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How Our Drugs of Choice Can Impact Our Personalities

Many of us are familiar with the changes in our personalities that come when we’re actively using our drug of choice. What we don’t always realize, however, is that certain modifications can take place even when we’re sober. Often, these personality changes are invisible to us, even if they are drastic and intense or considerably affect the people around us. We tend to associate our problems with our drug of choice. We assume that once we’re sober, those problems will go away. We blame our issues on the drug itself without realizing that the overall illness of addiction is to blame. Addiction itself is the cause of our personality changes, and we can experience those changes whether we’re using or sober.

Mindful Observation of Our Personality Traits

It can be incredibly frustrating to get sober and find that we’re still struggling with aspects of our personalities. Even sober, we can find ourselves being unkind, angry, volatile, and hostile. We withdraw, isolate, and get defensive, taking our sadness and anxiety out on other people. We want to acknowledge these personality traits when they arise, rather than assuming they’ll go away the longer we’re able to stay sober. Remaining mindful of these changes isn’t easy. Still, we don’t want them to push us into an episode of relapse. After all, substances are an easy but devastating way to distract ourselves from the aspects of ourselves that are stressful or bothersome. Let’s become more mindful and observe our personality changes when they arise.

Fluctuations Based on Use and Withdrawal

Our personalities, as we come to discover, are not set in stone, especially when we’re struggling with addiction. We’re always growing and changing, but when we factor in the element of an addictive substance or behavior that we’re dependent upon, the changes in our personalities can be even more rapid and severe. When we’re newly sober or withdrawing from our drug of choice, we might be irritable and frustrated. We might be impatient and uneasy. In the case of an alcoholic, for example, loved ones might be able to recognize when we haven’t had a drink because we’re not acting like ourselves. We might have distinct personality changes depending on our specific level of intake. People close to us might find it extremely difficult to be around us when we haven’t had a drink, because of how we’re talking to and treating them. Then once we have a drink, we’re able to relax, and we feel more like ourselves. Once we’ve consumed too much, however, we might become antagonistic, aggressive, or even abusive.

Looking at our personality traits and how they fluctuate can help us greatly in the emotional work of our recovery. It can also be further motivation for us to commit to our sobriety and to the soul-searching work of healing ourselves.

Remaining mindful and protective of our newfound sobriety is a challenging but vital task. The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 to learn how they can help.