Don’t Rush…Because the Truth is…
The truth is, as a 20-something recovering drug addict, you likely feel like you’re in a race against time. Your best friends and family members are asking you questions about your professional and personal life right after treatment. They’re tossing around phrases like, “what are you going to do next,” and “three-year plans.” You may have some answers, but you don’t have it all figured out quite yet. That leaves you feeling a little confused about the future.
You may start comparing yourself to others and looking at the real world as one big competition. Stop that right now! Know that you’re not supposed to have it all figured out. In fact, it’s much better to move at your own pace.
One important piece of advice about life I’ll give you is this: Take it easy. It can be so easy to get caught up in this fast-paced world, and to run from one destination to the next totally forgetting recovery, home groups and sponsors. Especially with a cup of coffee in hand, it’s possible to respond to a bunch of text messages in just a few minutes and send in your assignments for IOP, too. But, just because it’s possible, doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it. Not every situation needs to be a race against the clock, and you’ll realize that there are some things you shouldn’t rush in life.
Getting Your Dream Job
First things first: Don’t rush the process of finding and landing your dream job. Sure, it would be ideal to work the plant job and get a huge check or work for that renowned hospital down the street, straight out of treatment. But, it may not happen — and that’s totally OK. Here’s why.
You still have a lot to learn to walk before you crawl. There may be other positions or opportunities that you’re even more passionate about, but just don’t know about yet. Take the time to explore those options, build your resume, and become a well-rounded professional in your field. It’ll be worth it in the long run, and help you to appreciate your title of being a boss.
Moving Out of the Halfway House
When I graduated IOP, I gave myself a timeline. I wanted to have a full-time job within a few weeks, and move out on my own around the same time. It didn’t quite work out that way, but I’m so happy that it didn’t. Little did I know, there are a lot of perks of transitional living and continuing to share a space with your recovery family.
For example, you save a lot of money by not rushing to move out. I was able to become more financially stable, and explore my career options at the same time. In addition, I learned more about patience, unconditional love, and what my recovery family truly means to me. Those are irreplaceable life lessons that I couldn’t have learned otherwise.
Getting into a Relationship
In my opinion, it’s beautiful thing to think that everything that knows our minds will come to us, the moment we shift our mental and spiritual energy to something like love. Now, you may be in a relationship, and have completely fallen head over heels. But, if you’re single right now and being asked about your personal life on the reg, then know that there’s absolutely no rush.The love story you’re looking for will come to you when it’s supposed to. Don’t force love or a relationship that doesn’t feel right in the meantime, just because you feel like you’re in a race against time.
I know a lot of us come into the rooms for the first time feeling like we are finally in the right place at the right time to find that special someone. Working the steps with a sponsor, finding out your strong points when it comes to relationships, inventory on a daily basis…the law of nature says that like attracts like. The law of physics says opposites attract.
Learning Life on Life’s Terms
Learning life on life’s terms and experiencing all of the curve balls is essential to growing and becoming the best version of yourself. Give yourself the time and space to make working a 10th step inventory a natural process. What went well or not-so-well, and what role you played in that part of your life. If things didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would, consider doing things differently the next time around.
If you didn’t pay your rent bill on time because you impulsively bought a new pair of shoes, then sit down with your calculator on your cell phone and figure out your finances. Create a budget for yourself, and be proactive. If you started an argument with your best friends, then realize why, where you were at fault and address any underlying issues. (And make amends!)
It’ll pay off to focus on these aspects of working the steps and personal growth, and make you feel more humble moving forward. Things might happen that are simply out of your control. But, do yourself a favor and take every opportunity you can to learn and please understand: You can stay sober in spite of ANY circumstances.
Celebrate Your Life
Last but not least, celebrate your victory in life and don’t let it pass you by. Treat your friends to a home cooked meal or treat yourself to a nice meal from your favorite deli. Cheer yourself on and most important, help others in your house.
You’ll hit so many milestones with your sponsor, your recovery life and beyond. You may land your dream job, or figure out how to cook steak or even bring a meeting back to the treatment center you were in. That’s major for you,and your friends.
Truth is, you have to learn to say “I care,” and move forward down your own path. Sponsor others along the way and make it something beautiful for yourself. Life isn’t a race, or a competition — it’s what you make of it. So, take it easy, enjoy your moments of success, and give yourself a chance to live your best life.