Emma Nagler had always dreamed her college years would be filled with wild parties, late nights and parents who would be none the wiser.
By the time she arrived on campus as a college freshman in Ann Arbor three years ago, her sentiment had shifted dramatically. The concerns about where she was going to party and how she was going to get high were replaced with fears about falling back into the habit of drinking and using drugs.
“At freshman orientation, everyone was talking about drinking and partying,” Nagler recalls. “I remember thinking ‘Oh my God, there is no way I’m going to be able to do this.'”
Emma did it. Read the rest of her story here.
Another tribe of the recovering community:
When Grace McClellan attends two music festivals — Governors Ball in New York and Bonnaroo in Tennessee — this month, she will be among friends who feel more like family. Their shared bond, along with a love of live music: They’re all sober.
Ms. McClellan, 31, first stopped using drugs and alcohol three years ago, and she knew then that it was a risk to attend Bonnaroo, which, like many festivals, is known for its hedonism. But the festival had been her tradition for nearly a decade, and after only 30 days in recovery, she went with her old crew of drinking buddies. “I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t still have fun,” she said.
Yet as night fell that first evening of Bonnaroo at the festival’s sprawling farm in Manchester, Tenn., she was overcome with memories of previous visits. After only a few hours, she said, “I was going to have a drink.”
But Ms. McClellan found a lifeline: She had heard from friends about a group of festival-goers, known as Soberoo, who were in recovery and part of an onsite sobriety support system. She made a few calls in hopes of finding them.
Read the rest at the New York Times.
I teach at a local university and some years I teach on Saint Patrick’s day. It’s bad. Green beer starts flowing early, there are very drunk people wandering around all day, people passed out on the sidewalk, etc. Worst of all, it’s the default thing to do if you’re a young college student on St. Patrick’s day.
That’s why it’s so nice to see the growth of the Collegiate Recovery Program at University of Michigan. It would be cool no matter what, but it’s even cooler because they’ve been such good friends to Dawn Farm.
USA Today covered their St. Patty’s day event:
“Priority number one is to have fun,” says Molly Payton, 23, a general studies senior at Michigan, who has been sober for one year and attended the Sober Skate. “When I was in recovery, my big fear was that I wouldn’t have fun anymore … it was baffling to think I could have a life outside of drugs and alcohol.”
“For me, Fridays and Saturdays were tough,” adds Garrett Gibbons, 27, a graduate student in pathology at Michigan who is also in recovery.
“Those were nights when I knew I would party, knew I would drink. That’s why this is an important time for us.”
We’ll wrap the tribes of the recovering community series with a few mutual aid groups for recovering clergy.
Clergy Recovery Network – The Clergy Recovery Network exists to support, encourage and provide resources to religious professionals in recovery. If you are a pastor, missionary, religious professional–or a spouse of one–and you need help . . .welcome home. We have been waiting for you.
Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy – The Fellowship recognizes addiction as primary, progressive, predictable, chronic and terminal. Addiction can be arrested at any stage of its development. Recovery from any and all addiction is a spiritual process. The Fellowship bears witness to this truth at every level in the Church. Lutheran clergy struggling with any form of addiction are welcome in this fellowship. We will do whatever we can to give you support.
Recovered Alcoholic Clergy Association – The Recovered Alcoholic Clergy Association (RACA) is a working fellowship of the clergy of the Episcopal Church. We do enjoy ecumenical contacts with recovering ordained persons from other traditions even though membership is limited to current and former clergy of the Episcopal Church.
Any bishop, priest, deacon, member of a religious order, or seminarian who has a desire to stop using mood altering chemicals is eligible for membership. RACA is always willing offer support and counsel to ordained members of other religious traditions who want to discover the miracle of recovery as we have experienced it.
RACA has grown from the original six organizers in 1968 to 280 in 2014 our forty-sixth year of being more or less organized..
Narcotics Anonymous has gotten a lot of attention this week after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, so it’ll be this week’s tribe:
Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multi-lingual and multicultural membership. NA was founded in 1953, and our membership growth was minimal during our initial twenty years as an organization. Since the publication of our Basic Text in 1983, the number of members and meetings has increased dramatically. Today, NA members hold more than 61,000 meetings weekly in 129 countries.
More on the history of NA here.
This week’s tribe is Birds of a Feather International:
Birds of a Feather was formed in response to the need for meeting places for pilots and cockpit crewmembers where the subjects of addiction to alcohol or drugs might be discussed with impunity and anonymity. The cultural bias concerning these subjects has prevented many pilots in the past from seeking advice in this area. Birds of a Feather intends to address, in an atmosphere of support, the facts–in that the members are alcoholic themselves and have a means whereby productive lives in their chosen profession can be maintained.
Our concern is recovery from alcoholism. We have no loyalties to any company, government institution, medical facility, union, Employee Assistant Program, treatment center or specific recovery program. The fear of loss or limitation to our careers because of this misunderstood disease has been a very real concern to all of us and the understanding of those concerns to be found here is priceless. BOAF has contributed immeasurably to our own recovery and the spirit of passing this philosophy on to others who also might benefit is the reason for Birds of a Feather.
This week’s tribe is International Lawyers in AA:
International Lawyers in Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of recovered lawyers and judges carrying the message of recovery within our profession. Our purpose is to act as a bridge between reluctant (in denial) lawyers/judges and Alcoholics Anonymous.
This week’s tribe are Wellbriety Circles:
Wellbriety means to be both sober and well. It means to have come through recovery from chemical dependency and to be a recovered person who is going beyond survival to thriving in his or her life and in the life of the community. The Well part of Wellbriety means to live the healthy parts of the principles, laws and values of traditional culture. It means to heal from dysfunctional behaviors other than chemical dependency, as well as chemical dependency itself. This includes co dependency, ACOA behavior, domestic or family violence, gambling, and other shortcomings of character.
This week’s tribe is Dual Recovery Anonymous:
Dual Recovery Anonymous™ is a 12 Step self-help program that is based on the principals of the Twelve Steps and the experiences of men and women in recovery with a dual diagnosis. The DRA program helps us recover from both our chemical dependency and our emotional or psychiatric illness by focusing on relapse prevention and actively improving the quality of our lives. In a community of mutual support, we learn to avoid the risks that lead back to alcohol and drug use as well as reducing the symptoms of our emotional or psychiatric illness.
There are only two requirements for membership:
- A desire to stop using alcohol or other intoxicating drugs.
- A desire to manage our emotional or psychiatric illness in a healthy and constructive way.
It’s pronounced ick-ee-paw and it’s the International Conference of Young People in AA.
The International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (ICYPAA) was founded for the purpose of providing a setting for an annual celebration of sobriety among young people in AA. Since its inception, a growing group of people, who at first would not consider themselves as “young people,” has become regular attendees. The number of young people suffering from alcoholism who turn to AA for help is growing, and ICYPAA helps to carry AA’s message of recovery to alcoholics of all ages. This meeting provides an opportunity for young AA’s from all over the world to come together and share their experience, strength, and hope as members of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA members who attend an ICYPAA return home better prepared to receive young people who come to AA looking for a better way of life.
There are now YPAA groups and events throughout the country and the world.
Getting sober at 19 years old, I was convinced that I was to be be consigned to a life that was boring and glum. For all the dysfunction associated with a bunch of young alcoholics organizing social events, YPAA events were very important to me.
More Posts on Young People in 12 Step Groups: