Is Addiction Consulting and Coaching for You?

So, you’ve finally found yourself at those life-changing cross-roads and you’re ready to give up the “high cost of low living” … except where should you go next? Or: where do the cross-roads lead to exactly? I bet your first instinct is probably to spend some time on the Internet trying to find more information about how to quit drinking or using, fast. It’s overwhelming to say the least – with various rehab centers showing up at the top of your searches and hundreds of articles out there that claim that one certain way is the right way. But which way? How does one decide? If you’re like some of the older people in recovery perhaps the only thing you’ve ever heard of was Alcoholics Anonymous – possibly from movies or tv shows.  You recall something about people sitting in a circle in a church basement, some looking miserable and gray, while others looking suspiciously happy and then everyone clapping for some reason when a person shares some horrific recollection of their struggles with drinking. It doesn’t make sense, but as far as you can tell, this is the only way.

Except it isn’t. There are many different ways to get healthy (sober).

There are those AA meetings – they are still just as popular as they were before the age of the Internet – and there are addiction groups in hospitals or community centers, and there are also addiction specialists and therapists who focus on clients suffering from addiction specifically. Then there’s a whole plethora of new-sobriety methods that might combine some group work, some therapy, some meditation, and maybe some medication too. There are also some methods where abstinence doesn’t seem to be the goal. Bottom line is, there’s a lot to choose from, and if you’re anything like I was when I first got sober, trying to choose and advocate for yourself might be a daunting task. I remember those first days well, and although my own path to sobriety started with AA – it was what seemed instantly available and I needed instant help – I know that today I would have a lot more choices. Perhaps with the right guidance, I would’ve been able to save myself some time and energy that I wasted trying to fit in. As far as I was concerned, all those years ago, the only way to recover was through the 12 steps and with the help of Higher Power, which was a problem since I considered myself an agnostic and had never believed in God. So, I struggled for a long time before I found my place in AA (and then I grew to the point where AA was no longer serving my recovery in general).

Because of that experience I am especially attuned to people who are currently looking for recovery and trying to figure out what works for them. What I know for a fact is this: Recovery cannot be One-Size-Fits-All. Unlike AA, I do think that we are all unique, and I don’t subscribe to the idea that what works for me could work for anybody. Consider this: some of us do better on an all-plant diet and others need meat, and yet others have food allergies and need to eat meals that will not poison them. Keeping in mind that each person is different – even though the disease of addiction is similar across the board – services such as Addiction Consulting and Coaching are possibly the best solution when it comes to dipping your toes into recovery for the first time. Such services take into account not only your addiction, but also things like your history of trauma, your family dynamics, your career and living situation and your sobriety goals. Addiction Consulting and Coaching professionals consider who you are holistically as a person and what would benefit you the most as a support to coaching. For some it might just be AA, the traditional old-school one or the Agnostic version. Others who might have a problem with a group setting will benefit from talking to someone one-on-one. Others might need a combination of both. The goal here is to work out a recovery plan that will correspond to each person’s individual needs.

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

This is an excellent investment if you think of time and money that you might have to throw at solutions that don’t work. I realize that all beginnings are uncomfortable and those anxious feelings from the first days or weeks of being in treatment don’t necessarily mean that something is not working. But if the discomfort doesn’t go away and if – most importantly – you have a hard time staying sober, perhaps you’re in the wrong place trying to get yourself back on track. In my professional life I work with individuals and their families (and sometimes employers) to get the whole picture of someone’s needs. I make sure they are not only set up with a place where they can deal with their addiction, but that they also have somewhere to go where they can work on their family dynamics or address their other issues such as underlying trauma or other mental health concerns. I will even set people up with dieticians if it’s obvious that nourishment is a challenge. Many people new to recovery start their lives all over again, and in more than one sense – some of them have to re-learn how to eat, how to sleep, how to enjoy their activities, how to socialize without the aid of drugs or alcohol. Whilst a place like AA might address some of those issues, a more comprehensive recovery would also assess all the needs that are not being met and with the proper coaching a newly recovered person has someone not only to be accountable to (the coach) but also someone to guide them through all those bumps. Some of my clients use the services only for a short period, but others prefer to have check-ins that go on for some time until the client feels stable and happy in their recovery and understands how to do it on their own. And that is the ultimate goal of recovery – to regain some control over it and take pride in it.

Ready to get started?  More questions?


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