Graduation and Recovery


Change can be both thrilling and terrifying, and no time more so than graduation whether it be from high school or college. This arbitrary period seems to represent a transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.  Being master of your own fate can offer a wealth of positive opportunities or a wide array of potential downfalls, which is why many people in recovery experience both joy and trepidation around these milestones.

Remember where you came from

One way to stay in the moment and not get caught up in worries surrounding graduation is to take time out for reflection. No matter where your recovery started, from a place of desperation or a high bottom of intolerable consequences, there is no way you could have reached this achievement while under the influence of misusing substances. Were academics and scholastic accolades even on your mental horizon during your using days? For many, these types of external signs of progress may have felt impossible, due to fallout from the using lifestyle.  You should take the time to recognize the effort you’ve put into this process and consider where that energy and dedication can take you in the future.

Focus on where you’re going

It is true that lost dreams reawaken, and new possibilities emerge in recovery! Graduation is a huge step forward, and can lead you to better job opportunities, increased self-esteem, more enthusiastic support from family, and becoming a better contributor to society. Graduation itself is both a destination and physical representation of all your progress, as well as a step on a path to a more interesting, challenging and rewarding future. Beyond looking back at where you’ve been, this is also a time to look forward and make some tentative plans for what you want the rest of your life – or even the next 5 years –  to look like. With a solid foundation in the recovery process, you may find that your hopes and dreams can be more than simple wishes: they could become tangible outlines and plans for your future.

Celebrate yourself!

The types of graduation celebrations that might have seemed cheesy or sappy at other periods in your life can now be a safe and fun way to have your work recognized and shared with loved ones. Don’t be surprised if family members get a little emotional as you cross this milestone: they may have feared a very different future for you.  Finally, be sure to make plans with your supportive and healthy friends, so they can shower you with the recognition you deserve.

If finances are holding you back from reaching academic goals, the Ammon Foundation Scholarship may be able to help. Our foundation has helped people of all ages who are in recovery to achieve their education and professional goals. The Ammon Foundation blog also offers useful information, cool ideas, and helpful links for nearly every phase and element of the recovery process.