L2L is all about personal responsibility and freedom from dependence on subsidy as well a substance. But the addict or alcoholic facing the herculean task of early recovery – which is in its very essence, absolute psychic change – has a lot on his or her plate. A few weeks of not having to sweat the weekly $115 rent goes a long, long way to giving our guys and gals a little time to to get their feet firmly planted in a solid program recovery, to get grounded and caught up with legal obligations (think parole and probation) & social services, all while working part time to keep food in the belly and to get a little money saved up for when life gets real again.
Your $115 residency sponsorship provides one week of a stable, sober roof over head for one of our men or women. $460 get 30 days. Or if you have the means, think about signing up for a recurring monthly sponsorship.
Because, it’s like this:
Early recovery is a bitch. Your head is thick and stupid from the years you’ve nuked it with booze and dope. Feelings you’ve spent the decades medicating away hammer mercilessly at you now, vegnefully, even. It’s a roller coaster ride, the terrifying, gut-wrenching kind. The high of joy elation gratitude for finally having a few days week months chemical free suddenly gives way to the plunge, the remorse, the shame. The fear.
You think of all the damage you done. All the people you’ve hurt. Over and over and over again, you think about it.
You hear about this cool new abstinence-based, purpose driven gig called Ladders to Leaders. You hear they’ll give you a bed and a job. Vocational training, maybe, even, and some arts and recreation outlets too. The offer you the chance to feel useful again.
You sign onto the idea, and you show up, and the first thing they hit you with is:
You are responsible for your own Recovery. We are here to hold you accountable to that.
You are responsible for your own needs, and we are here to collect the rent.
We expect you to connect with a spiritual fellowship 10-15 hours a week, at least 10-15 hours a week, they say. We expect you to work the program of that fellowship, and we expect you to do that under the guidance of a mentor or a sponsor. We expect you to commit to service within that fellowship, and within the community at large, and within Ladders to Leaders, they say.
Also, you will have to stay on top of your health needs and appointments, keep up with whatever judicial or restitutional oligations you’ve earned yourself. And make sure you access available social and mental health services, and also there are house chores and a house meeting every week and we are expecting you not to isloate, to be an engaged and positive member of your sober home.
Oh and don’t forget your $115 rent is due every Friday by 5PM. Your responsible for that bed. Pay for that bed, every week. Make that bed, every morning.
So, go get a job, or come work with us. But get yourself fully immersed in your recovery, they say, so you probably don’t want to work a full time job just yet. 10, 15 hours a week, maybe, for a month or two.
How the hell am I gonna balance that out? you ask, your old fears twitching a little at your triggers.
“Choose hope over fear,” they say, “do the work of Recovery, and that work will convert that hope into real-live hard-core empirically-based faith. Alchemy at its best.”
“Just do the work, follow instructions, and don’t think too much. And don’t pick up. And then, everything will be alright.”
It’s a tall order. Your sponsorship provides just a little nudge in the right direction. For our guys and gals, that nudge could change, maybe even save their lives.