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Friday Food for Thought: Self-Portraits

“I have already lost touch with a couple people I used to be,” wrote Joan Didion.

What a thought.

We are so often consumed with the past. Memories that we’d rather not dwell on—but do. Situations we’d rather forget—but can’t. Versions of our being that we are no longer—but still see, waiting in our rearview mirrors.

People that we used to be—but aren’t anymore.

Of course, “losing touch” with past versions of self does not mean forgetting them entirely. It simply means that you have created more room in your life for the present—a space in which your past can transform into something that will serve the person you are meant to become.

Each stage of life is associated with a different stage of self. Consider the idea of the self-portrait: gaze upon the entire oeuvre of an artist and you will find that no two iterations are the same.

With each day, we have the opportunity to paint a new self-portrait. In times of transition, this portrait has the potential to change by the minute, as emotions run wild and past ideas form new relationships with reality.

Finding one’s identity in recovery is a journey from day to day. Shedding prior notions of self—and the habits and thought patterns that were formed in active addiction—is a crucial part of healing.

The changes may be subtle, at first, though with time, the “self-portraits” painted in sobriety will be indicative of a fresh start. One that acknowledges and honors the struggles of the past—and shines light on the beautiful potential of what’s to come.

We have stated at RECO that we empathize with the person you were. We invest in the person you are. And we advocate for the person you will be.

On this Friday afternoon, we hope you’ll remember the power you possess to make changes—and the hopeful future that can be created in making them.

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