Recovery conference 2018
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu
I am attending the Episcopal Recovery Conference in Asheville, North Carolina and learning so much more about recovery from addictions. First of all, I realize that the longer I am in recovery, I tend to believe I know and have heard it all. Today I am disabused of this thought process. I actually know very little. That is why so many gatherings like this are important.
One speaker, Chris Budnick, executive director of Healing Transitions in Raleigh, talks about how we think recovery for others should look similar to ours. Not true. Recovery from addiction is not a cookie cutter process. We share with others our experience, strength, and hope, but we must not expect others to have the same experience, strength, and hope. Perhaps we can see this more clearly in reference to our spiritual life. We each have a spiritual connection to God, but it is different for each of us. So also is our response to recovery and how we reach recovery unique.
I learn one more lesson today. We often talk about someone not coming to recovery because they “have not reached their bottom.” That means they haven’t reached a level of pain that will cause them to make a change. The speaker gave examples of others who decided to change because people in recovery kept letting them know there was hope for freedom from addiction. Hope for a new life. Mentors in recovery keep letting them know that those in recovery care about them, have some realization of what they are going through, and keep telling them there is hope. Those caught in addiction may begin to see hope and caring in the person in recovery who seems honestly to care about them.
This is one more way of how those in recovery can carry the message to those who are still suffering by continuing to reach out and give them hope.