How the Musical Hamilton Can Help Young People in Recovery

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The hit Broadway musical Hamilton tells the story of our founding fathers and their struggle to achieve freedom, but it also contains a host of philosophies that can help manage mental illness and recovery. Hamilton’s history lessons are told primarily through rap and hip-hop music, which holds a broad appeal to many younger people. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play offers a way for adolescents and young adults dealing with sobriety and mental illness to take some of the powerful lyrics and apply them to their own experiences and goals. 

“Say No to This”

When a person addresses their need for professional help, they are saying “no” to life in the haze of alcohol or drugs. The recovering addict refuses to drown in an ocean of mental illness symptoms they feel they cannot control. They’re saying no to spending another day wasting their potential. They acknowledge that continuing to give the green light to chaos daily does not work.

“I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot”

Everyone has the opportunity to rise up and become the person they always wanted to be. Recovery programs offer their clients a real shot at overcoming addiction and learning to manage their mental health in new ways. The trick involves not returning home and throwing away that shot. Use the lessons you have at your disposal to empower yourself to grow and achieve your goals. 

“I Wanna Be in the Room Where It Happened”

Part of moving forward in recovery concerns making plans for a bright future that honors who you want to become. It is necessary to understand what the war encompasses before you draw up plans for where your battlefields will be. If you decide on a career and need schooling, the metaphorical room you need to be in could be a college classroom. The room could be one where 12-step meetings happen or a therapist’s office. Compile a list of the places where your significant steps will occur and make sure you are in attendance.

“I Have Never Been Satisfied”

One of the cruelties of addiction is the idea that whatever problems you encounter, a drink or using a drug will satisfy the issue. This false promise never comes through, as no amount of alcohol or substances contain the answers. Journal about the emotions you hope to smother, the memories you want to forget, and the anxiety you experience related to what feels like a hopeless future. Recognize that applying addictive behaviors never leaves you permanently satisfied. 

“You’ll Be Back”

In Hamilton, King George sings a song in which he imagines himself as an abusive ex-boyfriend who taunts the fledgling new U.S. with the idea that they will come back to him eventually. Drugs and alcohol offer that same haughty temptation from something that never had your best interests at heart. Use your recovery resources to remind yourself why going back is not an option.

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?”

The stories of the founding fathers are infamous. They have been recounted in history books, but every person has a story that is unique to them. How do you want your story to be told, and by whom? Ultimately each young person determines their destiny and can write the story of how they took control of their lives and made their own piece of history. Remember that you control your narrative.

“Death Doesn’t Discriminate Between the Sinners and the Saints”

One of the hallmarks of youth is a belief that they are invincible, no matter the risky behaviors in which they engage. Someone in the grips of addiction becomes an expert at pushing away the thought that they are vulnerable to physical limits. Reality proves that everyone who plays with fire risks getting burned, and fate does not play favorites. The sooner a person gets into treatment, the sooner they start to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally.

“Blow Us All Away”

Many loved ones of a young person dealing with mental health and addiction strongly believe they can overcome their issues. Unfortunately, not everyone in an addict’s life is supportive. Some people in their inner circle are skeptical or want to sabotage them, so they don’t lose a party buddy or have a reminder that their own lives are not leading anywhere healthy or happy. Regardless of how someone views them, when they utilize a quality treatment program and apply grit and determination, a person can blow us all away with their newfound attitude and the progress they make. Recovery makes everything possible!

The Tony award-winning musical Hamilton tells the story of the founding fathers. Still, it also contains unique ways to look at recovery for adolescents and young adults. When faced with the challenges of entering sobriety, young people can adapt advice about not throwing away their shot and making sure they are in the room where vital steps happen to make real progress. Sustain understands the struggles of addiction and mental health diagnoses and offers a multi-step treatment plan that fits each individual. Our Southern California location provides a place for a young person to receive intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs, and residential treatment that includes schooling. We offer support groups, individual counseling, and family therapy that help address learning to manage the emotions and behaviors that accompany mental health and addiction issues. Call us today to find out how we can help you get started on your recovery! (949) 407-9052.

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Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

K.C.
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