Horizon Blog

Recovery Coach – True Story

January 13th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.13.20 AMHorizon’s Recovery Coach program has been incredibly successful in helping people recover from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Recovery coaches provide support in helping someone maintain a solid foundation in recovery. Coaches help build upon recovery to achieve other life goals that make recovery worthwhile.

The following is a true story provided by one of Horizon’s Recovery Coaches, Beth Reed. Today she shares how Jake used the Recovery Coach program to maintain his sobriety.

Jake is a young adult who began Recovery Coach Services over a year ago while at Horizon Village (HV). Jake utilized recovery coaching to help him get the most out of his stay and remain motivated for, and engaged in, his treatment. He left HV armed with the skills and support gained during his stay, and highly motivated and confident.

As expected, his resolve was tested almost immediately upon leaving HV and returning to “life on life’s terms.” He struggled to engage in outpatient continuing treatment, and dealing with the stresses of being broke and bored. There was little if any recovery going on in his sober living environment. It was not long before Jake resumed using, disengaged from outpatient treatment and began making one unhealthy choice after another.

As his recovery coach, I provided Jake a consistent message of hope, support and honest, straightforward feedback – but the ball was always in his court. The beauty of partnering with someone in this way is that they completely own their choices and outcomes. I will never forget the day Jake came into my office and said, “I’m not okay.” It was the day that HE decided he had had enough of how he was living.

Since he was still linked with recovery coaching, I was able to help him obtain safe housing, get back into outpatient counseling and start making healthy life choices again. He secured a full-time job, got settled into his own apartment and routine, and even began rebuilding relationships with his family. He frequently sent me pictures of how he had rearranged his furniture, or of an elaborate breakfast he had cooked that morning. He was proud of the way he was living – as were his loved ones (and his recovery coach).

After 9 months clean, Jake relapsed. Things got real bad, real fast. He was using almost daily, going to work under the influence, and on the verge of losing everything he had worked so hard for. Because the recovery coach alliance is one of mutual respect, trust and honest communication, Jake was comfortable to report his use quickly, and we began to dialog around, “what now?”

I increased my support to daily phone “check-ins”, and bolstered Jake’s motivation and courage. I served as a sounding board for his decision-making during a time when he could not think clearly on his own. Jake utilized recovery coach services to explore his options, weigh the “pros and cons” of each, and re-evaluate his choices as needed.

During his substance withdrawal I was his constant support and monitor – reassuring him that his discomfort was temporary and that he could cope with it. I assisted with his researching treatment options, dealing with insurance issues, getting linked with self-help and other people in recovery, and preparing to have the difficult conversation with his family and treatment providers about his relapse. Jake will tell you that one of his scariest times since getting sober was wondering if he could come back from that relapse – but he did.

Today, Jake is living a better quality of life than ever before. He is celebrating 6 months clean this month, and more importantly, has managed to put a great deal of distance between him and the drugs. He started taking Vivitrol to help avert future relapses, successfully completed outpatient services, and for the first time has the confidence to move forward in his life. He now has a salaried career that he has maintained for over a year, and is currently seeking employment opportunities in the law enforcement field. He has rebuilt the trust and mended his family relation- ships, and now chooses to spend time with people who are where he wants to be, rather than where he was. He is a true exemplar that recovery can, will and does happen.

When asked about the Recovery Coach Program, Jake responded:

“What I liked most about working with my Recovery Coach was how open I could be and all of the help I received. I received guidance with everything from emotional issues to finances to future employment. If someone was on the fence about working with a Recovery Coach I would say do it! The more help the better! I can say with confidence that I feel using a Recovery Coach will help you out in the end.”

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