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  • Writer's pictureJobs of Hope

Community Gives us Stability

I am Dave Estreich and I facilitate a relapse prevention group with Jason Bingham. I believe community gives us stability and feelings of purpose. Recovery provides a message of a future filled with hope. Recovery breaks down barriers and navigates obstacles. Hope is internalized while fostered by community: family, friends, peers, and providers. We begin to believe in ourselves and gain the hope that recovery is possible.

Philippians 2:2 says God delights in unity among his people who have the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

We experience encouragement through fellowship; we become united in purpose and motivation. When we let Christ dwell in our hearts, we experience a stream of love with God's perfect will for our lives and recognize we would not be here if not for Jesus Christ.

Each Monday night, the guys in our recovery group share their feelings as they navigate challenges with emerging integrity, courage, wisdom, humility, and self-control. They begin to recognize their value and the importance of who they are. They unite as one, holding each other accountable while they speak recovery, creativity and figuring out what works for them. We talk about strategies, coping skills, relapse prevention plans, and self-awareness. We share successes, the importance of family and reconciliation, while always coming back to a place of hope.

Guys in recovery are the strongest people I know, being vulnerable enough to share their feelings and challenges. Fear is the enemy of honesty and authenticity: the fear of rejection, the fear of the unknown and the fear of sobriety itself.

Each meeting begins with a check-in and moves on to journal work or other exercise to create an opportunity for discussion. If a member shares news of a relapse, the group encourages and builds each other up and looks for new strategies. This is only possible in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Vulnerability becomes a strength.

Our goals are to create an environment of community, connection, unconditional acceptance, and inward reflection. We help members strengthen interpersonal skills and manage emotions and thoughts as they work through recovery. Through reflection of psychological and behavioral consequences of substance abuse, members begin to understand triggers and temptations and reflect on ways to confront behaviors and promote sobriety.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I often think about each individual's trials, struggles, and the things they have endured. I also think about the courage, strength, resilience, and success as they find their direction and freedom. Each individual in our group is undergoing a personal transformation. They all have a future and have been shaped by unique experiences. Each journey is personal and is a precious gift.

Dave Estreich MA, LPC, NCC

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