Recovery Can Be a Trip – Take the First Step Here
Authored by Audra Franchini
Some Words from a Substance Abuse Center Member
When you were in the grip of a substance use disorder, a weekend of hiking may not have seemed enticing.
But the lure of the great outdoors enables many people in recovery to enjoy many things. Things that would’ve been unimaginable when drugs or alcohol were a part of their lives. This includes all that you missed when reaching for that next drink or drug,
A Trip Toward Recovery
Social Media Manager Bill K spent a few days hiking across the Appalachian Trail to Hawk Mountain. He began an impromptu 12-step meeting with his hiking colleagues at the pinnacle of his advendure. Every year for his three years of recovery, Bill has led a meeting during that ascent.
“Five years ago, I’d be stuck in a horrible neighborhood in Philadelphia, looking over my shoulder, doing anything necessary to get the next drug – that was the extent of my purpose in life. I’ll never forget that feeling of desperation and hopelessness. Now, instead of cursing God for what felt like a lifetime sentence, I wake up & thank God for a second chance and for this incredible, beautiful gift of life I’ve been blessed with.”
After some vigorous hiking, Bill found the perfect time and landscape for the group to reflect on their recovery. Furthermore to contemplate the ‘reduction of self’ that such grandeur brings into focus.
Twelve-step recovery is about service and giving back. Yes, it’s about working the steps. This includes acknowledging one’s character defects and moving forward to be the person our Higher Power wants us to be. However it’s also about living, about being happy, joyous, and free. Many sober support groups organize events to remind each other of the recovery journey they’re all embarking on.
Learn more about the 12 Steps here
“I’m reduced to tears when we pause on those hikes,” continued Bill poignantly, “and always hit my knees at dawn with prayers for the day.”
This most recent weekend gave Bill K. and his fellow travelers a new perspective on where they stand so many months into what all deemed to be their time of ‘surrender.’
“Five years ago I would’ve probably got up around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and sought to alleviate the pain and depression with chemicals. Following the meeting with my fellow travelers in recovery up there, I feel small in comparison to the magnitude of God’s landscape- the hikes facilitate moments of sober clarity, and bring into focus for me, that promises on page 83 of the big book about enjoying a new freedom and happiness.”
This weekend prior to the holiday other parties will follow Bill’s lead.
Do you know someone who needs help? Take the first step at our substance abuse center. Click here for more information.