Continuing our discussion with 449Recovery founder and drug and alcohol recovery expert Rodney Robinson(click here for part 1 of our discussion on New Years Eve tips for Recovery), we talk about the challenges facing those in recovery with the new year, the importance of keeping a consistent focus, and the role that laughter and enjoyment play for those looking to maintain sobriety in 2014.
Voices of Recovery-For those who may be tested or questioning their will power this time of year, what do you recommend?
Rodney Robinson-I always recommend going back to basics. Focus and concentrate on those things that helped you earlier in your sobriety. Revisit the reasons and the principles learned early on to help yourself stay on the path. Do the same things you did to maintain that positive focus; go to meetings, be of service, help out the new folks who are trying to stay sober and help them out. There are ways we concentrate on helping others and not dwell on some of things that may act as triggers or put us in situations that may put recovery at risk.
Voices of Recovery-Are there different rules of thumb or changing of focus through for different years? Some groups try to bring a change of pace or new area of focus for each individual year. Do you believe in that concept or is a new years philosophy better based under elements and a foundation of consistency?
Rodney Robinson-Not really, I am a firm believer in the tried and true starting with “one day at a time.” Taking that simply worded piece of advice and keeping that as an easy to remember point of focus is important. If you can keep focused on that basic philosophy, you have a much better chance of staying sober. After that if you want to talk about increasing spiritual efforts with going to more meetings and really getting involved with helping and mentoring younger, or I should say those newer to drug and alcohol treatment, is always going to go a long way towards long term recovery and staying sober.
Voices of Recovery-For those who maybe reading this blog and considering entering a drug rehab program in Orange County, what would be some words that you would like to share?
Rodney Robinson-Rule #62, do not take yourself too seriously. You do not want to get too serious, you want to get sober, and you want to take it seriously, but part of that recovery is having fun and learning how to have fun again. For many addicts, learning to laugh and enjoy themselves in a sober environment is a process in itself. So we always try to make the process of recovery something we can enjoy and celebrate.
Voices of Recovery-What role does having fun and trying to make the process of drug and alcohol a cathartic, enjoyable experience as opposed to a morose, dour experience play in recovery?
Rodney Robinson-When an addict is drinking and using, when you get into the addiction cycle-you are not having fun. By creating an environment that those in recovery look forward to and can have fun with, and learn to laugh again and have fun again, its something we encourage and believe plays a vital role in addiction recovery. Right now, we have a great group of 22 clients who we are helping to maintain their sobriety. And this time of year, it is truly a blessing to know that on this holiday season that we have made a difference in helping to get them to the new year on the right note and the right way so its a true blessing for everyone involved to the guy or gal in recovery, to their parents, and the staff here at 449. It is a real blessing that with everyone we touch and come across, there are no losers. We are all winners and together we celebrate every single victory and every obstacle we overcome.