Addiction: Who Are You Without Your High?

Addiction_Who Are You

Choose Your Questions and You Can Change Your Mind


Your high might be from drugs, alcohol, sex, exercise, shopping, food, work, being mistake free (perfect), religion, or some other obsession.

For me, my high is from the drug of compulsive eating of cookies, chips and chocolate behind closed doors with no one watching. I get high from compulsive running, until my heels ache and my shoulder wakes me up at night from over exercise. And from having my phone glued to my hand so much that I have a sunburn in the shape of an apple.


So Who Are You Without Your High?

Addiction_Who Are You2When we think about making a change in ourselves, sometimes we complicate things. Making things complicated is an excellent way to avoid the hard work of recovery (and pretty much any change that you or I want to make in our lives).

Want to change, want to recover? Ask yourself Who Am I Without My High?

The answer to the question is: Just you.

It might be a long time since you have been clean that you forget. You may have tried 500 times to change a habit and you don’t know what else to do. Good. Welcome to the front lines of change.

Change is not about changing your whole life, usually it begins with a change of your thought. Change that sticks is change that begins where you are at: the Who, the Are or the You.


The Who, The Are, The You of your identity.

It’s a difficult question. Stripped down, honest, raw: Who are you at your core? You can begin at any point. If one does not connect, move to the next.

Who asks a question. It asks for a response: What kind of character are you, or what is your character? It explores your identity.

  • Begin with your Who by asking three clean friends, or three people who know you. What words do they use?
  • How do you act when you are decent towards other people?
  • What do you like in other people? That says something about who you are.

Are is another way of saying “Be.” Who Be You? sounds like 2-year-old-speak, but it’s pretty accurate. Are is about your being, the values and passions that you live out. It is about your presence in this world. It is also about your aspiration: You may not be there, but who do you hope to be?

  • You may face a lot of shame because of what you have done or because of what has happened to you. That doesn’t change your core.
  • You have days, hours and moments where you are not high. What are you like? Miserable. Okay. But what are your dreams, your hopes in the moments when you are awake?
  • Take a paper and write the words that capture your dreams, hopes and better self. Make a mess on the page, write the words as they come.
  • You could even do a collage, clipping photos from magazines that say something about who you are and what you value.

You is the person in the mirror. You is not selfish. It declares that You matter. You count. You choose.

  • Write down three people who you matter to? Write down three people who matter to you. Call one of them and say it. You matter enough that you are important to someone else.
  • Choose yourself. Short sentence, big concept. Read about it here.
  • Waiting for the right moment to act, waiting to be picked means that you may wait forever. Choose one thing today that you can do that is healthy and begin. Choose your words carefully when you speak to yourself. Be kind.

Who Are You is simple: Just you. Change is simple but difficult. One action repeated each day is change. Choose one action and persist. That is recovery, wellness, change, improvement.

You are who? Are you who? Who are you?

Say it anyway you want and it means the same thing. You are more than your high, more than your behavior, more than your failure. You are more. You are!

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Keep it Real

I am an author at The Good Men Project and The Real Edition. You can follow my writing by signing up for this blog or on Facebook. If you like what I have to say, please share it.

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Photo by Thomas R. Stegelmann and logo adapted from clipartpanda.

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