I’m Still Here

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a post here.  Life has become very busy for me and I haven’t been able to find the time to write anything that I’m happy with.  So to get back in the flow of writing I’m going just to update y’all on what’s going on in my life.

School – I am still taking classes in pursuit of a degree in Addictions Counseling from Indiana Wesleyan University.  While classes are all online, it is very time-consuming.  My current class is Human Communications which includes public speaking and an informative speech to give in a couple of weeks in front of at least five people.  I’ve talked a lot about my social anxiety in the past and have decided to take this class as a challenge and opportunity to face my fears and grow.

Job – I began the process of looking for a new job a couple of months back.  Something steady while going to school, either a local office job or an entry-level position with a treatment center.  I’ve had the luxury of being choosy and only going after opportunities that I think will be a good, long-term fit.  Last week I was offered a great position with a new and growing local insurance office.  There are still some hurdles to overcome with getting my background approved since the insurance industry is highly regulated, but we are moving forward to get started soon.  In order to do this job I have to get licensed by the state, meaning I’ll be doing a 3-day training and taking a couple of state exams soon.

Recovery – I have been interested in getting state certified as a peer recovery coach for quite a while now.  Finally, around my one year anniversary I decided to call and get more info on the training program.  It is a week-long training in Indianapolis and is offered every 3-4 months.  When talking to the nice lady from the certification agency I asked if there was a discount for students.  She informed that there was not a student discount but there were a few scholarships offered for each session.  She asked if I would like to receive a scholarship application when they came out for the next session and I said yes.  A few weeks later I received an email with the scholarship application.  I filled it out and submitted it by the deadline, a little hopeful but not overly expecting to anything.  The next week I received an email back saying that my application had been approved for a scholarship to cover the full cost of the $495 training!  So, I will be spending the week of March 4-8 in Indianapolis receiving a week-long training for the state exam to become a certified addiction peer recovery coach.  I am super excited to go through this training and to take the exam to become a peer recovery coach and to further my efforts to help and advocate for those in recovery in the state of Indiana.

Boxes – The Sober Friends Club boxes have been doing very well.  With the extreme time restraints coming up, I have honestly considered shutting down the business venture but new subscribers just keep flowing in giving me hope that I can turn this into a sustainable project.  I am currently in the process of sourcing products for the March box.  If you don’t know about Sober Friends Club, it is a subscription box service I started late last year that delivers 5-6 products that support & inspire a sober lifestyle to subscribers’ doors each month.  You can learn more and subscribe at SoberFriendsClub.com.

Hobby & Entertainment – One of the main recurring obstacles in my recovery is that I don’t do much for enjoyment.  I don’t really have any hobbies other than my recovery activities and starting business ventures.  There isn’t really anything I do just for fun.  One thing that I’ve always been is a huge sports fan.  So, last weekend I went to my first basketball game in several years and really enjoyed myself.  I am looking to start going to other sporting events on a regular basis.  I have also been working on developing my cooking skills lately.  In the past few weeks I have cooked at home on several occasions, including making hot & bbq wings for Super Bowl Sunday.  I am still looking at my other interests, but this is a great start for me and has provided some balance in my life.

Gambling – I haven’t really talked about this publicly until now, but in my sobriety, I have developed a bit of a gambling problem.  I have been sort of “sneaking” off to the casino on a regular basis.  I say “sneaking” because I don’t really tell anyone about these casino adventures, but I’m not necessarily hiding them.  It’s more of a situation where I’ll admit it if anyone asks, but until recently no one has known it is something to ask about.  The gambling has become a bit of a financial strain on my already severely limited funds.  It is something I have finally admitted as an issue and have begun addressing the problem with my counselor.  The plan is to begin attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings in Fort Wayne to meet some others with gambling problems and to begin to learn how to address this issue.  With all of the commitments I have coming up, staying busy will eliminate most of my ability to drive an hour and a half to the casino and I believe most of the desire to “do something” will be gone.  But this is definitely an issue that I want to address head on and be super vigilant of.  If you have any advice on gambling addiction, please feel free to reach out to me.

Whew, is that all?  It’s not, but those are the majority of life-impacting events going on.  I have been waffling back and forth on what to eliminate to keep myself sane, but then I really enjoy staying busy.  As long as I get a handle on the gambling problem, I can come up with ways to manage everything else and still keep my recovery as priority #1.  Clearly defining my goals, priorities and shortcomings is key.  My overall mission is still the same… to help others recover from addiction.  That is why school is the top priority.  I still really, really want to become a licensed addictions counselor.  After recovery and school comes employment so that I have a source of reliable income.  Then the boxes, then fun & entertainment to provide a nice balance.  Project management is a passion of mine and this stage in my life is definitely exercising my project management skills.  Knowing myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses while keeping the big picture in mind is how I plan to be successful in everything I do.