Transition to Independent Living

As many of you know, for the last year and a half, I have lived in a supportive living residential program after a relapse in 2018. I’m in the final stages of transitioning to independent living. Next week I also transition from a part-time job to full time but I’m also looking at other job opportunities in the recovery field.

It’s been a month since I started working at Wal-mart on the overnight shift. I am still adjusting to a sleep schedule of 10 am to 6pm. This gives me at least eight hours of a night’s, as well as an hour before I attend an evening meeting almost every night. It’s imperative I continue to attend meetings especially at a time when there are major changes happening in my life.

The job, as stated on other occasions, is not something I would like to do for the rest of my life. While I’m grateful for the experience, it’s taking quite a toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. In a nut shell, it’s really hard work, long nights and at times I have wanted to just give up. Instead, like my recovery, I just concentrate on what needs to be done in my work day doing it to the best of my ability. I literally leave work at work. A lesson I learned from my own past which was a contributor to my relapse.

Recently I completed my application for a Certified Peer Specialist through New York State. Now I’ll be looking for employment in the recovery field. In the past recovery was focused on those with an addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.) Recovery is now inclusive of everyone whether they are an addict, a person diagnosed with a mental health disorder or just someone who is having difficulty living their own life. It’s interesting how services have transitioned from institutional to peer supportive services. Studies have shown there is a greater chance of recovery when individuals use peer supportive services focusing on the individual versus their medical diagnosis.

A respected peer reminded me today we must take care of ourselves first. We have to find a balance in recovery and our life experiences. To much of one or the other can have a see saw affect, the rest crashing down on us. So on that note – a meeting, dinner and a quiet next two days off from work.

Life is good and I don’t have to drink!

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