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I don’t care who raised you – there are things they forgot to tell you about growing up

Hell, maybe the people who raised you knew nothing about growing up, and your life skills are slim at best. Or, maybe your parents were adolescent therapists who specialized in the changing teen brain, but they still didn’t get it all right. How do I know this? Because no one I’ve ever met, talked to, or sponsored has been able to get it all from their parents or guardians or whoever raised them. More often than not, people are like me and missed a bunch of important growing-up information. Whether it wasn’t presented in a way you could understand or it wasn’t presented at all doesn’t matter. What matters is having a fulfilled adult life and how you get that.

What’s a fulfilled adult life

I’ve been working on creating a fulfilled life for years. Writing 100 Tips For Growing Up is the result of my 20 year quest. I wanted to put everything I learned all in one place as a kind of roadmap anyone can follow to get the life they dreamed of but never thought they could achieve. Can you get the life you want? Yes, you can. You may feel stuck right now, but your world can open up like mine did. If you think that thinking positive is enough, then think again.

Why did it take me so long? For growing up healthy, we all need life skills. How many of us know how to care for our physical health, emotional health, and social health all that the same time? Not many. It certainly didn’t come naturally to me. I needed help figuring out who and what I wanted to be in this world, and how to accomplish that.

So many teens and young adult years are just like me, good at some things and terrible at others. We all need vision-building skills, basic career-building skills, goal setting, then lots of support seeing those goals through. Many of my life goals are a work in progress and always will be. But, I learned how to shoot for the stars, and it’s been the most fun and excitement I could ever hope for in this weird life.

Growing healthy means attention to physical, emotional and social needs

Some of my favorite work for people in recovery from substance disorders, alcohol use, and mental illness like depression and anxiety is figuring out what brings them joy. When you can feel pleasure, you can make a life around feeling good about yourself and what you’re doing. HOWEVER, let’s not dismiss how long it can take to simply get the physical, emotional, and social pieces of your puzzle right.

Practices to create balance and self regulation, can take a lifetime to learn, so let’s start wherever you are. For me, weight management and learning to have a healthy relationship with food took me 40 years. It was never my main addiction, but disordered eating is part of my story. Eating healthy straightened out naturally with long-term recovery, and meal plans. Still, food management is something I will have to think about as long as I live. For those who struggle with eating disorders, it’s a lifelong struggle. Addiction recovery and grief healing take time.

Let’s talk about emotional and mental health

Having balanced mental and emotional health is the nirvana state for people in recovery. Again, you can spend a lifetime learning to manage your feelings and relationship issues. If you struggle with happiness and serenity as I did, then figuring out what’s going on inside and creating ways to treat your issues is crucial. Where do you start? Therapy to uncover your issues is a great first step. After you know why you’re stuck, you can start addressing your habits and lifestyle. I work on my mental and emotional health in a number of ways, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed.

Whatever problem you can can be treated. Bad relationships with family that tear your heart out – there are solutions. Behavioral issues that make you miserable? There are solutions. Unhappy at home? There are experts who can help. I manage anxiety, sobriety, family issues, personal relationships, mild depression, and everything else a neurotic alcoholic deals with, and none of it gets me down anymore. If that ain’t recovery, I don’t know what is.

Hope and happiness are possible

Is life better when you’re sober? Why work hard every day if you don’t like your life? Why do things for people who don’t appreciate you or make you feel good about yourself? These are the questions to ask yourself; and if you don’t like the answers, know this. When I asked myself those questions and didn’t like the answers, I had to do the work to create the change I wanted to see.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown or a broken heart block you from your destiny. Life is good so figure out how to open that cold heart and find the support you need to walk through your challenges. 100 Tips contains every piece of advice I received on my journey. I answered every question and addressed every issue and it was worth it. You’re worth it too.

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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