Anyone familiar with rural living more than likely understands there has been consistent issues regarding poverty, substance abuse and addiction. Several years ago our rust belt community decided to initiate discussions involving understanding the issues of addiction and substance abuse along with potential solutions including increasing resources to law enforcement in an effort to slow the flow of narcotics in our area. This was much needed dialogue in encouraging our leaders and community members to begin strategic planning efforts that would provide potential solutions to our increasing epidemic.
The questions that came to our mind was this; what do we do with the individuals that are already addicted? Anyone that has first-hand experience in addiction knows that it doesn’t matter what anyone attempts to do, a true addict will go to any lengths to find their drug no matter what the cost. Whatever the cause that may have led these individuals down the road of addiction, we have to understand that they are helpless at this stage. All they are trying to do is avoid becoming sick from withdrawal. Make no mistake; the addict will do anything to avoid this sickness.
So if sickness is the issue, what does a potential solution look like?
Have you ever tried to go on a diet or begin working out as a lifestyle change? How easy was it? Did you stick with it? How long did you make it before you stopped going? How many people have said I am too busy? How many people have said my family comes first? The point of these questions is to help people understand that putting down the substance is only the very beginning on the road to recovery. An addict/alcoholic needs to relearn how to think, how to live, how to have healthy relationships, how to be honest and much more. If someone is lucky enough to make it to a treatment, we can tell you that 28 days is not nearly enough. It takes a serious commitment to live life in recovery and relearn how to live. This is a commit that we have to place in front of everything in our lives or we will not make it. A commitment of this magnitude that we cannot afford the luxury of failing at or saying “some other time” requires support. Imagine attempting to complete an undergraduate degree without the support of professors. Imagine having to learn it and do it all yourself. Imagine walking in to your first day of work at a new job and there is no one there to train you. Except now, if you can’t teach yourself to do the job, you will end up in jail, an institution or death. That is how critical this stage of an addict/alcoholics recovery is.
Our Organization, Network of the Spirit Ministries, Inc. currently owns and operates two Sober Living Homes “The Surr’enity House” and the “Gratitude House”. Network of The Spirit is a non-profit organization created to provide 12 step based transitional dwellings for those transitioning from treatment or in need of a structured and safe environment to get back on their feet. To answer the first question, why is it spelled Surr? We decided on this title as in recovery we know for certain that one has to surrender to their disease in order to find peace and serenity. They have to surrender to the will and direction of a higher power that will help them stay clean. By stepping into sober living one is taking a monumental step in admitting that they cannot do it alone. Taking this step allows our hearts to mend overtime and we will soon realize our thoughts and feelings are changing from remorse, regret and humiliation to acceptance, humility and gratefulness. To honor this process of much needed change, we named our second facility “The Gratitude House”.
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