The Value of Being Financially Self-Supporting in Recovery
For most people in addiction recovery, the word ‘dependency’ doesn’t just apply to the substance itself.
Financial Support During Active Addiction
In the midst of addiction, it is common for individuals to become reliant on other people for financial support. Many rely on friends and family members to help them survive. In fact, this is where the age-old controversy of “supporting versus enabling” stems from. Whether you have managed to financially support yourself throughout your addiction or have accepted the help of loved ones, recovery asks something new of everyone.
When we enter into recovery, we begin learning how to take responsibility for our past actions and for our future actions.
Responsibility isn’t always easy, but it is infinitely rewarding. It gives us the confidence to hold our heads up and look people in the eyes. Through working a program, such as a twelve-step program, no longer are we dodging people and creditors or shirking financial responsibilities. Granted, it make take some time to get finances back in shape, but committing to a new way of living will help restore our finances along with our health.
Learning how to be self-supporting in recovery may be difficult at first, but once you get it down, life is much simpler.
Many addiction treatment programs offer life skills as part of their curriculum. Some individuals leaving treatment may have never held down a legitimate job. Others may have never learned how to budget and manage money properly. Drug and alcohol addictions are full-time jobs, leaving little time to develop skill-sets required for a sober and productive lifestyle. The good news is that almost anyone who knows you are making an honest attempt to become financially self-supporting in your recovery will encourage and support you however they can.
One of the traditions that most of the twelve-step groups have in common is that each group is fully self-supporting.
This falls directly in line with individuals being self-sufficient in recovery. Just as a person in recovery must learn to become self-sufficient financially, so must the support groups. This keeps any outside influence from diverting a group’s primary purpose, which is to help the person in recovery who is still suffering. Whether at a group level or at the individual level, financial autonomy is a crucial part of recovery. We have to be able to support ourselves, for our well-being, for our self-esteem, and for our newfound principles.
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