A non-profit organization in Texas called The Lost Closet exists for one purpose: helping released prisoners with a first step in regaining dignity.  They do so by giving them an outfit to replace their prison clothes.  If you are in treatment recovering from your addiction it can feel like you just got out of prison.  Addiction is a prison that takes you in and strips you of your identity.  When find freedom it can be difficult to pick up the pieces of your life.  Here are some steps toward regaining your dignity in recovery.

  • Forgive yourself – Mistakes were made and damage was done, but addiction does not define who you are.  You are a beautiful person worthy of forgiveness.  You can never truly recover without forgiving yourself.
  • Forgive others – A lot of people have caused you pain, knowingly or not.  Practice, in your mind, forgiving those who have hurt you.  Forgiveness is a process.  You will probably have to practice forgiving the same people more than once.  This is a necessary step to forgiving yourself and regaining dignity.
  • Ask for forgiveness – If it is safe for you to do so, ask people you may have hurt because of your addiction for forgiveness.  Most will gladly forgive you, and each time it happens they are restoring a piece of who you truly are.
  • Reform your identity – Perhaps journal about who you want to be as a recovered person.  List out some traits and ideals you wish you could have.  Take a step back and look at what you have written.  The person you wish you could be you already are.  That person may be locked deep inside, but as you recover and fight you will soon see yourself blossom into your new identity.
  • Be mindful of the lies that rob your dignity – Long after you go through treatment, and rebuild your dignity, there will still be moments when you regret your past.  Those regrets can quickly turn into thinking you are a naturally bad person.  Remember you are forgiven and those regrets no longer define you.  Be prepared to fight off those lies and embrace your new identity.

Regaining your dignity is a process.  The steps above are labeled one through four, but in reality the process is more involved.  You will find yourself bouncing around different steps, or even working through multiple steps simultaneously.  There is no mathematical formula to regaining your dignity.  The secret is in discovering your value as a human being and thriving in it.


The Springboard Center wants to change the way the Permian Basin and beyond approaches substance abuse. Our residential treatment programs offer an opportunity to restore the health and dignity of clients and their families. Call us today for information on our programs for addiction and alcoholism: (432) 620-0255