We have great news here at The Retreat! Our new National Center for Women’s Recovery is now open to lovingly welcome women suffering addiction into a beautiful space to heal! And it’s amazing! I had the absolute privilege to attend an event this past Friday with about 20 other women to break in the center with amazing energy. We wanted to do this so that the energy from women who have been on the journey before could breathe in healing for the women who are to come next. To be in this new space and surrounded by women who have a passion for recovery and a desire to share their unconditional love and energy was heart changing to say the least. As we embraced this new place for community together, we entered each room and blessed the walls with a love and purpose I cannot put down in writing. The new walls are nothing short of extravagant, but what moved me more was the bursting of love from this group of women in preparation to open the doors and welcome home new family. I have often said there is something magic in these walls at The Retreat that is indescribable, that fact most definitely has not changed even though the paint on the walls and the beams that support the walls are rebuilt.
It occurred to me that the building of our new center is symbolic of the journey of recovery. Sometimes we just have to make a commitment to break everything down to its very foundation in order to rebuild. Starting from the bottom up and exploring every corner of our spirits to heal and ultimately better serve each other can be a tough journey. There are bumps in that road and hardships that we must walk through in order for a better purpose to be served. I know for me and my journey, this is truth. When I was in early recovery, I had to break down completely and basically start from scratch. I had to and still have to take an honest look at my motives and my feelings and those pesky defects of character. There was no holding on to the old if I wanted to stop suffering. It was a full re-model of my heart and soul. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it still happens and will forever be on-going. It came with one step at a time, one day at a time. Sometimes with great achievements and progress, other times just a very slow and steady renewal. And it also came with great rewards, far too many to list so just have faith that it’s true.
What is so important to note is that I didn’t embark on this journey alone. It took a mass of beautiful people surrounding me to help make that happen. My community! They are my parents and sisters, dear friends, and an AA community that touched my heart and loved me until I could learn to love myself again.
But more so, it took faith in a higher power. I need to do all the sweat induced labor and soul searching. I need to go to meeting and reach out for help. I need to talk and be rigorously honest. I need to reflect on my defects and work through that painful process. I need to make amends and continue to find spiritual growth and integrity in order to build on my strong foundation. I need to cry with my fellow recovery friend and share my experience, strength and hope. I need to do all these things, but I cannot do it alone. I move along in partnership with my Higher Power. My Higher Power has shown up relentlessly to guide the way and offer me the promises of freedom, joy and happiness.
That’s no different than how our new center was built. The labor and thought of each and every inch of these walls was nothing short of an intense journey with a beautiful community of hard working people. Every sign carefully thought out. Every paint color decided with thoughts of peace and warmth for our future guests. Each generous donor sharing their resources to build these walls so women can re-build their lives. The facilities team, our quiet hero’s, with a to-do list that’s unimaginable humbly and patiently making it happen. Our kitchen staff who worked from a trailer all winter to be sure our current guests were well nourished and fed with care so they could concentrate on feeding their hearts. And our founder and president who took the risk, because he knew it was worth it, and followed his purpose to serve so we could all change our corner of the world. We have our development team who relentlessly reached out to our supportive community and shared our mission so financially we could help more people. And our admissions staff who changed their structure and re-created a world that could keep on healing our guests while a better future was built next door. Our marketing guru who shares the great news with the country. Our leaders in the men’s and women’s center, the 55Plus program, the family program, the evening program and our sober living homes all adjusted, with grace, to be sure that those still suffering during the build, still got the love and compassion they so desperately needed and deserved even though the bricks and mortar were going up just a heartbeat away. And our Retreat Assistants, those on the front lines with the guests every day, sharing their experience, strength and hope so someone new to recovery could hear “me too”. The whole staff, our second-to-none volunteers and the surrounding community embraced this growth and did their part to make this happen because they all have hearts of gold and a purpose to love.
And so does this also happen in recovery! My family and my whole community did a part to bring healing, love and grace to my spirit when I couldn’t do it alone. And I still don’t do it alone. This community that has helped me rebuild continues to be the village that supports my foundation and my daily growth. When it’s hard and something isn’t going smoothly, it’s my community that steps in to hold me up. When its joyous and great blessings are obvious, it’s my community that rejoices even harder than I do. It’s my community that can stop me in my tracks and tell me when something isn’t quite right and then lovingly help put me back on the right path. It’s this kind of support that heals hearts and changes lives. And it’s that kind of community that fuels these walls of magic here at The Retreat. Not only in our new Womens Center, but in our 41 bed Men’s Center and all our other offerings too! We have solid foundation here at The Retreat. Always did! It’s just much lovelier now! Welcome home future recovery family! We love you! Come on in!