Authenticity- "Finding what's pure, true, honest, and authentic in sobriety"

Authenticity- Matt.jpg

Authenticity is our word of the week here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD). I can say, with some certainty, that there we have not yet featured a trait in this segment that is encouraged more than authenticity. True authenticity is an engagement with oneself that reflects itself outward onto the world without compromise. Although the ability to exhibit this trait takes much time and commitment to a radical acceptance of oneself, meaning all the positive and negative aspects, it is an ability that is indispensible for lasting sobriety as well as in regards to harvesting one’s own integrity. What’s most problematic for addicts is the fact that most of us came from an environment at home where we probably didn’t get the adequate support and acceptance. This creates scenario in our inner-worlds that drives us to seek out and find this acceptance, regardless of whether or not it is legitimate; and by legitimate, of course, I mean authentic. In other words, in order to obtain good feelings in the short term, we sacrifice authenticity in an attempt to please others or have them view us in a more preferable light. This manufactured way of being stands in glaring contrast to the way in which we, here at SOCD, try and guide our clients. Clients are encouraged to be their authentic selves regardless of what they predict the outcome, or reactions, from other might be. Although it sounds trite, acting authentically, and from a position of honesty and integrity, becomes it own reward as we begin to understand that we choose to bear the burden of the feelings of our own inadequacies. It is an amazingly liberating experience when we start to see that, as easily as we can choose to carry around the weight of self-doubt and insecurity, we can just as simply drop that baggage and make the choice to live our lives free from fear of rejection. Once we learn to accept ourselves, we free ourselves from the bondage of the need for external validation, as we will be able to validate and respect ourselves despite our blemished histories and perceived weaknesses. Finally, being authentic also means harnessing the ability to be vulnerable and letting others see all facets, trusting that there will be no judgment, and also finding comfort even when there is because we have learned by now that we can only control our behaviors and reactions and not those of others. In addiction, we spend nearly every waking hour willing to give up all authenticity if it meant getting a personal benefit in return. In sobriety, however, we no longer have to make those compromises; we only continue to suffer to the extent that we allow ourselves to stray from what is pure, true, honest, and authentic. “Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet - thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing - consistently.”