Despite the heat, School is back in session, marking the end of the Dog Days of Summer. It’s time to leave the sandy beaches behind and hone in on your academic prowess. If you left school in a state of emotional disarray because of substance abuse, mental illness, or both, this is your opportunity to revamp your experience. Sure, the wreckage of your past will be there, but the opportunity to shift the perspectives of those you encounter is available to you. You can clean up the mess, so to speak. The bigger question is how does one traverse the landscape of school…sober? Here are some tips:
- Continue to go to meetings and work with a sponsor: This is your lifeline to sustainability in sobriety.
- Join a sober club or start one if there isn’t one already!
- Make new friends—your using buddies have to go. You are changing your life for the better: find friends who have the same moral fiber as you.
- Ask for help. It’s a sign of courage and strength to reach out. If a subject is too hard, or if you have difficulty with a teacher or assignment, advocate for yourself. Suffering needlessly benefits no one.
- Get excited about school. Education is the ultimate brain food!
- Follow your dreams! Going to school is the first step to reaching them. Give it your all!
- Make your emotional and physical wellness a priority. Meetings, therapy, and self-care: those are all supportive tools. Use them.
While going back to school can be met with apprehension, despair, excitement, joy, and even complacency, meeting those emotions with some compassion and openness can make them easier to work with. Changing your lifestyle, perspectives, and emotional temperature takes effort, but it is well worth it in the end. Choosing to be present and awake for your life is a true gift. Approaching school with curiosity and an open mind will make a difference in your life. Try it!