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Part Of What I Do

As I was re-creating a flyer today for a meeting here at the 217 Recovery Center on Sundays I paused for a moment and that self-awareness I'm always sneaking into my blogs here hit me for a moment. All the certified peer recovery coaches employed at 217 Recovery host our own recovery meetings throughout the week. But, the coolest thing about the meetings held here is that some of them are peer-led. Real people walking their very own real recovery journeys take the reigns of their very own recovery meetings to help guide their peers in the local recovery community using their lived experience and resources/programs that personally worked for them. Some of them have been very successful.

Along with providing a free place for these meetings to be held, the staff here at 217 Recovery help guide people through the "how" of running your meeting. Making them virtually accessible, how to get study materials, and making promotional flyers are a few ways we do this. Some people that come through the treatment centers or sober-living houses in Traverse City Michigan come from, and go back to, rural areas of the state. Something I've personally heard multiple times is "There are no meetings where I live" or "There are barely any meetings where I'm from" which is typically followed up with "Well, I don't know how to start my own recovery meeting". So, we decided it was time to change that.

"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it" —Andy Rooney

With this program, I mentioned making promotional flyers. I have the opportunity to do a lot of these. I started using Canva, which was nice and easy. But as time went on I started dipping into the world of Adobe, and AI-generated images (with some "gentle" nudges from my supervisor). This broke the world of digital media production open for me, and I've only scratched the surface. But, I managed to go from something I was proud of for my skill level, to something that looks like a professional movie poster within the span of a year. When one of your toughest critics looks at one of your creations and simply says "I really like that" it feels damn good. This realization got me thinking and inspired.

At the beginning of my recovery journey, I had virtually, near literally, zero capacity to accomplish much more than staying alive while trying to stay sober. I had lost most of my physical capabilities, my mental health was in shambles, and the thought of a career brought me to tears of sorrow. There wasn't a relationship in sight that I couldn't describe as anything more than destroyed. It seemed like a hole that was impossible to dig my way out of. Today, I am grateful for a recovery program that all but forced me to take things in stride, despite my personal support system not agreeing at the time, running my recovery the "one day at a time" or "doing the next right thing" way and viewing my recovery life as a process like placing stepping stones across a river are critical parts of how I ever even had a chance of finding long-term recovery. Period.

As a result, I get to be a peer recovery coach today with capabilities in directions I never thought possible. If this sounds good and you'd like help finding something similar in your life, reach out to 217 Recovery. It's why we're here, and I'm ending with this: If I can accomplish this, you sure as hell can too.

Until next time.

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You do amazing things brother

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