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Sobriety and recovery can be scary and in many cases traumatic. You have just made a complete turn around in your life and you are now free to make what decisions you will as a clean and sober person. In many cases you are moving from a controlled in-patient situation to the real world in one step. The good news is that through counseling and treatment you probably have an arsenal of new tools and skills to help you remain sober while living your life. So believe that you are prepared and can ask for help when needed. Just in case you are still worried read on to learn more about what you will need to keep moving forward on the independence highway.
First and foremost you must practice good, healthy, daily living skills. While using it is likely that you neglected your daily responsibilities or let others take care of basic tasks for you. This stops now because you are a responsible person. These skills are building blocks to being on your own in the world as an independent person. Some of the most important basic skills are a job or education, communication skills, time management skills, budgeting and money management, and nutrition and wellness. Each of these will be described in greater detail.
You have a responsibility to make your own money. This may mean odd jobs for awhile, but could also mean moving forward with your education. A GED or college education can help open doors to opportunities you may not have considered while using. Take job prep courses, sign up for GED classes, and look into job placement places to help get the ball rolling.
As part of life and in gaining employment you must have strong communication skills. This means you have the ability to dress and speak professionally when necessary. Be able to be open and honest about what you want and need in life to help move into further independence. Communication goes beyond finding employment as setting boundaries with friends and family members, asking for support when needed, and voicing concerns is necessary at times.
Time management skills are important for everyone. You must know how to manage your time to accomplish the tasks that need to be completed for that day. Putting off a single task for even a day can create a back log on your to do list. Don’t wait until you are motivated, simply get to work and start crossing things off your list.
Budgeting and money management can be a challenge for anyone, not just addicts. As a former addict you may have fines and obligation s that need to be met beyond your daily needs. Tighten your belt and start budgeting to pay off old debts when possible. The feeling of accomplishment and independence you will feel by meeting these obligations will be immeasurable.
Finally, but most importantly is self-care through wellness and nutrition. If you do not take care of your mental and physical well being, other areas will suffer. Personal hygiene may not have been important as an addict but it is as an independent adult. Keep your surroundings clean and organized and yourself as well. Choose to eat in a healthy manner to keep your mind and body sharp and ready to face the challenges of every day life.
You are ready to become independent, though it will take some work. Plan ahead, set goals, and work toward those goals daily to create the life you deserve.
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