“We all have scars; both inside and out. Use your experience to support those who are going down the same road of destruction you once went down. Know that your past is worth more than the pain you once carried, because it can now be used to comfort and give strength to another soul who is suffering. Cherish your trials and tribulations as gifts; embrace these opportunities to share the grace you have been given.” Katie Maslin
Recovery is an individual journey. 24,000,000 of us are on this journey. Most of us (90%) are not in a 12 step group. We may use the 12 steps as a guide for our lives but being committed to just one addiction has not been the path many of us has followed. For those of us who are on a dual recovery journey, I believe we need several different support groups at the same time.
I love groups because I believe all mental health to be transitory. So someone in a group is well at any given time. It is like a football we pass around. Sometimes we are “it” and sometimes we’re in a crazy zone.
In the self-discovery model of group healing, everyone in the group is a student. The sharing of power in relationships defines the health of the relationship.
Much of what is labeled “relapse” is really untreated mental illness. Having a home group plus adding online support communities is a strong recovery plan. Our mission is to bring new ideas, resources, and online sites together in one place so each member can locate the resources each needs.
I believe friendship has to be the basis for all lasting relationships.
I also believe that friends have to share a common bond as well as recovery–a sport they follow, a hobby they enjoy, etc.
Addiction recovery education for the 89% of addicts who don’t receive treatment is easy to provide. By using Facebook groups, anyone can create and maintain online education peer groups.
Having a home group in recovery gives us a place to feel safe and to grow. Other groups can be added to this group. Online addiction/mental health groups offer additional ways to learn and accept ourselves. The first journey for recovery is learning to trust. This can only be done in a group.
Using Facebook groups, we can also create our own grow groups. We also may choose to start a grow group that meets physically. Or we may have them all; online groups, grow groups, and peer groups.
Group therapy is the strongest way to grow. We are with people who care about us and are willing to share what they see in us. We don’t need licenses or degrees to help others.
Groups are the recognized best method for people to gain information and acceptance from others. One of the main underpinnings of AA is that all members are peers. Anyone has the opportunity to share and to be heard.
In peer groups, the group leader leads only by getting the group together. Then the leadership is shared by all the group members. By caring for others, the group members can learn as well as teach self-discovery. The group leader/leaders may choose to charge or ask for donations to pay for the meeting room and materials.
Healing begins when, in spite of all the negative self-talk going on inside a person, that person feels someone caring and loving them for no apparent reason. This unconditional love comes in spite of attempts to search for a motive.
Although there are common group techniques to be learned, anyone who has compassion for others can help them to better understand themselves. The information about themselves is very personal and should always be given from a positive point-of-view.
Denial isn’t about lying; it is about not telling the truth because the truth is an unknown. Addictions provide us with escapes from reality. Giving up an addiction means giving up the world the addict has created and learning about the world that is unfolding around each of us.
Holding on to an addiction is extremely time-consuming so in order to help others we have to help them to discover themselves: the hobbies, pastimes, desires that may have been given up long ago.
The self-discovery method helps a person to grow with dignity. In learning new areas of self-discovery, when the addict finds many other pastimes and talents, the addiction will become less and less needed. The mentor has to remember that the addict is in a circular pattern.
By learning our personality traits, we can determine the positives about ourselves to enrich our self-image. The Changemaker Test is meant to be the starting point for self-discovery. Using this blog, anyone with compassion and interest in others can use these materials to begin discussion groups to help others.
In compiling this test, the answers, and explanations, I know that people with a desire to help others can use these tools to help any who want to continue with self-discovery.
This test and related materials are available free at Learning Your Labels.