Making Treatment Meaningful
From the Jaywalker point of view, recovery treatment is about more than sobriety. Jaywalker Lodge gets its name from the parable of the Jaywalker in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. This story is a seemingly dramatic portrayal of a man who repeatedly jaywalks, despite his increasingly grievous physical injuries as a direct consequence of his jaywalking. Upon closer reflection, this is no different than someone who is an alcoholic or addict yet continues to drink and use despite their desire to stop. Understanding this vicious cycle of chronic relapse and how to break free of it is one of our primary missions at Jaywalker Lodge. We want to help men end chronic relapse and find lasting recovery.
We succeed at this goal through a unique combination of services, treatments, methodologies, and approaches. All of these are placed upon the foundation of the 12-Step program of recovery. Beyond that, we employ the mindsets that helped us recover — education, community, hope, and meaning. We combine all these things into our own proprietary blend of treatment. The mindset behind the method is to instill hope into our men’s’ lives and meaning into their recovery. We must go beyond boilerplate assignments and one-size-fits-all routines and make the methods of recovery personal if we wish to inspire long-term recovery.
Why Does Meaning Matter?
That’s a fair question, considering that we’re dealing with a potentially fatal disease. But that’s what is baffling about alcoholism and addiction. As a disease, they are deadly indeed, so whatever effective solutions are offered should be taken up gratefully — but alcoholics and addicts will continue to die without recovering if they are not presented with a meaningful solution. Treatments for broken bones don’t need to be meaningful, but the ones for alcoholism do. There must be depth and weight behind the solutions provided to give hope to those who suffer.
This necessity for meaning is part of what makes it so important that alcoholics and addicts work together in their recovery. Everyone who works the 12-Steps is guided through them by someone else who already took the 12-Steps with someone else who already took them, and so on. Even the 12th-Step involves primarily taking other people through the 12-Steps and carrying the message of recovery. This closed system of alcoholics and addicts helping alcoholics and addicts work the 12-Steps is incredibly effective. Nothing has quite as much meaning as the testimony of a man who has the same disease, yet is happily in recovery.
Healing Our Spirit
The disease of alcoholism is unique for many reasons, not the least of which is the spiritual malady. This spiritual problem robs us of our power and often our hope and energy. Again, the 12-Steps offer a near-perfect solution, which proves effective in healing the spiritual malady. But the meaning of the solution must often be made clear before people become willing or able to muster the energy to follow through with it. Though the disease is a serious threat, there must be a meaningful connection made to the solutions offered. Otherwise, the motivation or drive to overcome the dominating disease may not be found.
This is a unique set of circumstances, and alcoholism and addiction are a disease unlike any other. But if meaning can be displayed in the solutions and hope can be seen in the results, then we stand a great chance of beginning a lasting journey in recovery.
How To Create Meaning
This may seem like a difficult proposition, given that meaning is often subjective and not always considered obvious or inherent. Luckily, we are dealing in a realm of some specificity. We are only interested in exposing the meaning behind the solutions offered for alcoholism and addiction and making them personal for the sufferers we aim to help.
One of the most straightforward methods of producing meaning is education. There is plenty of recovery literature to study, most of which contain either illuminating information about the disease or helpful guidance for 12-Step work. Any part of this literature studied provides great benefits. Yet we find the most successful approach is to take the material concerning the 1st-Step and make it intimately known. Forming a deep, personal connection to the 1st-Step leaves each man at Jaywalker Lodge with an understanding of the true nature of their condition. The seriousness of the disease becomes reality, and the solution becomes that much more imperative.
This education is highly important, and the 1st-Step should not be moved past until a personal connection is made. After education, there are other ways to create meaningful connections to elements of recovery. This is part of why we enjoy an active alumni community at Jaywalker Lodge and participate in service as a group. Activities like this help normalize and personalize the recovery treatment experience. Seeing others who were once in treatment living full and happy lives, still active in recovery and part of the Jaywalker community, is an incredibly powerful experience. Every effort to bring recovery and treatment to a personal and meaningful place pays huge dividends, increasing the chances that each man will be inspired to continue pursuing their recovery.
Alcoholism and addiction are a disease unlike any other. This disease robs people who suffer from it of all meaning, joy, and freedom in their lives. In some cases, it takes their lives entirely. Luckily, there is a solution. The 12-Step program can produce the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that lead to lasting recovery. It requires honesty, willingness, and open-mindedness. It also requires working with other people in recovery. In order for us to want to work the 12-Step program, many will need to first hear the testimony of other alcoholics and addicts who have successfully entered recovery. Their message of hope must carry weight and we must believe they have experienced the disease just like we have. Then the miracle of recovery will have even greater meaning for us — for if we have the same disease, surely we can have the same solution. Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help those who earnestly want recovery. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.