“Awareness” is our Word of the Week here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD) we are going to be discussing why awareness is so crucial to one’s growth and evolution regardless if one is in recovery or not. There are 2 fundamental perspectives of awareness within the individual which are awareness of others and their emotions, thoughts, and history, but also the awareness of one’s own self, which is what we will be discussing today. What often goes unrealized, is that we cannot actually be truly aware of the state of another if we haven’t yet been able to apply that same awareness to ourselves. Self-awareness is the cornerstone to emotional intelligence which, if you’re in recovery and honest with yourself, you’re aware that this is the area where most all of us need some serious growth. Knowing what is transpiring within our own internal states, preferences, and intuitions really allows us to monitor our inner worlds in order to better understand our cognitions and feelings. With productive self-awareness comes the ability to apply non-critical judgements of oneself. This approach allows us to accept that we are in fact human and capable of failing! Part of the beauty that comes with self-awareness is the freedom of making new and healthy choices. We become conditioned to doing, saying, and feeling a particular way in reaction to particular stimuli. These habitual patterns become so engrained in us that we often act without being mindful of what we are doing or why we are doing it. As you’ve probably guessed, these habitual patterns and reactions are the enemy of the struggling addict. When we are active in our addictions, we operate essentially on one speed which essentially turns to an almost mechanistic pattern of score, use, kick, repeat. We don’t, or rather can’t be aware of what we are doing to ourselves or our loved ones because once the physical addiction has taken over, we are relegated being enslaved by our drug without much of a chance.
At SOCD, this is the stage at which we pride ourselves in helping our clients harvest the self-awareness they will need to be successful in their recovery. Salina and the SOCD team emphasize early on that engaging with one’s inner world and familiarizing themselves with it, instead of running scared, will lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and will also eventually help with cultivating awareness for others. Helping to facilitate awareness in others is one of the many gifts Salina utilizes in her healing and I have seen, firsthand, the growth that is spawned from a willingness to take her direction and guidance in accepting and integrating those parts of us that we keep hidden. Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence”, sums up why the need for self-awareness is so integral when he stated, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you’re not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you’re not going to get very far.” Gaining self-awareness could mean the difference between chronic relapse and long-term, quality sobriety so if you or a loved one is in need, please feel free to reach out to us.