Join Rise Be is a peer-run initiative for emerging adults (ages 18-29) in recovery. We define recovery as an internal shift from the inability to overcome challenges into a manageable state of self-awareness where growth is attainable. And in many ways, doesn’t that feel like growing up? Ain’t recovery the process of coming to recognize oneself as a competent and self-directed agent in this world? Ain’t that at least half of being an adult?
To me, recovery is like learning to parent myself. And I think this is what some people mean when they use the term adulting. So, what is adulting?
Adulting, verb: A self-aware, humorous way to describe the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
My feelings about this term are complex, skewing negative. Its cutesy tone feels infantilizing, much like the traditional mental health system can be. I’m pushing 30 and at a certain point in one’s life, adulting becomes synonymous with existing. However, the utility of the verb adulting is how it acknowledges adulthood is not simply a state of being, but a process of becoming. I will therefore allow it space in my vocabulary (at least semi-ironically, for the sake of The Algorithm (All Hail The Algorithm)).
Over the past few weeks, I’ve co-reflected with my JRB coworkers about how I model one path of recovery—how I ‘walk the walk’. Going forward, I’ll document how I take care of myself using different tools I’ve picked up as a Connecticut State Certified Recovery Support Specialist. Since the term adulting originates from Kelly William Browns’ Adulting blog, bloggging about it isn’t a novel concept. Nevertheless, my goal is to use my background as an RSS to demonstrate some tools I use to keep existing as an adult in the 21st Century.
These tools are informed by my coworkers’ and my perspectives as certified RSSs and peer mental health workers. To organize my thoughts, I draw from printouts from The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by McKay, Wood, and Brantley in conjunction with the Copeland Center’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan, JRB’s Lotus Project, and the manual from my Intentional Peer Support training from Advoacy Unlimited and the Wildflower Alliance, among other sources.
I invite you to use any templates I’ve made. If you create your own, I urge you to keep them simple and revise them later. Get out of the planning stages as soon as possible and give yourself space to experiment!
Enough preamble. In honor of the 11th hour of my 20s, welcome to Join Rise Be’s Adulting Series!