Like many of you, I love football. One of my earliest memories in life is lying on my daddy’s chest on our living room sofa watching football on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. If the game was boring, I’d nod off for nap along with my dad, but if the game was exciting my brothers and I would yell and cheer and fuss and fume with every play. My dad admired certain coaches because of the kind of men they were. Sure, he cheered for Clemson and Carolina (and only Clemson on one Saturday a year), but good men who ran clean programs and mentored young men also won his respect.
These days, he would have loved coaches like Dabo Swinney, Kirby Smart, and Nick Saban. When you listen to these coaches, you’ll often hear them say something like, “It’s all about the process.” Excellent coaches create a consistent culture and have a successful process to improve player performance, build team cohesion, prepare for each game, and instill values in their student-athletes. If players buy in to the process, they will become not only high-caliber players but also high-quality citizens.
In a similar way, recovery is a process but so is addiction. Addiction is a complex interaction between traumatic experiences, genetics, brain wiring, wounded beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, isolated relationships, pain-avoidant and destructive choices, and painful life consequences. Whether the seeds of addiction are sown from genetics or from adverse childhood experiences, the process of developing addiction often plays out similarly. The brain is wired and rewired for hypervigilance, pain and fear avoidance, and heightened response to pleasure and reward. Diseased beliefs and feelings grow, leading a person to need something to minimize the pain. Along comes an addictive substance or behavior, and the brain is further wired for dependence and tolerance. Then painful life and relational brokenness come leading to unmanageability.
Since addiction is a process, recovery must be a process as well. Championship teams aren’t built overnight, and neither are healed lives. The recovery process must address all these areas so that freedom can endure. When abstinence and healthy lifestyle choices give the brain time to heal, when counseling, spirituality, and relationships address trauma, when truth and healthy emotional relationships replace broken beliefs and emotions, when healthy coping skills develop, and when life skills, spirituality, and amends making connect us in loving relationships, recovery thrives. It really is “all about the process.”
At Starlight at Tamassee, we offer a proven recovery process to mothers so they can find lasting freedom, become loving parents, and successful members of our community. To learn more about Starlight, visit starlight.tdarschool.org, or contact us at email@example.com or 864-944-1390. If your church or civic group is interested in a presentation on recovery, contact Jon Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org.