Sometimes our addictions and mental health issues are so debilitating we feel as though we’ve forgotten how to live our lives in healthy, empowering ways. We don’t feel able to function normally, accomplish our goals, or even get through the day. We feel so depressed we can’t get out of bed. We stop taking care of ourselves. We shirk our responsibilities. Our anxiety and depression, our worry and stress take a major toll on us, along with the addictions we feel so dependent upon. Knowing how to live life and how to function feels foreign and distant to us. We can’t remember even the most basic skills, let alone all the talents we once possessed.
A crucial part of our recovery will be relearning all of the life skills that we’ve lost to our struggles with addiction and mental illness. We’ll be tested in our recovery. We’ll be faced with intense spiritual tests and learning experiences. We’ll need certain skills to navigate the journey ahead. We’ll need to relearn self-care, for one. We’ll need to remember just how important it is to make time for the things we need – solitude, introspection, inner connection, spiritual practice. We’ll need to practice and relearn all the things we’ve stopped doing, primarily taking care of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
An important life skill for us to learn and develop is that of building our habits, routines and lifestyles around our recovery. We learn to prioritize our sobriety and our well-being in everything we do. We create a home environment that is conducive to our sobriety. We learn to have better judgment and discernment around what things are unhealthy for us. We implement the things we’ve learned about taking care of ourselves into our daily lives.
Another skill that is so helpful to learn, one we often don’t learn in our schools and communities, is that of mindfulness. With mindfulness, we learn how to slow down, breathe and practice being present in the moment. We learn to have acceptance for our difficult thoughts and emotions. When we’re mindful, we’re more connected to our inner selves and our truth. We learn to have more compassion, patience and understanding with ourselves. We bring conscious awareness to all of our patterns, our thought patterns, emotional patterns, behavioral patterns, choices, intentions and decisions. We become far better at navigating life’s many challenges, including the hurdles thrown at us by our mental illnesses and addictions.
Part of our recovery is learning, and relearning, some of the fundamental life skills we’ve abandoned and forgotten, implementing them in our lives, and using them to empower and strengthen us as we heal.
Your new life starts today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.