Many a wartime survivor will tell you that it’s not the conflict that’s hard to live with, it’s the peace afterward. Those who have lived through difficult circumstances, of any kind, have learned to adapt to a particular kind of “war.” After recovery or rescue or whatever brings great calm or quiet comes a new kind of uncertainty and conflict: what to do with oneself when you are not fighting for survival. Life skills programs are put in to place to help with the conflict on these decisions.
Fortunately, life skills in recovery can be taught, as part of a comprehensive program. Those recovery skills can fill in the holes of essential life skills training that were missed earlier in life, as well as teach new skills that can make “adulting” much more comfortable and more palatable (and not dull!).
Here’s how life skills programs can help addicts in recovery live in sobriety and soberly deal with new experiences.
While in recovery, you may acquire some life skills that will help in the future. Some of the possibilities include:
One of the most significant challenges of life after rehab is taking on new experiences while sober. If you keep in mind the life skills gained during rehab, you will be able to follow this formula to deal with new experiences soberly.
Many addicts in recovery find it helpful even to keep this formula prominently displayed (or your own set of steps or affirmations).
Taking on each new experience while sober is its basic life skill. If you started drinking or using young, you might have had very few new experiences while sober. Maybe you used to ride from one high to the next, never encountering work, friends, the holidays, birthday parties, or other everyday experiences without something in your bloodstream.
But fortunately, with great life skills programs, you can take on new experiences with gusto!