Category Archives: Progress

All Humans Unalienable Rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

I have the right to be treated with respect.
I have the right to say no and not feel guilty.
I have the right to feel and express my feelings.
I have the right to change my mind.
I have the right to ask for what I want.
I have the right to express myself openly without concern for my well-being.
I have the right to move freely within my country not causing harm to others.
I have the right toattitudeiseverything make decisions concerning my health and my body.
I have the right to feel good about myself.
I have the right to behave in ways that promote my dignity, self-respect and self esteem as long as others are not violated or impacted negatively.

Living With A Recovery Companion Coach

Anonymous Author

I am not going to share my name because my name is not as important as my experience working with my companion coach. The truth is I was fearful to leave treatment where I received continuous staff support and monitoring 24/7. I needed a recovery companion coach.

My story begins with my addiction and condition before checking into rehab. I will spare you the details of my addiction because we all have a story. But of course, my addiction affected everything and everyone around me. So when I decided to get help and enter a treatment center, my program pulled me outside of my normal environment (home, family, work, and friends). My daily environment where I normally escaped reality and life.

I thought for sure everything was under control when I finished treatment- until it clearly wasn’t.
Ok, I needed help and deep down inside I don’t trust myself to be left alone or continue back home without support in fear of relapse. Sure, like many of you reading this story, I was fine before my addiction started controlling my next move and taking me to places of regret time after time. Now that I had agreed and committed to live a sober life and finished my treatment program, I realized I needed help with an outpatient program from home, office or both.

I needed a recovery companion coach.

How could I get the most from my recovery companion coach while ensuring I did not become codependent?

Well first of all, I looked for a companion coach who was professionally trained and certified with a plan to help me move forward building on my sobriety. I learned successful coaches have a short term process that will gradually release me and reduce the time I spend conversing with my coach.
I was willing to invest in a private companion coach to pick me up on the day my treatment facility released me to go home. My recovery companion coach would support me in making the transition from 24/7 monitored to moving back home. My house needed to be prepared for my newly committed addiction free lifestyle. My coach moved in and lived with me 24/7 to monitor my sobriety and help me get in a routine.

During the first couple of days:
We purged the house of any unclean or unwanted triggers.
We picked up the mail, payed bills and set up a budget plan.
We created a weekly meal plan and went to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients.
We put the groceries away and started my weekly food preparation for easy homemade ready to eat meals- Heat-N-Eat style.
We talked every day about my life in the moment right now and moving forward highlighting things I can do to fill the void.
We carefully navigated my patterns, interests and strengths to draw out my solutions.
We applied the information I learned in rehab / treatment center into my daily routines.
We visited a couple support groups in my area until I found a group that I liked.
We walked and talked every day as I learned how to filter and process and decompress from the daily stress while getting exercise.

During the second week:
I had to go back to work, yes my coach went with me to make the transition smoother.
We were together 24/7, so I introduced my coach as a friend from out of town observing my business and work ethics.
We discussed market penetration, production, sales, and managing staff everything related to my job description and stress to identify hidden triggers.
Fortunately, my position with the company allow me to have an out of town friend join me at work without any confusion or additional questions.
After work we continued to repeat a lot of what I learned during the first week and tracking my progress.

By the third week:
I was feeling more confident with my own ability to function alone. I know how all the moving pieces work together at home and work without my addiction driving me to relapse.
I am so grateful to have my coach bridge the gap during the transition. My coach helped me stay focused and repeat what I learned during treatment in my real life setting. I am ready to release my coach to another client in need.

Finding Peace

Recovery is difficult at times, but with difficulty comes blessings: I am a human being again. I am finding peace.
My body, my mind and spirit have a new strength. The world looks good. I have respect for my family and friends. My work and co-workers are treated positively and productively.
I avoid places I shouldn’t be and people I shouldn’t be with.
If I am tempted towards relapse, my Higher Power is there to lift me up and carry me if need be.
The fellowship has become a home for me where I can always find peace, if I look for it and am willing to accept it.
This is what I always wanted; this is the life I love to live.

The Present

Recovery requires getting honest with yourself, your sponsor and your Higher Power. It is the cornerstone of the trilogy: willingness, honesty and openness.

There are reasons honesty, openness and willingness are often cited, as three must dos to be in recovery.

All three require letting go of the past, not projecting into the future and staying in the moment.

Openness is sharing about yourself, what you are feeling and how it is affecting your decision-making, relationships and overall mental health, probably physical health as well. We come to recovery out of desperation without any idea of how to do it, not even sure what we are doing here. We don’ know how to listen because we are so busy thinking. Openness is learning to listen and getting comfortable with what is uncomfortable, sharing our feelings.

Willingness is the action of wanting to do this, making a commitment. Often we are reluctant because just the thought of doing the uncomfortable makes us ambivalent. Once we realized that our willingness didn’t mean we had to jump in with both feet, it just meant that we are trying a new “design for living” and following the directions of others who have been down this path before us.

