We are the misfit toys abandoned on Misfit Island. Being outcasts, we embrace counterculture because it’s just like us – the misfits. Some of us have had to forge a new path of recovery. Who gets to determine what’s the right way to recover? If it works for you, it’s working. Recovery is recovery; "they" don't make the rules, we do. While I value tapping into the collective consciousness on healing, I’ve found a lot of grounding in figuring out what’s right for ME in recovery. As I’ve said before, it can be hugely beneficial to follow the program or other tried and true methodologies. One day there may come a time when you feel you’ve exhausted these resources, that’s when you might decide to join the bench.
The problem for me was that my recovery was based on this kind of public recognition. Public recognition of continued lengths of sobriety can be very validating. The issue that I began to have with mainstream recovery: shame. Public shame is a huge part of mainstream recovery. Standing up and admitting a relapse in front of a group is absolutely humiliating and they say you have to start all over; relapse erases all the progress we’ve made. A relapse does not erase what I’ve learned, how about you?
Let’s talk about Supervised Consumption Services (SCS). Studies show that positive support and safe using practices can lead to a whole different kind of recovery. Safer drug consumption services are designated sites where people can use pre-obtained drugs under the safety and support of trained personnel. Over the last 30 years, SCS have been implemented across 100+ sites in 60+ cities in 11 countries around the world. The data shows that people that use SCS result in much higher percentages of recovery and decreases the number of preventable deaths that come from street use (disease, overdose and assault). Some SCS will even inspect your stash for purity to ensure you’re use is safe. Then, once you use, there are certified medical aids to monitor you. National Harm Reduction Coalition wants to see recovering addicts survive addiction.
This kind of framework takes away a lot of the shame and helps addicts respect themselves again. Without that crippling shame, many addicts are able to hold successful jobs and relationships while getting clean. Taking away the shame from addiction is MASSIVELY impactful. What if we concentrated on well-being instead of shame to aid in recovery? That might paint a whole new picture. Regardless of how you're doing it, you are doing it! We've been keeping the bench warm for you and you're always welcome here.