress it and hope everything goes away. But as this process unfolds; of holding onto information you kniw is deceptive, and omitting the truth. You will start to retreat further into the mind and isolation. You will also have feelings of competition with others, and will start to try to manage the perceptions of others. As you suppress the truth it will domino affect to others parts of your being and you will start to withhold other information. It may manifest as being skiddish, paranoid, frightened, or timid. The competitiveness at this point is because you are making sure no-one finds out, and what the other person physically and externally represents is the conscience.

So character shortcomings ensue. Resentment may form against oneself or others. Fear of being found out, fear of hurting others, fear of confrontation, fear of anger, fear of abandonment, fear of truth, fear of not being good enough, not being perfect, responsibility not being liked, fear of rejection, and fear of violence, are the main manifestations of lies and omitting the truth.

Benefits of Being Honest

So the benefits of telling the truth are freedom, energy, love, a connection with "God," (which is demonstrated as a clear connection with your truth in any given paradigm), an ability to help others, creativity, peace, joy, enlightenment, bliss, and clarity. You will be able to also develop an acute awareness to other truth/falsehood almost in a clairvoyant or intuitive manner. Which could also manifest as big-picture thinking (seeing patterns), or seeing outcomes before they happen.

The old saying "don't lie" is very vague. It is said with good intent by those that say it and believe it. However, as a person with substance use disorder I find myself questioning everything and not believing everything as doctrine. It is good to question people but when it comes to spiritual truths or universal truth, it seems to always win.