Honesty presents our most difficult hurdle, because we have not been honest about much. It has been said, ” for most addicts if our lips are moving we’re lying.” Unfortunately, it is mostly a true assessment. It has to start with our self and our relationship with our Higher Power and doing the first four steps gets us there. It is the total turning our life and will over to our Higher Power that from the beginning and continually keeps us being as completely honest as we can be.

There isn’t a principle of recovery that is one hundred percent at any time in our life, because just being human and living a spiritual life accepts that we will be imperfect.

Being in the present allows us to avoid the resentments of anger resulting from past actions, fear over what might take place and the guilt of what we may be doing or thinking now. We just have to “be”.

When All Excuses Fail… Exodus

By Mendy Wolf

A recovering alcoholic described the catalyst to his rehabilitation and recovery. “I thought alcohol could drown my sorrows,” he said, “until I realized that sorrows float.”

Human tendency is to blame our problems, mistakes and failures on everyone but ourselves: “If only I had grown up with more loving parents, I would have more self-esteem…” “If my teacher hadn’t embarrassed me in second grade, I would have never ended up like this…” “If I hadn’t been surrounded by such bad friends, I would be different…”

The giving of the Torah at Sinai was a monumental event. It was a moment in time that radically changed the world and left its mark on every human being. The Power of the Universe had been revealed! The Almighty appeared to millions of people and declared, “I am the Lo­rd your God.”

No room for doubts or ambiguity: it was the “If only God would tell me He exists…” moment we all wish for.

When all excuses fail…

But the continuation of the dream we all have – “…then I would never do anything wrong!” – did not materialize. Mere days after this awesome experience, the Jews succumbed. Afraid that Moses had abandoned them, they created a golden calf and began worshiping it. Never mind the “You shall not serve any other gods” they had just heard from the A­lmighty’s voice. Forget the certainty and intense belief with which they had been filled. They were the same fallible human beings with doubts and temptations as always—and they failed.

Ultimately, no one can change our lives. Just as alcohol can not solve one’s emotional challenges, inspiration can not take the place of effort. Just as the giving of the Torah could not prevent the Jews from sinning, neither can better parents, teachers, friends or financial conditions. We, and we alone, are the creators of our destiny. We have been granted free choice.

As a child, a famous Jewish sage watched as his home went up in flames. As he stood beside his mother, watching the last remnants of their house reduced to ash, he saw that she was crying inconsolably. “The family tree!” she exclaimed over and over. “The book that records our beautiful lineage! It is lost forever.” The little boy comforted his mother, declaring, “Don’t worry about that book I will create a new family tree. I will establish a new lineage that you can be proud of.”

Let us abandon the “if only I had…” and begin replacing it with “I will establish a new lineage.” Let us not look past at what could have been, but rather forward at what must be. What could have been would not have changed things anyway. What will be is in our hands.

Pilgrim’s Progress

Excerpt from “The Spirituality of Imperfection” by Ernest Kurtz

The classic literature on spirituality suggests a more ancient image for the spiritual life-that of building, in which our life’s time is occupied in the construction of a spiritual edifice, a kind of “home.” The rich metaphor of architecture offers several advantages. It invites thinking in terms of tools, materials, and choices: Which tools, which materials do we choose to use in shaping our spiritual abode? Building also requires a plan, or at least planning, and so thinking-how and what one chooses to see-makes a difference to the outcome. And finally, although the task of construction is laborious, mistakes can be undone, and what is learned from them can be used to improve the structure as a whole.

While both growth and building add useful shades of meaning to the experience of spirituality, the spirituality of imperfection offers an alternative image for the spiritual life: that of journey. And the practice of storytelling brings the metaphor of journey to life, for the narrative format of “what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now” suggests the particular kind of journey that is a pilgrimage. That “plot” bestows on the storyteller the “identity” revealed by the story, the identity of the kind of “journeyer” who is a pilgrim.

The pilgrimage metaphor conveys spirituality’s open-endedness by reinforcing the essential distinction between confident certainty and the mysteries of uncertainty. A pilgrimage involves not a settled and determined lockstep march to a fixed point, but a winding, turning, looping, crisscrossing, occasionally backtracking peregrination-the ancient name for “pilgrimage” that conveys its wandering essence. It is no accident that Bill Wilson’s favorite image, repeated literally thousands of times in letters to people who sought his advice, depicted sobriety as “a kind of Pilgrim’s Progress.” “We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection,” reminds the A.A. Big Book.

The paramount discovery gradually dawns as the pilgrimage continues-the realization that the ultimate goal you seek is not some reality “out there,” but the awakening of an identity that lies within.

“Our destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things,” writer Henry Miller noted. Such a destination fits T. S. Eliot’s description in concluding Little Gidding, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

The goal of the pilgrimage that is spirituality is, simply, to keep moving-spiritually–one step at a time. Or as Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”