First it was FUN, Then it was FUN with PROBLEMS, Then just PROBLEMS.
I’ve been where you are. I thought I could do it all by myself. After numerous relapses, I wish someone would have told me It’s easier to stay sober than get sober. It took time, and it took the help of other people who knew exactly what I was going through. Some of us are sicker than others, and some of us need a bit more TLC, forgiveness, and compassion to learn how to live on life’s term in recovery.
People suffering from addiction come from all walks of life. I come from a two-parent household and my parents have been married for 48 years. My parents worked hard and provided a stable loving environment for our family. I attended a University right after graduating from High School. After many years of civilian service, I retired from the Federal Government in 2015. I was a highly functioning Alcoholic, and to the world, I was a responsible competent individual. Until my personal life became a Dumpster Fire. As successful professionals, we’re accustomed to wearing many hats, and independently get the job done. In recovery, I found that is not the case. I needed help. “Even Illness becomes Wellness when you replace “I” with “We”.”
Although I’ve used several drugs, alcohol was my drug of choice. My drinking career lasted for 22 years, I spent 11 of those years trying to get sober. I’ve been to several Treatment Programs. I thought I knew it all, I thought I had it all under control, especially after discharge from Treatment. When I left Treatment, I was either pumped up and ready to go – “I got this sobriety thing”. Or I was pumped up and ready to go drink again because I got 30 days of rest, and no one would know because now I learned how to hide it. After Treatment, I was back home, back in the real world, and left to my own devices I relapsed again. My substance abuse was finally arrested when I realized I had to learn how to live again. I had to learn how to function on a daily basis in the real world interacting with other people. As your Sober Companion, I bridge the gap between discharge from Treatment and living a healthy productive new way of life without substance abuse, putting you on the right path to long-term recovery.
During active addiction, you became numb and anesthetized. You forgot how to feel, you denied your brain and body from experiencing natural emotions. When you get sober normal emotions can be extremely overwhelming, and a natural reaction is to quickly numb them. Intense emotions can be a dangerous trigger for relapse. With a Sober Companion, you are not alone as you learn how to process these emotions, so you can go through the experience and continue to move forward in your recovery. When I finally got Sober, that’s when Recovery began – processing and understanding my emotions, healing from trauma, reprogramming my subconscious mind, and discovering my true self.
During active addiction I wasn’t afraid of dying, I was afraid of living. Today, I live a life of purpose one day at a time. “Recovery didn’t open up the Gates of Heaven and let me in. Recovery opened up the Gates of Hell and let me out.”
- Prepare your living space to create a positive environment for sustained sobriety.
- Supervise your daily life activities, where you go, and social encounters.
- Live with you for a brief period, go to events, or on vacation to keep you away from triggering people/circumstances.
- Support you during new sober interactions with family.
- Develop daily practices that will help prevent relapse: assistance with organizing your day; help to establish structure and schedule for necessary daily activities; encourage fitness and wellness routines, maintaining a proper diet, and taking medications in a timely manner; and encourage regular effective sleep habits.
- Responsibly transport you to all destinations in a timely manner.
- Greet you upon discharge at the treatment facility and drive you home, so there are no detours to usual hotspots where you previously indulged.
- Transport you from home to your place of business and/or to run errands.
- Transport you to scheduled commitments (e.g. rehabilitation aftercare, outpatient services, psychiatrist/therapist appointments, doctor’s appointments).
- Upon request, accompany you to meetings (AA/NA, Faith-based, criminal justice settings, etc.) in order to create a less intimidating environment and reduce anxiety which will help enhance your recovery experience.
1) Promote Recovery
- Encourage participation in a recovery program that will provide long-term sobriety
- Develop a support network and build life skills
- Assist you in developing a plan of action and setting reasonable goals
- Encourage you to engage in life with a purpose by learning to socialize, work, and thrive.
2) Remove Barriers to Sobriety
- Identify areas which present roadblocks to continued sobriety
- Understand the Stages of Change and Relapse Triggers
- Utilize knowledge to promote recovery in times of crisis and prevent relapse
3) Connect to Recovery Support Services
- Conduct ongoing outreach to encourage attendance in recovery-oriented, self-help, and pro-social groups
- Identify and encourage drug-free socialization activities
- Build a safe network and community where drug-free socialization is fostered
4) Function as Your Liaison/Advocate
If necessary, provide regular verbal and/or written communication with: client’s family members/guardian, probation/parole officer, caseworker, court offices, employer, agent/s, etc.