Recovery from an addiction of any kind involves a lot of internal struggles. Each person has to re-conceptualize the world around them and challenge the lens through which they view the world. Being able to raise one’s voice is a powerful tool in challenging these notions. However, a voice consists of a lot more than just speaking. The way each person in a group addresses voice is important when trying to reach the goals shared by each participant.
Understanding voice leads to a better understanding of someone’s addiction and stage in recovery, as well as all of the other people around who are going through their own trials. It is important not to just practice using one’s own voice, but also to internalize the voices of those around them in order to address the holistic nature of recovery, from the introspective difficulties to the social interactions at large.
Voice Is More Than Talking
The idea of “voice” being an important skill may seem odd at first. However, in a therapeutic sense, “voice” is much more than just saying words. Practicing using one’s voice is the way someone can express their feelings and desires, and have the confidence and agency to express them regardless of how they may be perceived.
With addictions, guilt and shame often coincide with someone addressing their past. Voice is a way to not just acknowledge these feelings, but also begin to move past them. By expressing one’s self despite the guilt and shame, they challenge the idea that others will also see them in that light.
The full use of one’s voice takes courage. Voice can take many forms as well, not just from being able to vocalize one’s problems and story, but to choosing certain words to elicit certain feelings in the listeners. Multiple methods of expression can be used to embody voice as well, as someone may find that the best way they have of acknowledging and publicizing these feelings is through curated art pieces rather than using their mouths directly.
Effects of Using Your Own Voice
There are a lot of emotions built up inside during recovery. Addressing one’s past actions as well as trying to formulate a new life for the future can evoke a lot of challenging emotions. However, simply being able to express these built-up feelings can be empowering.
Vocalizing the troubles that someone faces on a daily basis can be immediately rewarding, but the effects of practicing one’s voice go beyond the immediate. Using voice is an exercise of agency over one’s self and thus their future.
Being able to control any aspect of someone’s life, no matter how minute it may seem, is progress in recovery. Voice also helps deepen relationships and practice social skills. It can be difficult for someone to connect with other people or feel like they belong somewhere if they are not able to express who they are or why they have a desire to be part of a social situation in the first place.
Being able to recognize the worth that someone brings to a situation as well as express themselves in a meaningful way can help them feel like they belong somewhere, and have other people looking to them in turn. Voice is an expression of one’s genuine self that garners the respect and trust necessary for making strides in recovery.
The Blessing of Having Others
Other people using their voice to help someone can be very influential. Each person expressing their own agency can encourage every listener, and create an air of trust between parties. Listening, just as voice, is more than simply hearing words; it is internalizing the meaning behind the expression.
Listening is an exercise in empathy and demonstrates a willingness to experience someone’s vulnerability alongside their own. It is a gateway to a true sense of community that many group therapies are built upon. Each voice is a blessing, bringing a unique mindset to recovery, and thus a unique perspective in which to view many therapeutic tools.
Understanding other people by listening to their voices is the foundation of relationships, and these relationships keep each other afloat and motivated through times of joy and times of extreme difficulty. When someone doesn’t just have a theoretical process of recovery, but a practical example that others can learn from, they can encourage others to express their own agency in turn.
Voice is something that can be difficult to grasp, despite how simple expressing one’s self may seem. There is courage behind the willingness to be open and vulnerable. Expressing one’s self is important for future growth and empowerment, just as listening to the voice of others is humanizing and instills trust and faith. When someone speaks, it is an expression of pent up energies and emotions that need to be released. And when someone listens, it validates their present and encourages them for their future.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, contact Lighthouse Recovery today. With a professional staff ready to address your personal needs, Lighthouse provides a program that is directed at your own goals. Reaching out takes courage, and Lighthouse Recovery takes that courage and allows each person to grow with it by instilling practical coping mechanisms and life skills for each individual.