ALUMNI NEWSLETTER | SEPTEMBER 2015

Thank you for being a valued member of the Dream Center for Recovery community! As an Alumni of Dream Center we want to make sure to keep in touch and let you know about the fun and exciting events going on at Dream Center for Recovery!

We invite you to join us for our monthly Alumni Meeting at Dream Center for Recovery September 18th at 5:30pm. Also this month we invite you to bowl with us at Stuart Lanes on September 19th at 7pm. If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can keep improving the Alumni Program please email Alumni Coordinator Sarah Hall at shall@dcrmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Pictures from last months volleyball event:

 This months anniversarys

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Food for Thought

I always heard people say “Get a sponsor, get a home group, go to meetings, work the steps, don’t pick up, use the phone.” Those comments sounded redundant to me but at some point the fog lifted and the suggestions started to make sense.

When I became sober my highest priority was staying sober and finally succeeding in something in my life. The seed of AA had been planted years ago in my mind so I knew I had to attend a meeting when I was released from jail. I called a woman who had been sponsoring meetings in the jail and asked her for a ride to the meeting. I was very uncomfortable because I didn’t know anyone at the meeting as well as being still unsure of myself and my sobriety, “I was uncomfortable in my own skin.” When I  arrived everyone seemed very friendly but I was stand offish and  I didn’t know how to respond to their friendliness. I felt like my skin was crawling. That’s what this disease does to me, it makes me feel separate, different, and alone. That’s where it takes me; isolating me from everyone and everything, cunning, baffling, and powerful, that’s what this disease is to me.

From that point on,  I took their suggestion and I found a sponsor. It was someone who had been through the wringer while using and I thought that if she could help me with my sobriety because of what she had been through.  . She started taking me through the 12 steps and I went to meetings, got a home group and started sharing in meetings. By following the program  I was being accountable, open to others, and I was slowly recovering. She was the  perfect sponsor for me.  People kept reinforcing me to stick around and wait for the miracle to happen because I complained that I wasn’t feeling any better. There was a lot of feelings going on in my mind that was making me very uneasy to the point where I thought a would “Freak Out”. But I kept going to meetings and slowly started changing my old habits. Then one day while I  was driving I suddenly realized that I had completely, inwardly, changed. The Miracle had happened, I had recovered and I was happy!

The suggestions that were being given in meetings were only because other people that had been through similar experiences and  knew what it took to stay sober. When I look back on those early days I really needed to be taught how to live again. Those wonderful people taught me how to be a good person and a member of society.  “AA gave me everything that drugs and alcohol promised me.” – A quote from an anonymous person in recovery.

Check out our new art room:

 

Big News At Dream Center

We have now been open for 1 year!!

We just broke ground on a new detox facility!

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Step 9

By the time I was a week or two removed from drugs and alcohol, I was desperate to make amends; consumed by guilt (and fear, a lot of fear). I wrote a bunch of long-winded, well-worded letters filled with explanations, apologies, and promises of who and what I would be in the future.  I am grateful today that they were never sent, as I had no money for stamps because I was full of it.  I did not see my part in most things, and primarily was writing with the same manipulations that I used while drinking.

I think it was Einstein who said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it,” and maybe that’s why the steps  are arranged in a certain order…okay that’s definitely  the “why”. Step nine “made direct amends to those we had harmed, except when to do so would injure them or others,” can only be accomplished by doing the first eight. Not only because we don’t really see our harms until 4 and 5, but also because we don’t have the spiritual foundation and level of humility needed until we have done the preceding.

I was afraid of making amends when I actually reached the step with a sponsor.  Not only because I really had to face my part, and go to people that may have harmed me “worse” and admit MY fault, but also I didn’t know what to do.  I felt that I should throw myself at their mercy and beg for forgiveness. I still wanted people to like me at any cost.  It took a while for me to really understand that to amend something, is to change it.  Think of the constitutional amendments, they aren’t apologies. Also that my purpose was not to reestablish relationships, but to clean up my side of the street, and to grow in usefulness to my Higher Power and higher self. I rapidly got through that first list stating the things I had done, what I would do to change them, asking if there were any harms I wasn’t aware of and what I could do to fix them.  I was desperate, and afraid if I didn’t do them all, my life would turn to garbage again.  I was also broke, unable to make financial amends, and unwilling to make an amend to my abusive ex, but was reassured by those who had been sober longer than me, that when the time was right, I would be able if I stayed willing.

I have been sober almost 4 years; 12/8/11, and my life has changed in ways I never thought possible when I was newly sober, shaky, filled with fear and working at Publix in the deli.  Not only on the outside; things, the guy, the house, but internally.  I am no longer crazy and filled with fear.  I answer the phone when my mother calls, I am not afraid to answer the door when someone knocks, and I sleep well at night.  I have been blessed with a great job that allowed me to pay off all of my financial amends this year, and to fix my credit.  I have also found that the longer I stay sober the more of my past and harms God reveals to me.  Shortly I will be writing another 4th step, making the amends revealed and will become even more free, because I became and stayed willing to go to any lengths.  My unfinished amends have everything to do with my drinking or getting high, but I have been relieved of this obsession today.

How free do you want to be? – Anonymous person in recovery

Sober Life Hack

Did you know that you can page Friends of Bill W in an airport and AA members will come sit with you and maybe have a meeting while you’re there.