Experiencing The Recovery Place Christian Recovery Program
The Recovery Place graciously allowed me to share a group therapy session in the Christian Drug Addiction Recovery Program at The Recovery Place. It was a powerful and moving experience, one that left a deep and lasting impression.
The personal stories of those in recovery are sometimes heart-rending, often filled with pain, loss and rejection. At the same time, witnessing their rebirth in recovery is inspiring and humbling.
On the day I attended the Christian therapy session, they had a detailed and organized outline for the topics to be covered by the group. However, God had other plans for the group than her carefully prepared agenda.
A client’s “goodbye letter to drugs,” one of the clients’ assignments, led to ask the question, “What is recovery and what does it mean to be a Christian in recovery?”
In responding to the question, the Christian treatment group spent the next hour in thoughtful discussion.
Among the insights that emerged is that the mind of recovery is “putting on the mind of Christ.” Recognizing that you need Jesus in your daily life, you must incorporate prayer and meditation into your daily routine, following the Twelve Steps while bowing to the Higher Power to help you sustain your recovery.
You must be able to “go against the grain”, and “be willing to hear what I don’t like” and be willing to “discuss my shortcomings with my sponsor and others”.
A short acronym took form on the white board in the group room, HOWSA:
You must be honest about your addiction, and honest with others in sharing your feelings and thoughts. Without open-mindedness, particularly to feedback and even criticism from others, you cannot learn the skills and tools to deal with your addiction.
Honesty and open-mindedness are of limited value if you are not willing to do what you must to combat this disease. Willingness leads to surrendering to a Higher Power and the will of God, and this leads to acceptance to following direction from those who help us in staying sober.
Perhaps it’s best to let the members of the Christian therapy group do the “talking” here:
“Recovery is a mindset…a way of being…an attitude.”
“I know I’m in recovery when I’m aware…I need to take the First Step…”
“When I recognize that I am powerless, it leads to awareness and action. I follow the Steps, I listen to my sponsor, I pray and meditate. I need to stay awake.”
“Stinkin’ thinkin’ leads to drinkin’…Where the mind goes, the man will follow…’So a man thinketh, so is he’.”
“Positive thinking = faith and hope”
“Negative thinking = fear and doubt”
“I need to take one day at a time. I need God in my life to stay in recovery.”
They reminded the group that addiction is a chronic disease, which left untreated is progressive and fatal. It will kill the body and put your soul at risk.
Emphasized the need for self-care, and how caring for self is a recognition of God and a way of honoring Him. “I want to do things that demonstrate my love for God…taking care of myself glorifies God…the better I treat myself, the better I treat God, because the Holy Spirit dwells within me.”
When it was gently noted that “the only Son of God gave His life for mankind, demonstrating His love for all of us, regardless of our state in life”, many eyes filled with tears at this message of loving acceptance by their Higher Power.
One client said it best for the group: “I will take care of myself because I know God loves me.”
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