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Sobriety and Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is defined as “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.” In a state of active addiction, we were far from being self-actualized. Rather than realizing or attempting to fulfill our talents and potentials, we withdrew entirely from ourselves and relied on alcohol and drugs for our sense of fulfillment and happiness. In sobriety, however, we can get back in touch with who we are at the core of our being and finally begin to live in a positive way.

Many of us covered up or rejected our potential in favor of intoxication. Rather than working toward our dreams, we isolated ourselves from our creative, intellectual, and social potential. The theory of self-actualization was derived from an American psychologist named Abraham Maslow who created a “hierarchy of needs”. The hierarchy begins at the bottom with physiological, then works its way up through safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and, finally, to self-actualization. In addiction, drugs and alcohol change the brain to such an extent that substances become more important than most physiological needs, like eating and drinking water. We disregard our own safety, care little about love and belonging, and tend to suffer from low self-esteem. In this context, we live completely at the bottom of the hierarchy.

In sobriety, we can begin to work our way up the hierarchy. Each level must be taken care of before we are able to move up to the next. We often relearn how to care for ourselves, live safely, rebuild our self esteem, and eventually we begin working on fulfilling our own life potential. Fortunately, recovery is about more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It is about spiritual and emotional growth in sobriety. When we get sober, we often rapidly move up the scale until we are in a position where we can finally begin to meet our full potential.

The Positive Psychology Program points out that self-actualization doesn’t refer to getting rich or famous. Instead, “self-actualization is about reaching one’s personal potential, whether that means becoming a painter, a politician, a philosopher, a teacher, or anything else.” Self-actualization looks different for everyone because it is a very personal journey. Each of us have different creative, social, and intellectual talents and potentials. We will each recognize something different about ourselves and what we want out of life. In sobriety, we are finally free to pursue our dreams.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to break the chains of addiction by seeking help now. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers a convenient and breathtaking location where clients can can safely explore issues and trauma that may have contributed to the onset of the addiction and work toward a full life of recovery and long-term sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431