By Damien Reilly, Recovery Coach at Mountainside
There is nothing more powerful than allowing oneself to be vulnerable while sitting across from someone who can identify with exactly how you feel. Moments like this are the foundation of building a community. Finding your recovery community is the most important part of your recovery journey. Who are your people? You will know when you find them. I used to say to myself, “These people will never understand me” until I heard someone share their feelings and I recalled feeling the same exact way.
Once I found my recovery community, I was given opportunities to get involved. I was told service keeps you sober. Recovery is a program of action. I remember being at IOP in my first 90 Days and seeing a sign for “Sober St Patrick’s Day”. As an Irish American who prided myself on drinking culture, this was a sign, literally and figuratively, that I was on the right path. I was 74 days sober when I volunteered my time for an event not about drinking culture, but about Irish culture without alcohol. I still work with this organization almost 12 years later. I also got involved with my 12-step community doing service at meetings and attending a 12 Step retreat. I still do service and have attended that same retreat every year for the past ten years. Two years ago, I got involved with Shatterproof; a national organization working towards ending addiction stigma, improving access to treatment, and building community. The opposite of addiction is connection, this connection is the pathway to building a recovery community.