Keeping the Human Being in Focus During Recovery Treatment


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At Jaywalker Lodge, we firmly believe that recovery treatment is not about statistics or sterile medical environments. The disease of alcoholism and addiction affects the whole person and their whole life, every aspect of it. By necessity, the solution must be holistic as well. But we must remember that we are not simply treating a disease or leaning blindly on the most recommended methods. We are treating a living human being and helping a real person who suffers from a deadly disease. Even today that is often widely misunderstood.

This concept may not seem like a drastic departure from other places that offer alcoholic and addiction recovery treatment. Frankly, we hope it’s not. But many of us at Jaywalker Lodge are in recovery ourselves, and what we do is a little different precisely because of that. We know what works, and we understand in ways that only those with personal experience can.

Recovery treatment is not strictly about regimens and medicines, although we have both of those. It’s not about chores and rules without explanation. It’s about learning and understanding how responsibility is the gateway to freedom. It’s not about pointless restrictions and commitments. It’s about seeing how our commitments and our limits contribute to making everyone’s lives better while improving our own. Recovery is not about medical procedures or lockdown-style rules. It’s about helping the whole person see the practical value of every element of the program.

The 12-Steps Are the First Step

When it comes to alcoholism and addiction, some treatment methods can miss the mark. After all, this disease is not like any other disease out there. It is characterized by its three-fold nature: the mental obsession, the physical allergy, and the spiritual malady. The mental obsession affects alcoholics and addicts like us by dominating our minds. We are unable to keep our minds from eventually blanking out. No matter how badly we want to stop, we will drink or use due to the mental obsession. The physical allergy is why, once we start, we have no control over when or if we will stop. Our bodies respond differently than non-alcoholics and non-addicts. We can’t control how much we consume or when we’ll put it down, no matter how hard we try. The spiritual malady is why we cannot stop the mental obsession, thereby kicking off the physical allergy. We will never be rid of this allergy — the only way to remove the mental obsession and heal the spiritual malady is the 12-Step program of spiritual action.

This disease model is quite different from any other. The 12-Steps are designed to produce in alcoholics and addicts the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that directly address the mental obsession and spiritual malady, making long-term recovery possible. We must keep up with the 12-Steps for as long as we wish to remain in recovery. It’s not like we can just take a pill once a day to deal with our disease. There is no surgery to cure us. We must follow the ongoing 12-Step process, along with a host of other holistic healing practices.

No part of an individual, or their lives, is left untouched by alcoholism and addiction. Nor can successful treatment leave out any part. Indeed, the 12-Step program has a profound holistic effect on most alcoholics and addicts, revolutionizing their attitudes and lives across the board. We can support the holistic effectiveness of the 12-Steps by introducing additional tools and practices throughout.

That’s why we at Jaywalker Lodge don’t shy away from how deeply we aim to work the 1st-Step. Extensive education, meaningful personalization, and plenty of practical work on this vital 1st-Step are a big part of what we do. At the same time, we begin drawing up personal and individualized therapies. Individual therapy helps with mental and emotional health and improves our health in those areas as we continue engaging with them over the long term. We also do group therapy because for alcoholics and addicts; it is almost impossible to recover in isolation.

The Little Things Are Big Things

Beyond this, we begin transparently practicing seemingly minor things, which in reality are huge. These include cleaning up after ourselves, cooking meals, keeping commitments to the group, doing service work in the community, and even nutritional, fitness, and physical education learning through outdoor expeditions and exercise. These might seem like everyday trivialities to some. But for too many alcoholics and addicts seeking recovery, crucial coping mechanisms and vital life skills are never learned or forgotten because of the all-consuming nature of the disease.

This simple oversight can be disastrous, especially when people are medically treated for the physical and mental symptoms of the disease but then left out in the cold when it comes to vital knowledge that can prevent relapse. At Jaywalker Lodge, we do our complete best not to leave our men with any unnecessary vulnerabilities. We aim to help them all find meaningful and joyous long-term recovery. Just as importantly, we aim to teach them how to live a life so incredible that relapse becomes unthinkable and far less likely.

Alcoholism and addiction are a disease unlike any other. They affect the entire person and every area of their lives — but so does the solution. The 12-Step program of spiritual action explicitly addresses the three unique characteristics of the disease of alcoholism and addiction while dealing with many of the consequences caused by the disease in various areas of life. Because the disease is all-consuming and all-encompassing, the solution has the same scope. Additional tools and practices that can bolster the effectiveness of the 12-Step program are easily attainable and actionable with the right direction and education. In recovery, alcoholics and addicts can find that healing is limitless, even in the areas of life that were most profoundly damaged. If you are struggling with the disease and ready to begin your journey in recovery, Jaywalker Lodge is here to help get you started on the best possible footing. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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