In an effort to continue to fully support and empower the recovery community in Winston-Salem, Refuge Recovery meetings will be offered at Full Life Counseling and Recovery beginning Wednesday, June 1 from 6pm to 7pm. While traditional 12 step programs are the solution for many people who are willing and able to apply the 12 steps in their lives, other programs like Refuge Recovery offer alternative paths to recovery. Full Life Counseling endorses all paths to recovery and acknowledges that what works for one person may not work for another. Refuge Recovery offers hope to those suffering from addiction in a mutually supportive atmosphere of compassion, kindness and acceptance.
Why Refuge Recovery? As a person in long term recovery I have encountered many people in recovery from addiction and have been privileged to learn about different paths to recovery. The 12-Steps and the Fellowship of the Recovery community saved my life and have been invaluable in giving me tools to use and create a life which is not only happy and fulfilling but quite often joyous! As I continue to grow in my understanding of the pain and suffering caused by addiction, combined with the on-going healing that it takes to create and sustain a happy life in recovery, I have become interested in expanding my understanding of Recovery and what it means to myself and to others. Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist inspired path to recovery that recognizes a nontheistic approach to spiritual practice. The Refuge Recovery program “does not ask anyone to believe anything” nor does it require that anyone identify as buddhist, “only to trust the process and do the work of recovery.”
Although my personal path has included “belief in a higher power”, I am well aware that this is simply my “belief”. It works for me AND it does not make it a fact for others. I am also aware that for many people this requirement is a deal-breaker, and I have watched helplessly as good people who needed and wanted help for their addictions were unable to relate to a program where belief in a higher power was a basic requirement. Those individuals needed hope and instead continued to feel isolated and alone. Let’s be clear – addiction likes it when we feel isolated and alone for it is then that addiction is at its most powerful. Much like traditional 12-Step programs, Refuge Recovery finds its home in community, the sharing of experiences, taking stock of all the suffering we have experienced and caused as addicts, becoming responsible, accountable and productive and choosing to give back to society. Additionally, mindfulness and meditation practices are a strong part of the foundation of Refuge Recovery. Recovering from addiction is a process not an event, and other resources may be utilized while walking the Buddhist path to recovery.
From Refuge Recovery, by Noah Levine: “Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction.”
It is my hope that by embracing alternative paths to Recovery and Spirituality we may be able to open doors to recovery, for some who may otherwise stay in isolation, and to share the message that hope and healing from addiction are possible for all who seek.