There are many aspects involved in addiction recovery, as addiction affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life. Recovery can be very challenging, as it entails embarking on a new journey of growth, healing, and change. If you’ve recently began a treatment program for an addiction, you may be feeling a little nervous or overwhelmed. What should you expect? How are you going to feel? Will you be able to succeed? While all these questions are valid, there are many perspectives that you can take regarding recovery, and the perspective you take on sets a tone for how you will carry out your journey.
Previous studies have shown that individuals take on many kinds of perspectives of recovery:
- a journey
- a transformation
- an uphill battle
- a way of life
- a series of stepping stones
- a rollercoaster ride
- and much more.
When you think of your recovery, how do you view it? You can incorporate many different notions of recovery, but here is another one to think about: recovery as a social identity transition. What do we mean by this? Let’s take a look:
When someone has an addiction, it’s highly likely that their social circle reflects this: they may use with a certain group of people, avoid individuals who don’t use, and spend their time finding ways to center their social activities around substance use. Inherently, their social identity is centered around that of substance use – after all, these social circles tend to include and exclude people based on this one premise. When a person begins recovery, they must work hard towards changing their social identity – meaning they must change the people they used to spend their time with to reflect their new values of sobriety and recovery.
A study published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors sought to explore how group membership can impact health and the role of social identity processes in addiction recovery. Sixty-one individuals were recruited for the study, and were asked to complete measures related to relapse, self-efficacy (perceived confidence in ability to complete recovery-related goals), identity related to addiction, identity preference, consummatory behavior (going after a specific drive), and favorability towards each identity listed. The results of the study found that individuals who preferred to view themselves as a “recovering addict” were far more likely to have increased self-efficacy than those who viewed themselves as an “addict”.
In whole, our perceptions of ourselves are often reflected in the people we choose to spend our time with. Consider your social group, and work towards changing it to reflect the values that you want to uphold in your recovery. You’re not alone.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.