How to Get A Leg Up in Addiction Recovery & Life
It’s less of a “how” and more of a “who” can give you the leg up.
Mentors, Coaches and Peers in Career Success
It goes without saying that life does not always shape up to be what is expected. One’s life path is likely going to have a few twists and turns. My own life and career is filled with those twists and turns. In my teens, I decided that I wanted to be a a surgeon. Now at 29 years old, I am a mental health professional.
It’s not so far off from that initial path, but it’s certainly not the same one. Though, the twists and turns that got me here never seemed scary. That’s because I sought out and, sometimes unexpectedly, came across people who became mentors and coaches. Without their experiences — those, “I’ve been in your position too and here is how I thought about it,” moments — I would not be where I am today. I would not be as productive or knowledgable and ultimately, I don’t think I would be as happy either.
That’s the power of peers, mentors and coaches. They give you that leg up in the world. Their experience is something we can learn from and use to create our own paths to success. In the medical field, an example is Preceptors. They are more seasoned physicians who volunteer their time to share their lived experiences to help medical students and early career physicians can learn from them. Another example, in the counseling field, is Clinical Supervisors for student therapists/counselors fulfilling their hours to obtain their licenses. A supervisor can act as someone to discuss difficulties and learn how to work through situations, emotions and other things that arise when beginning this work.
Having a peer mentor or a coach gives people the opportunity to build many important skills. For example: communication, honesty, responsibility, accountability and courage.
The Reframe: Mentors, Coaches and Peers for Addiction Recovery Success
Now, instead of thinking about these roles for careers — think about their impact in people’s lives in a treatment capacity. Going through any major illness can be scary. Major illnesses, like cancer and diabetes, create huge twists in people’s life paths. This is also true for people with addiction diseases. Addiction can impact so many areas of a person’s life; health, employment, education, legal. The stigma attached to it also creates huge social barriers to receiving care. People’s families and other social supports may abandon them; something that is less likely to happen to a person with cancer or diabetes.
Often times, navigating the spectrum of addiction treatment options can be impossible. This leads to some people going to facilities that are more concerned with doing a biopsy of your wallet, than doing any meaningful treatment for the addiction. The disease itself rewires a person’s brain so that the substance becomes a necessary part of life to function mentally and physically. It can feel impossible to beat when it is so insidiously woven into you and seemingly there are not people who can give advice on how to overcome it. But, there are people who beat it and thrive. Many want to help.
Their lived experience of having gone through the disease and achieving recovery, is key to helping more people achieve the same for themselves.
Just like having a Preceptor, Clinical Supervisor or Mentor at work to help guide you and make you more successful in your field, Peer Recovery Coaches help make recovery more successful, manageable and achievable. Peer Coaches will not abandon those they work with if they have a misstep along the way. They can help find a treatment facilities that will actually focus on treating the disease. They do not judge a person for their unique recovery path and instead, they actively listen and provide support for those that they work with to develop a path that works best for them. They understand the many twists and turns that have been taken as a result of the addiction disease, because they have been there. Then they help you get back towards a path that brings you hope.
That’s the gift of a peer recovery coach: they inspire hope. There is always hope. Peer Recovery Coaches can help give you that extra leg to stand on, to lift yourself up and see that you have always had the ability to take the reins from the addiction and find your path again.
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Interested in Working with A Peer Recovery Coach?
If you would like to learn more or work with a Certified Peer Recovery Coach of your own, please feel free to reach out for more information. I am the Director of Care Delivery for Halcyon Health. We offer care coordination and peer recovery coach services for those in need of addiction recovery help. This is done through our Iphone App platform and available for anyone 18+, with any substance use concern.
For more info, my email is: Matt@HalcyonHealth.co
Halcyon’s General Email is: Contact@HalcyonHealth.co
If you would like to sign up yourself, please visit here.
If you are a provider and would like to refer someone, please visit here.