The Necessity of Goals and Self Expression

When I first entered treatment I understood that I would need to prepare for entering into society again as an substance use free individual.  So, goals were essential for keeping me busy and for rebuilding my self-esteem.  My first goal was to continue to write about my story and one day publish it so that others can benefit from the knowledge I gained throughout my substance use disorder and continuing into my substance use free life.  I set no time limit as I did not want the goal to become so challenging that it would be detrimental.  Another goal was to find a full-time job and stay employed.  With these two goals started, I then made sure I had frequent and continuous contact and interactions with other individuals and organizations that promote sobriety  This included groups, sober activities, advocating events, and volunteer work in the substance use disorder field.

The excitement about writing my story to help others was a major factor in my sobriety.  I knew that one day my horrible experience with this disease could be a benefit to others.  I was not going to let this disease be a negative part of my life anymore.  So, I turned the negative part of my past experience into it a very positive and instrumental part of my current and future life.

Once I set these goals and became comfortable to take on another goal, I decided to finish my doctorate.  Again, no time limit.  As I gained more sober time I could attempt more lofty goals.

In conclusion, setting and keeping small goals in the beginning was important for my recovery.  Once I started to acquire sobriety time I could then start achieving more lofty goals.  Also, it is essential to associate and stay involved with activities and organizations that promote recovery.  They must become, at least for me, a permanent and foundational aspect of my life.


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