Alumni Blog

Drowning In Shallow Water

Even if we are not an addict, aren’t we all recovering from something? Are we not all fighting some kind of battle? I found in this process, that does not just mean we are just recovering from substances. The families are recovering from the addict, the addict is recovering from the lifestyle, and both may be recovering from the chaos. However, I have seen that we tend to replace one obsessions for another to substitute the original one. Carrying the message can be very rewarding for us in recovery. What about those times you want to carry the addict who is struggling instead?
 
One of the most difficult obstacles I am faced with in recovery is watching someone else suffer from a compulsion and being powerless over their obsession. I watch them choose NOT to help themselves when they were fully able to. There are limits to what we can do for someone else in while they are in active addiction. We can give them our time, compassion, care, empathy and suggestions, however, we cannot make the change for them. 
 
I was once told we are not powerful enough to make anyone use and we are not powerful enough to make anyone not use. We cannot play God and being unable to make anyone change their behavior is a lesson we must all face at certain points in life; “life on life’s terms.” I believe the saying we often hear, pain is the greatest motivator. Yes, it may be hard to watch people drown in shallow water, when all they have to do is stand up. Do we have the right to rob them of their process? Do we ever stop to think how many loved ones and friends watched us drown in shallow water? They had to sit back, allow us to face our demons and continue to pray for us. The best way I have found to help the still suffering addict is to pray for them! We love from a distance and ask our Higher Power to guide them, the same way others did for us. Having faith in something bigger than ourselves, turns out to be the best guidance any of us have to get through challenges in life.
 
Let’s continue to pray for the suffering addict that is no longer with us and for the one’s that did not make it to recovery, yet. 
 
Skyler N

At Least I Have a Glass!

Is your glass half empty or half full? This expression is used to explain how we perceive situations or life events. Perception is different for everyone and is our own perception of reality. This phrase is usually used to indicate that a situation could be a cause for optimism (half full) or pessimism (half empty), depending on the individual and the personal perspective. However, in recovery we can see it from a different perspective considering our past, and gratefully say at least we have a glass! The complete expression of gratitude is knowing we have our share of both optimism and pessimism but are alive to feel both due to getting clean and sober. We do not need to look at a situation as bad or good as a situation we are grateful to be going through alive, aware, willing to endure it and not numb. I feel my fellow recovering addicts can understand this more than anyone, we have seen hell and heaven, so if that glass is half full or half empty, we remain thankful we at least still have a glass!
 
The perspective of the glass being half full or empty can change from day to day depending on the person, including myself. However, after a near death experience I was once told- “at least you have a glass.” This quickly gave me a chance to get my thoughts grounded and to realize, yes, the situation may not be ideal and it may be hard to get through, but I still have the ability and strength to get through it with a lesson learned. The fact that I made it through the trauma was a blessing. It wasn’t about being optimistic or pessimistic; it was just being grateful to be alive and breathing! Suddenly I began noticing the small things more. In many instances, it is all about perspective… isn’t it? So, if you can just alter your perspective a little today to have gratefulness instead of negativity it may create a better impact on your day. Something so little can go a long way. Today, I invite you to try this!  
Skyler N.

How Genesis House Handles a Hurricane!

The Genesis House staff stepped up, and went out of their way to ensure our client’s safety during the hurricane Irma.  

When the warning to evacuate began, our Tech’s Arlene, Dan, Jordan and Mike assisted in transporting the clients to a hotel in Orlando for safety during hurricane Irma. The Tech’s stayed with the clients around the clock for 6 days. Some of the Tech’s left their family to be with the clients and even our newest Tech offered help without hesitation. Our team at Genesis House never ceases to amaze us with the willingness and eagerness to help our clients. We are very thankful to have such amazing staff members.  

During the stay in Orlando, the clients were kept busy with our staff, they attended outside recovery meetings, saw a movie, enjoyed bowling, played miniature golf and ate out almost every night. The nights the clients did not go out to eat, we ordered take out! We know coming to treatment is not easy and can be stressful. So, with a hurricane coming we wanted to keep our clients busy, happy, comfortable, safe and supported. 

Our Therapist Natasha also stayed the entire time with the clients. Treatment for our clients did not stop even with a storm coming. Natasha continues to have three to four process groups during the day and met with clients individually as needed.

Our Clients expressed a great deal of gratitude for the way Genesis House went above and beyond to ensure their safety. They shared that they felt supported and comfortable during their stay. 

Some clients come to treatment not feeling lovable or worthy of anything due to their actions during active addiction. However, the care we provided was not only about safety but also for them to know that they are very lovable and completely worthy of being cared for no matter what their past entailed.

Skyler N

Laughter is Golden… So let’s be Rich!

Did you ever realize how important laughter is? When I got sober, I became conscious of how much I was NOT enjoying laughing! We all know how to laugh, although in addiction not much was very comical or amusing. My days were summed up to waking up, doing the same thing over and expecting different results or better known as insanity. Most days, there was not much else to the lifestyle and life did not have much meaning. I may have laughed while watching a funny movie or hearing a joke but the focus was quickly back to scheming how to get the next one. The worst part, and far from laughter, was being consumed with fear that I may not be able get the next one!

Once, I heard the recovery slogan, “We do not have to live that way anymore!” I later learned, my miserable experience in active addiction without laughter was common among other members in the 12-step fellowship. I still vividly remember and always share about a genuine belly laugh I had while at Genesis House; that is one of the most unforgettable moments I cherish from early recovery. My roommate and I were giggling about something juvenile but we could not stop laughing to the point my sides hurt. I later laid in bed thinking, wow when was the last time I laughed so hard and felt my spirit smile? I know for me, it had been many months or even years! That split second, I could remember feeling hope that I didn’t have to feel as sad and lonely as I did when I was using.

Now laughing has become a form of therapy for me. Since that night at Genesis House, I have not stopped finding ways to laugh, even in the worst of times! For me, laughter helps draw attention away from anything that causes me anger, stress, guilt and other negative emotions. I can see a difficult situation with a new perspective and instead feel gratitude. Instead of allowing powerlessness to get the best of me, I can change my perspective, know it is a lesson or blessing and simply smile. Even on days I feel laughing is not helping my circumstance, I know that laughter is contagious and I may be helping others. Try to make sure to have yourself a good laugh today!

Skyler N