On Friday, the men of Guiding Light Recovery sat down together in the chapel of our Heartside facility for their weekly house meeting. This is a time for the men enrolled in our four-month program to discuss their week and to voice any concerns they have with staff or each other. It is a time for group discussion about why they are here, what are they doing with their lives, and what they want to get out of their time here at Guiding Light.
Program Director Brian Elve decided to discuss with the men why they are there, and what is expected of them. “We want to challenge your beliefs, we want to challenge your interpretations,” Brian said. “We want to challenge the way you see yourself in this world…so do not be surprised if we do challenge you. If you’re not being challenged, I would go looking for some because you’re not going to change. People that come here and want to be “comfortable,” those are the people that struggle, because that is not the way this program was designed. It’s my own personal belief that you have no idea what is on the other side of a different life because you really haven’t experienced it.” The transition of moving from living a life as a perpetual victim of circumstance to one’s addiction is challenging for anyone, but particularly for that of a man who comes through our doors, and for the first time admits that they honestly need help. “So why do this recovery thing? Why come to Guiding Light? You’re not really sure what’s on the other side because you haven’t experienced it…so we want to say to you that you have no idea what you are capable of. You have no idea what your life could actually be, because you’re stuck in this idea that maybe this is as good as it gets.”
One of the hardest things about getting sober is that there is little reason to believe that life gets better on the other side. Men struggling and living in active addiction are enslaved by a sense of hopelessness. They only know a life where things happen to them and find it extremely difficult to find the agency and strength to take responsibility for their own actions. This is what addiction does to human beings, there is a level comfort with the familiarity of only chasing the next high or the next drink. The real world without the crutch of drugs and alcohol can seem extremely uncomfortable, scary, and unfamiliar, especially in early sobriety. That is why Guiding Light Recovery is structured the way it is. It is designed to create a safe environment for men to feel uncomfortable, and to see that it is not the end of the world, and that there is indeed a life worth living in sobriety.
The only real cost for men to become accepted in the Guiding Light Recovery program is their willingness to change and commitment to living a different way. Our clients have access to professional and holistic treatment and care from therapists, spiritual directors, and life coaches. It costs roughly $300 a day to house, feed, and teach one client how a life in sobriety is possible, and we could not do it without you. You are the reason we see miracles happen here every day. It truly is a miracle that a man can come here seeking shelter, often at the darkest time of his life, and find light in the form of God’s love. From all of us at Guiding Light, clients and staff alike, thank you so much for all that you do, and God bless.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17