Continuing Recovery in COVID
This time last year one of our main goals was helping our clients create a recovery definition that worked for them. If 12-step recovery isn’t your jam, how about Refuge Recovery? Or Recovery Yoga? Ever been to a SMART recovery meeting? Maybe try Celebrate Recovery? What encompasses a sober young adult life for YOU? Snowboarding? Fly fishing? Going to the rock climbing gym at least three times a week? Regardless of the answers we received, we knew that our guys couldn’t do it alone. They needed a squad; a group of young people learning how to swim against the stream of what most others their age were doing while still having fun! Now in the age of COVID, this is still our goal... we just have to get creative!
When I was first introduced to sobriety at 23, I remember the crowded rooms. The crowded smoking circles. The crowded tables at the cheap diner after the meeting. The crowded car rides. The crowded campsites. The crowded movie aisles. The crowded decks during summer BBQs. I loved it all, and I had no idea how much I craved the fellowship I found in young people’s recovery. While it may be awhile before young, sober people are sharing Redbulls and packing into rooms at civic centers again, there is still a vibrant community out there!
At Skyline Recovery we work hard to help our guys find the online young people’s meetings they’re looking for... ones they’ll actually enjoy! Every Saturday night our dudes gather around the table with snacks to attend the young people’s Zoom meeting we helped start! Other nights they may be on a midnight meeting in New York or Austin. Outdoor and socially distanced meetings are still going on in Bend, and even during the winter, there are meetings at a nearby park under a gazebo and heat lamp with masks, puffy coats, and gloves aplenty. Sponsorship and step work still happen at a picnic table, on a hiking trail, and around fire pits at local food carts. Priorities are important, and several of our clients have recently chosen sponsors and recovery mentors that have solid sober time under their belts, and season passes to Mt. Bachelor! Bend is a vibrant place with no shortage of safe outdoor spaces where young people can connect and play in a safe way.
We are committed to giving our young adults the same experiences that helped us. We organize camping trips with current clients and alumni, wilderness experiential outings, trips to the mountain to ski, trips to Smith Rock to climb, trips to the mountain bike trails that wrap all around Bend, trips to the river, and our Wednesday night cookout and in-house recovery meeting we started when COVID first hit has become the new family dinner our clients look forward to every week (except when it’s a meditation meeting, then it’s 50/50.)
Yes, things certainly look different in the young people’s recovery community from when I was 23, but the love, connection, and support are the same. Just the other day a client told us that he called his recovery mentor instead of cutting. That’s what Skyline Recovery is all about: Learning that you are stronger than your struggle and that you don’t have to do it alone anymore, even during a pandemic... maybe especially then.