Epiphanies: Slowly Building Up Life Skills In Addiction Recovery

October 29, 2009 — 2 Comments

So I’ve talked, almost a sickening amount, about how active addiction keeps us from developing life skills. But what I really haven’t discussed is how being in addiction recovery makes building up life skills possible.

There I am driving down the road. I should be concentrating on, oh I don’t know… driving. But I’m not. I’m thinking about what it would take for my husband, my son and myself to be able to move out of where we live now. This train of thought somehow turned into setting goals for myself and then… Boom. It hit me, an epiphany.

An epiphany you say. Wow. Did you figure out the cure for some horrible disease? Nope. I figured out how to properly set goals for myself. Goals you say. What are you like 16 years old? Nope. I’m 30.

The reason why I bring up this particular situation is because I wanted to point out that in my recovery I never really set out to build up one particular life skill, then work at it and have it happen. It usually results when I’m not expecting it. Hence the epiphany feeling.

There was a time in my very early recovery when I felt like a horrible person. I felt that I didn’t possess even the most basic skills to get along in this world. This is coming from the mother of a 5 year old by the way. It was a pretty dismal time in my life.

But slowly as time went on (time takes time… anyone?) I started to see that I’m not a bad person. I’m not lazy or stupid, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the most basic situations because I never worked on my life skills.

My life skills had consisted of feeling happy, sad, mad, nervous, scared, etc. and then using some sort of mood altering substance. Then… nope that was about it.

Once I was no longer numbing myself I started to search for other solutions to life’s everyday occurrences. If you are truly working on experiencing and accepting your feelings then really what other choice do you have but to start to do healthy and productive things in your life to make yourself feel better? Remember… Easy Does It But Do It.

It’s through this basic way that you begin to learn and build up your life skills in addiction recovery. Don’t be embarrassed to say that you don’t know how to properly do something. The only embarrassing thing would be if you were unwilling to learn.

2 responses to Epiphanies: Slowly Building Up Life Skills In Addiction Recovery

  1. Well said Erin,

    There is a saying ‘the same person will drink or use again’. The meaning is that something (self) has to CHANGE. I think of my life skills like a weightlifter only exercising 1/2 my body, I am overdeveloped in some areas (survival, instant gratification, deviousness, manipulation…etc) and woefully underdeveloped or atrophied in others (comunication, follow through, impulse control, emotions and relationships). The process of achieving balance for me has always started with identifying the problem, setting appropriate goals and then ACTING on them. An emotion is an emotion, a thought a thought, but absolutely nothing happens without action.


    Bill Urell

  2. Many little epiphanies a recovery makes. I have always believed that my recovery was based on the educational type of spiritual awakening as little by little tiny awakenings changed my perspective on life.
    Tiny, medium, and gigantic epiphanies added up to a life of serenity.
    I’m gateful.

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