I was told when I was new to sobriety that the time I started using drugs or alcohol my emotional maturity stopped. In other words, I was 13 emotionally. My first reaction was one of resentment toward the person sharing this with me. I soon discovered that in many ways the statement was accurate. Overly sensitive, and at times grandiose, I was prone to self-pity and self-centered fear. I was generally uncomfortable with myself and my environment, much like a 13 year old would be on the first day at a new school.
What I found from my personal experience is there are actions that promote emotional recovery. Certainly movement through the steps is the most beneficial, but there are other things that when practiced can instill emotional maturity and enable one to be better prepared for the challenges they will undoubtedly face. The following are some examples:
5 Tips towards emotional recovery:
- Be as accurate and honest as possible in your communication with others. Remember – honesty without compassion can be abuse, so temper this with tact and common sense.
- Tell people what you are going to do and then do what you told them you would do. This is especially important as a job skill but works very well whenever it’s followed.
- Always consider how your actions will impact others. You are not an island – your actions can affect others in many ways that you may fail to consider. Avoid further harm.
- Do something every day for the body, the mind, and the spirit. Exercising, reading, praying and meditating are things that should become second nature practices.
- Develop a service ethic. Find ways to use your God-given talents in order to be of use to others. Service does not begin and end in the fellowships—get creative. It is especially true with us that to give is to receive. Constant thoughts of others and how you may meet their needs is essential for recovery.
When you come out of the smoke and fire of addiction you may want to grow up that day but this is something that can take years of hard work. The payoff will be greater than you can imagine.
Chris Schroeder is the Director of Media for C4 Recovery Solutions. In his role with C4, he has been tasked with hosting and developing the webcast show, The Afflicted and Affected, interviewing leaders in the addictive illness field and other interesting personalities revolving around the recovery world. Chris comes into contact with those who research and apply the latest methods of treatment and those who are a force in positive change in outcomes and funding both politically and in the media.