If you are like many of us who found ourselves on the wrong side of the law in our addiction, you may be wondering how you will ever dig yourself out of the legal hole. Problems didn’t seem like a big deal when we were using, but now that we’re clean and sober, they can feel like the sky is falling. No matter what happens, if you stay sober, you will get through them (and not make them worse).
Judges tend to look at offenders who have gotten sober in a more positive light. They may still be angry about what you did in your past, but when you can show that you are taking steps to improve your life and not be a menace to society, it says something. It’s a good idea to ask someone else who is sober to write a letter that attests to your commitment to recovery. You can also bring sober friends, and if you have one, your sponsor to court proceedings. Not only does this give you support, but it also provides a little evidence that you are really doing the deal.
Once you’ve gotten through all the fun stuff that court entails, follow the directions they gave you. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s hard for a reason. Once you are able to accept responsibility for your actions, and not blame your situation on the police, judge, and everyone else, it makes coping with your consequences a little easier. Be sure to sign up for classes, community service, and whatever else the judge asked of you, on time.
One of the most common issues people have is not paying their fees. As a newly sober addict or alcoholic, you may not have the best-looking resume. If you don’t already have a job, try looking for what we call in recovery a “get well job.” For example, getting a job somewhere they don’t run a background check, e.g., a coffee shop, retail store, or gas station will allow you to fill in the gaps and build your work history. Getting back on track takes time, as did getting to the point in your addiction where everything went south. Remember to stay positive, take each day one day at a time, and know that this too, shall pass.
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