Recovering from addiction can be daunting, with fear of relapse often being the source of great distress. Relapse refers to any return to substance abuse after an extended period of abstinence; it is a common occurrence among those in recovery and may be caused by various triggers like stress, boredom, or social pressure. However, relapse does not indicate failure of the recovery process but instead requires further work in maintaining sobriety; that's where relapse prevention plans come in handy.
You know all too well how difficult it can be to overcome substance abuse, yet resources exist that can provide essential assistance. Sober living homes are one such environment that offers safe havens where those recovering can work through the early phases of sobriety while building meaningful relationships and honing essential life skills.
There is this thing when you are sober, a celebration of sorts, called a recovery birthday (think cake and laughter and a new shiny chip). They can be a big deal to those of us living in Recovery. It is a milestone reached, a celebration of the life we are currently living, an acknowledgment of the journey we have embarked upon and continue to walk everyday despite the difficulties. A reminder that we are still alive and not just surviving anymore, but thriving. But these birthdays aren’t always easy, or happy and that can be confusing.
I was 18 years old and three years sober. Ever since I went through treatment in the summer of 1978, all I wanted to do was to be a counselor. My counselor had saved my life and all I wanted to do was to become a counselor so I could save lives too. I could think of no higher calling or more worthwhile work. So, I applied for a Counselor Training Program.
Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when I drink it. Step One of Al-Anon tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when other people drink it, or when other people want to drink it. Both treatment programs, and The Retreat (which is not a treatment program) are powerless over alcohol and addiction when the people in them want to drink.
“I don’t mean driving under the influence of alcohol, I mean driving under the influence of anger, resentment, and ego. “You’re in MY lane!” “You’re in MY way!” “You cut ME off!”"
There are struggles we will face in sobriety. Getting sober is not a guarantee that life will be void of trouble. On the contrary, life will be life. Life will have its ups and downs, its triumphs and tribulations, its ebb and flow.
Most weekdays I work at The Retreat as the Spiritual Care Coordinator. Most of the time I am meeting with men and women who have already identified themselves as alcoholics and addicts who need recovery and want recovery, using the Twelve Steps and the Big Book of alcoholics anonymous. They understood that what The Retreat has is a thirty day immersion into the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. What The Retreat does not have is radio, television, computers, cell phones, and much in the way of entertainment. We take people who need recovery, put them with people who have recovery, and let everyone benefit from shared experience.