Retreat Recap

Last week, I told you that I was going on a retreat in Arizona to help get my program back on track. Well, there is no other way to put this other than it was a hell of an experience!

It all started when I picked up my co-worker Dave, who literally only had a tiny backpack and a briefcase with him. I packed light, but not that light! Anyway, our trip started off by me dropping Dave off so he could go shopping. When I went to pick him up, the tables had really turned and he had more bags on his arms than a girl on Rodeo! After a big laugh, we got in the car and headed out.

When I got to the Twelve Principles Retreat, I was still feeling like I didn’t have enough time to be spending out here for a few days, but I knew that my recovery had to come first. It should always be number one and it hadn’t been. My thinking had gotten so distorted, but soon I was realizing that there were more reasons for me to be there than not.

Everything was amazing. One part of the retreat that really helped me see that I had achieved some real growth was when we were broken up into small groups. Dave and the other people who I knew broke off into their own group and I was left with the group of therapists. I kept thinking that my friends were pulling some kind of intervention on me or something– I mean, why else would they leave me out and put me with all the therapists? That wasn’t the intention, but I will say that it all worked out for my benefit, because my group was unbelievable.

I of course would love to share everything about what we talked about in our group but these retreats are extremely personal and private. What I can tell you is that the people I was grouped with were some of the most loving people I have ever met. There were a lot of kindred spirits amongst us, and I fell right in line and was happy to be a part of a group that I was apprehensive about at first.

Over the few days that we were there, all the doubts I had in myself were completely lifted. I obtained a whole new set up for my life. I am refocusing on doing things in my recovery that keep me fulfilled and on track, like meditating in the morning, putting forth my best effort to achieve my next goal, and really reflecting on my day. It’s all about resetting all the small things for me, and not overdoing it is huge.

Since I have gotten back, I have been admitting people into treatment left and right, and my passion for my own recovery and the recovery of others has been reignited. I left the Twelve Principles Retreat with a clear state of mind that put me in this zone where I can now help myself and others and truly enjoy doing so without getting too stressed out.

The best part of it all, however, has been seeing how me putting myself and my recovery first has impacted my wife. We had been experiencing some friction because I was overdoing it, and when I came home from my retreat and told her everything, she just started crying tears of joy. It was a big relief for us both that I was back on track. I look at this whole experience as finding myself on a free fall, then swooping right back up and eveni

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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