If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol – and you don’t think anyone else knows how bad it is – this just might be your day. The month of September is celebrated as National Recovery Month for those that have won the race against addiction. That’s all well and good and today there is more help than ever before. Percentages vary (“Are you in recovery, or remission, or abstinence – there is a difference.”) but one analysis found that 10 percent of Americans, roughly 25 million – have, or have had, a substance abuse disorder. You are not alone.
That gets me ahead of giving you a tip that, so help me, can save your life. At 12 Noon today on the Guidepost Facebook page, they are going to ‘Celebrate Recovery.’ What you’ve got to do is weasel around until you can find a very quiet spot for your lapbook and – by yourself in case you may cry – watch as a roadmap from many a personal hell will materialize right before your eyes.
Pay particular attention to Editor-and-Chief Edward Grinnan and the reason he is so excited is easy to explain. He’s been there… yeah, he’s in recovery. He’s not ashamed of that; he glories in it and that’s why he has tirelessly worked to make this initiative happen. Oh, they will have some other heady types but here’s where you got to be every bit as slick as when you hide that secret bottle of vodka behind the drapes.
On the Facebook website there are already downloadable e-booklets on recovery, and they want to send you a 12-Step prayer card. There are great stories of inspiration and encouragement and they even have people who’ll chat for a minute and pray for you by name. But the best part is that Guideposts wants to be in the game as long as you’ll let them. They will announce today that there will be new recovery materials every day and, together, any struggler can go one day at a time.
Rhonda Neal, the Outreach director for Guideposts, explained, “Many (people in the throes of addiction) are not ready for help. But once they go through a rehab program, as part of their ongoing recovery, they'll need after-care resources,” she said. “That’s where Guideposts and Celebrate Recovery come in. We want to support those who have been through the horrors of addiction and are continuing on a journey of recovery. We’re providing resources to keep them motivated and inspired on a daily basis.”
Are you getting this? It is far more than a bus ticket to the VA hospital. Let’s say it is 4:40 in the morning and you can’t sleep. Go to the Guidepost website and you’ll think it was written just for you. In short, you can get encouragement 24 hours every day. (There is other great stuff Guideposts puts out – I’ve read it for years.)
But the big news is today’s announcement and all you have to do is give yourself the greatest favor you’ll ever imagine
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My favorite Alcoholic Anonymous story happened one night in New York’s famous Bowery district and a man who had led hundreds to sobriety was accompanied by one who was still a rookie of sorts. They went to a ratty hotel, knocked on the room they had been asked to come to, and no answer.
The door, slightly ajar, gave way to an unconscious drunk and the veteran AA member pulled up a chair and told the drunk it was never too late to get sober, that with AA’s help he could get back on his feet, and to remember, “God doesn’t make no junk.”
The guy on the bed never moved, the two men left their cards on the dresser, and walking out the younger man said, “Boy, that was a wasted hour.” The older man smiled and said nothing.
About six weeks later, at the AA meeting, a man approached the two at a table, saying, “I want you to know how your coming to the hotel changed my life. I am four weeks sober and I get better every day. So just thank you so much … men like me can never repay you.”
The older AA leader took the new guy’s hand into his own, but the AA rookie was mystified. “I was there, and you’ll have to pardon this … but that wasn’t you on the bed that night.”
“No,” smiled the man who was once a drunk, “That wasn’t me … I am the one who was under the bed that night.”
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There are a number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Chattanooga every day. The office at 5611 Ringgold Rd Ste 130, Chattanooga (423) 499-6003 is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Another location is at 5932 Pine Grove Trail, Chattanooga (423) 499-6003 but the one where many of my friends and family have attended is “The Suburban Club,” 2002 E. Main St, Chattanooga (423) 698-3748. A person does not need an invitation to attend, there is no cost to attend, and no dues of any kind.
Those who live elsewhere can go to the AA website and find meeting times and directions by each state.