Several years ago we had two members of our family hit their respective bottoms in rapid succession. For me, this was a brand new experience. Of course, I had put my family through the turmoil, horror, and pain of dealing with the consequences of my own alcoholism 12 years earlier. Until I had the experience first hand of watching a family member go through their struggles with addiction, I didn’t have the empathy or compassion necessary to really understand the anguish I had caused those that loved me.
Addiction can be defined as self-induced changes in the neurochemistry of the brain that result in negative consequences and unhealthy behavior. Many individuals employ various methods to change their neurochemistry in healthy ways such as meditation, exercise, certain forms of therapy, and others.
Recent studies show that exercise is more effective than any other protocol at treating things such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, Alzheimer's. Diseases and conditions of the brain. Much of this research has been done or inspired by the work of John Ratey.
In order to overcome addiction and transform our lives we need to do many things. First we need to be in a community that encourages connection and commitment. Many addicts find this community in treatment. In this safe community we can take the next step which is to address the root causes of the lack of connection. For many this will be some form of trauma they have suffered which causes their lack of connection. For others it is underlying behavioral or mental health disorders. Therapeutic measures can be utilized to great effect in both sets of circumstances. Once an individual has begun this work the next step is to find a life of purpose that they can show up for.
Our Recover Strong program is now at the literal as well as existential heart of Granite Mountain. Clients come to the center in the morning and can receive all their programing in one location. Our staff and clients can meet each day in one location and our open door policy is ever evident as clients and staff connect as fellow community members building bonds and friendships that can last a lifetime. Our new building looks as if it was purpose built for us, though it was not. For us, it is proof positive that doing the right thing for the right reason has its benefits.