Since 2002, strong sober support remains the foundation upon which we succeed -- in sobriety and beyond. It’s the strength that is found in fellowship. The bonds that are forged in camaraderie. Bonds that become unbreakable behind a common purpose. In almost two decades in the recovery business, we’ve helped well over 7000 men battle addiction. Men of all ages, from every corner of our country, and from all walks of life. Men just like you. No matter where they’ve come from or what they do. Men who’ve been hit with one of the most serious afflictions ever to affect humankind, and who now have united to fight the most serious fight of their lives. It’s a mutual support network that knows no challenge that can’t be met, matched and vanquished. The sort of unified strength that gets stronger the longer it exists. We mean formidable. Which is exactly what you’ll become once you become the next member of our strong sober support network.
If strong recovered alumni and sober support is the cornerstone of all we do (and it most certainly is), then sponsorship is the foundation upon which that strong sober support arises -- and thrives. Yes, it’s based upon the practices and principles devised by Alcoholics Anonymous. And yes, it’s what’s so eloquently provided by A.A.’s Big Book. But it also encompasses the age-old tradition of mentorship through our recovered alumni base.
If every day in every way our increasingly extended family becomes ever stronger (as it most certainly does), then nowhere is that ever increasing strength more evident than at our monthly recovered alumni meeting. Held in our magical and miracle-producing courtyard, it is designed around that month’s current crop of recovery graduates. It is at once a gathering of like minds, and a testament to the effectiveness of our addiction treatment program. The accompanying pizza party also serves to show the newcomer not just how it’s done, but that it can be done in great numbers. And while our recovered alumni recovery success rate far exceeds the national average (and we’ve got the evidence to back it up), we don’t boast about it. We don’t need to. Just one look at the faces of the recovered alumni who gather together each month beats any boast ever.
Paintball. Kickball. Softball. Skydiving. A blockbuster movie here. A putt-putt golf outing there. A day of bowling. An afternoon of classic arcade games. A sunup to sunset foray into the deep blue Atlantic for some expertly-guided sportfishing. Each and every month we gather together, new recruits and recovered alumni alike, forging ahead together for a day of bonding and fellowship. It’s fun. It’s healthy. And it strengthens us in ways that are both inspiring and enlightening. It also highlights the simple joys to be found in sobriety. And it is a beautiful thing to behold.
Joining our family of recovered alumni can be one of the simplest things you ever do. It will also be among the most important. We are all-accepting. In fact, becoming a member of our family really only requires you to choose to pursue sobriety with us. And when you do so, you’ll be choosing to change the very fabric of your being. Think of it like a rich and inspiring tapestry. One sewn together by men who never lifted a stitch, but whose threads entwined to create a virtual mosaic. Recovered men. Who go out of their way to look out for each other. And whose looking out for each other knows no limits whatsoever. Here you’ll forge friendships which last a lifetime alright. And when a friendship lasts an entire lifetime, it takes on all the dimensions of family. We are as much brothers from different mothers as we are brothers in arms. A brotherhood of men that goes beyond blood and takes its strength in the spirit of our recovered alumni.
It begins when your mom picks up the phone again. And it gets better and better from there. Too many of our mothers came to dread our calls. So when your mom answers the phone without any reluctance whatsoever, it will be as if a light has reignited in your life. Then again, a light has reignited. And it will shine so brightly you’ll never want to see it dim again. Eventually, you’ll even hear your mom smile across the line. And boy oh boy will you bask in that glow. You’ll find the same sort of reactions from the rest of your loved ones. Your father will look at you with new respect. A brother will turn to you for advice. A sister will reach out for your support. If you’re blessed enough to have children, they will again become a priority. If you’re fortunate enough to have nieces and/or nephews, you’ll get to be the uncle who’s known as solid rather than crazy. Whatever the relationship, however long the estrangement, sobriety will fix things. You’ll be close in ways you’ve never known before. And become ever closer by the day. Sobriety’s like a miracle that way. Remember that when your mom smiles widely across the line.