Recovery is hard. There will be many moments throughout your recovery where you feel uncomfortable and there may be a few instances where you don’t know what to do. But, the most important thing you can do is establish your independence. Having your own freedom and independence will allow you to make decisions that are in your best interest without having to rely on others. You’ve already completed the hardest first step, which was making the decision to get sober. There will be several more steps down the line that you will need to take, but none will be as hard as the first one.
Here are a few way you can establish your independence during your recovery journey:
- Gain Steady Employment
Getting a steady job can seem hard at first but it’s possible! If you have a criminal record or have long gaps of unemployment, don’t worry, there are opportunities for this situation.. The first step to getting a job is to create a resume. If you don’t have work experience you would like to share, list your personal strengths and skills that can apply to a variety of jobs. Maybe you’re great at getting along with all different types of people, maybe you’re a quick learner and do well under pressure. Whatever your strengths are, write it down. If you’ve never created a resume before, seek assistance from a friend, who doesn’t mind spending the time to teach you, or watch a few YouTube videos here.
Another great thing to do is enroll in any job training programs in your area. Some rehab facilities also offer these types of training programs for a fraction of the regular price. Having a job training certificate under your belt when you go out to apply will only help you in the long run.
- Clear up past debts
The key to independence is having your own money. If you have debts that are continuing to get bigger as time goes on, your first goal should be saving any money you make to pay off these debts. A great way to assess your outstanding debts is to run a credit report. This will show you any overdue balances that are with collection agencies and will provide you with an overview of any loans you have. Once you’ve reached this goal of paying off your debt, then you can really start saving towards any other goals of yours.
- Surround yourself with other independent people
You know the saying, “you are who you hangout with.” Well, this is true to some extent. We can be easily influenced by others we hangout with. If you are surrounding yourself with other friends who aren’t working, and don’t have any goals or plans in place to become more independent, try to find a new support group of people who are living in a way that inspires you. Having friends who are working and have more independence than you do, can help you seek advice from people who are where you want to be. It’s great to have a group of people you can go to for advice. Meeting new people also can be hard, so we suggest attending a few meetup groups that you can find online in your area. This will help you break the ice and get to know people you wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Becoming more independent will be a process. It might take you longer than you wish, but that’s okay. Be proud of yourself for every step you take, and look back at how far you have come!