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Life after Addiction for Teenagers

Teenagers who are able to break away from addiction at a young age will usually be considered very lucky. This idea about it being good fortune has nothing to do with the fact that they fell into addiction, but with the fact that they were able to break away from it at such a young age. The hope is that by ending this problem early, the individual will still have their whole life in front of them. Of course, it does not often feel this way to the young person who is trying to break away from addiction – they will not usually feel lucky at all. In fact, this individual is likely to be full of fears about the future, and they may believe that the fact that they are so young is going to make things much more difficult for them.

Fears of Teenagers in Recovery

The most common fears of young people who are trying to break away from addiction will include:

  • The person may be afraid that they will not be able to make any friends. Most young people like to drink and take drugs, and if this person cannot do the same, it will be difficult for them to socialise. This individual may feel like a social outcast.
  • The teenager may fear that they are going to be missing out on an important element of becoming an adult. It will mean that they will need to miss out on things that other people take for granted – drinking alcohol at pubs, parties, and clubs.
  • The young person may believe that this is going to interfere with their ability to meet a romantic partner. They may feel too shy to speak to potential mates when they are sober, and they may feel that the life of somebody in recovery does not provide enough opportunities to meet a potential partner.
  • This individual is likely to fear that they will have to stay sober for the rest of their life – it will seem like a very long time. They may feel that it is very unfair that most people in recovery did not need to give up until they hit middle age.
  • They are likely to fear a future of boredom and of saying no to things. The young person may imagine a future where they constantly need to turn down invitations to places because it is going to involve alcohol or drugs. They will be worried about how they are going to fill their time.
  • One of the biggest fears for young people who are breaking away from addiction is that they will be different from everyone else. They may believe that the fact that they do not drink alcohol marks them out as being a bit weird. They may worry that other people are going to think less of them for the simple fact that they do not engage in these activities.

How to Enjoy Life as a Teenager in Recovery

The reality is that teenagers can have a wonderful life in recovery. This is not just a platitude to make young people feel better because there are countless examples of young people who have managed to create a great life for themselves once they were able to break away from alcohol and drugs. It would be unrealistic to claim that happiness is just going to keep falling from the sky when people become sober, but the individual will be in a great position to really turn their life around if they are willing to put in the effort. Here are a few ideas for how young people can have a great life in recovery.

  • It is vital that people are able to make friends in recovery because this is such an important aspect of being a human. The good news is though, that sober people should have no problem making new friends. The reality is that a large proportion of young people do not drink, and there are also plenty of teenagers in recovery. It will take a bit of effort to make new friends, but sober friendships tend to be more solid and lasting than drinking or drug-using friendships.
  • When people are caught up in addiction, they will tend to view non-drinkers and non-drug users as very boring people. This is a type of cognitive dissonance, and it does not reflect reality. The young person is going to find that there are plenty of interesting people who do not drink or use drugs, and they will find this out when they make the effort to get to know these people.
  • One of the benefits of joining a recovery fellowship is that it means that the individual will have easy access to a group of people who are on a similar path. This should mean that making friendships becomes easy. These fellowships will also usually organise social events for members to enjoy. Some recovery meetings that are tailored specifically to teenagers, where most of the members will be teenagers and these can be definitely worth going regular to.
  • There is no real excuse for boredom in recovery because by getting sober the individual will be opening himself or herself up to a world of opportunity.  It will be up to them to make the effort, but most sober people end up complaining that there is not enough hours in the day to do all the things they want to do.
  • Finding romance in recovery may be more difficult than finding romance in a bar, but it is certainly going to be possible. Many happy couples can testify to this fact. In fact, it is often the case that the relationship will be better for the fact that it did not originate out of inebriation.
  • There is no right way to be a teenager, and the fact that the person is not getting drunk or high like their friends does not mean that they are weird. Being a young person is really about finding your own identity and not just copying everyone else.

Benefits of Teenage Sobriety

It is worth considering the many benefits of achieving sobriety as a teenager including:

  • The individual will be able to put the pain of addiction behind them. This means that they will be free to enjoy the rest of their life.
  • The young person will be young enough to really put some effort into developing a successful career. They are at the beginning of their adult life, and they have a great opportunity to do something wonderful without it being ruined by alcohol or drugs.
  • The experience of being addicted can actually be of great benefit to people once they are able to break away from this life. The individual will have learned a great deal from this process, and one of the most important things that they will have learned is that they have the ability to change.
  • Becoming sober forces the individual to become a better person. This is actually a real boon because there are many people who barely manage in life, but things never get bad enough for them that they are forced to change.

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