Do You Know Who You Are Without Drugs?

Young woman with hat covering face
(Photo by Rohappy/

Do you know who you really are? Yeah, I didn’t have an answer the first time I was faced with that question either. In actuality, that question haunted me even before I entered treatment. I was terrified because I didn’t know who I was without drugs anymore.

And, maybe you’re feeling the same way. If so, this is for you. I figured it out and so can you.

When All You Know Are Drugs

After years of continued drug use, all I knew was that I really enjoyed getting high. Other than that, I had no idea who I was or what I enjoyed doing. Moreover, I knew by agreeing to enter a drug treatment program that I would ultimately have to discover the answers to some seriously big questions.

More commonly than not, many addicts feel this way prior to and even after entering a treatment program. But why? You’re getting clean and improving your life so shouldn’t you be happy and excited to discover who you are sober?

Well yeah, you should be, but at the same time addicts are making a life-changing decision and are leaving behind a life they’ve known for years (maybe even decades), so yes it’s scary.

For those not sitting in these exact shoes right now, just think about it for a minute. If you moved across the country to a new home, new job and didn’t know anybody, you’d be a little scared, anxious, and nervous too, right? You may hesitate to make the move altogether, just as addicts often hesitate to make the decision to enter treatment.

It’s hard to leave your comfort zone—to leave everything behind and re-discover yourself whether you’re an addict or not. Even more so, once you’ve made the choice to leave your comfort zone, you enter this experience fully knowing that the work has only just begun.

As I entered those doors to rehab, I felt like a newborn fawn trying to walk for the first time. I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that everyone kept telling me it was the best decision I’d ever make in my life.

Discovering Who You Are in Recovery

When the time came in my program to begin looking within, I wasn’t that thrilled. Up until that point, everything was focused on getting my body and mind back into working order. Now, I had to face those seriously big questions and I still didn’t want to.

That day in the course is still crystal clear in my mind. As I sat there and stared at the question, “Do you know who you really are?” I could feel the frustration building. I was unsure how to answer the question and upset that I didn’t know myself well enough to answer it.

I stood up, I held back my tears and walked over to my supervisor and asked to go outside for the remainder of the course. Laying on the picnic table out back, I stared up at the sky hoping the answer would fall out of it. That never happened though.

That evening, I sat in my room and just pondered the question over and over again. Who was I without drugs and toxic people in my life? I mean I understood that I was a human, sister, daughter, and friend to many, but who was I?

Realizing You’ve Betrayed Yourself

The next day, as I sat there and continued to read the words again in my workbook, I realized I had betrayed myself in the worst kind of way. Things I had promised to myself I would never do, I did. It was the reality of facing this that made me realize who I was.

I wasn’t who I was on drugs. That simply wasn’t me; that was a distorted version of me controlled by drugs.

I was someone extraordinary but I had lost sight of that, the further and further I drifted from the values I grew up believing in.

You know, treat others how you’d like to be treated, don’t lie to people, and definitely don’t steal from them either. The list keeps on going, but you get the picture.

Once I realized how much and how often I had actually betrayed myself, I could clearly see who I was and was not. And, you too can do the same.

While it’s often scary to look within, especially when you’ve neglected yourself for so long, it is definitely a worthwhile journey to embark on. And, who knows maybe you’ll discover that getting sober really is the best decision you’ll ever make in your life, just like I did.

R.P.—Narconon Graduate



After completing the Narconon program in Michigan, Rebecca has dedicated her life to staying sober and helping others find sobriety using the techniques provided by Narconon.