Addiction is a terrible condition that can take over your life. The decision to take control and work toward sobriety is a monumental one, as is the journey that follows. When we talk about substance use treatment, we usually talk about finding the right rehab program, medication assisted treatment options, and a strong support system. While these factors are important in recovery, they’re not the only things that matter. Learning and practicing new life skills can help make you a stronger person as you continue on in your new life. Read on for a roundup of five beneficial life skills for all people in addiction recovery.
1. Independent living skills
While these things may sound elemental, they can be anything but to addicts. Because drugs become paramount in addiction, drug-related behaviors can supersede everything else. Independent living skills like maintaining a daily schedule, eating right, and attending to personal hygiene and financial independence are among the independent living skills that will help you in the real world.
2. Control of emotions
You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond. Many people suffering from addiction use drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication. Not only does this perpetuate the cycle of addiction, but it also means that these issues are never resolved. Rather, the symptoms are just falsely muted by substance use. Rehab’s counseling component will teach you coping skills toward a more emotionally stable, addiction-free life. It will also teach you to avoid people and situations which trigger your emotions, such as people you used to use with, dealers, and the places you used to use.
3. Coping mechanisms
Similar to the skill above, coping mechanisms are what allow us to overcome or manage the stress we experience in life. Many addicts turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism, which only makes things worse in the long run. In rehab, you’ll learn and practice techniques for constructively dealing with your stress. Common healthy coping tips include medication, exercise, playing with a pet, spending time with family and friends, and getting back to nature.
4. Social skills
You may once have had many friends and no problems interacting with many different kinds of people and in many different social settings. Addiction can strip those skills away. In addition to an impaired mind, you’ll also be wrestling with feelings of fear and guilt. You may also be afraid of being judged or not accepted. All of these concerns can be immobilizing. Your recovery will help strengthen these skills so that you can re-learn how to interact with people in positive ways. This will lead to new friendships, regained former friendships, the improved ability to communicate affection to loved ones, and the possibility of new romantic relationships.
5. Communication skills
We all have wants, needs, hopes, and expectations. The ability to fulfill them hinges on our ability to communicate them to others. Most people undergo catastrophic communication breakdowns with loved ones when addiction takes over. This leads to misunderstandings, frustration, anger, and resentment. Learning communication skills can help you avoid these avoidable situations while also making you a better problem solver.
You may already possess some of these life skills. You may also have had them at one point, but then lost them due to addiction. Others may have always been your weakness. Whatever the case may be, a good addiction recovery program will work with you to acquire and hone these and a variety of other life skills.
Leading St. Louis substance rehab center Harris House offers targeted and comprehensive addiction treatment, including the facilitation of life skills. Contact us to learn about admissions today.