I've mentioned it before, but I thought I'd go into a little more detail a out my volunteer work as a facilitator for the Addiction Recovery Program. The ARP is ran by LDS family services, although it is not specific to the LDS religion. It is a 12 step program where you can go to meetings and receive love and support for addictions and families of addicts.
I got my badge a month ago, but I've been going to the meetings a long time. Actually, my introduction to ARP began in 2008. It is strange, because I didn't know at the time that the meetings I was attending were in fact ARP meetings. Again, I've mentioned my previous marriage before, so I'll be brief, but I would attend the Addiction meeting for spouses while my spouse was in the other meeting for men addicted to pornography. I was 19 at the time and as broken as can be. I sat in the back, sobbing...like snot running, squeaking noises sobbing. I didn't read, I didn't share, I didn't participate. I was so hurt and in pain I didn't even realize what the program was all about. I only went a handful of times. Fast forward to 2014, and I decided I wanted to do volunteer work. I've always wanted to be a part of something huge...and life changing. When my parents got involved, I decided this was right for me. I only have to sacrifice an hour or two a week which will be easy as a new mom, and I'll get to meet all these new wonderful people who are trying to be better. I went through all 12 steps (12 weeks) to finish my training and voila, I am an official facilitator.
I wanted to share how much I love being a part of the ARP program, and why I think it is so good for EVERYONE. This will probably take several long blog posts because I have so much to say about it! I've learned so much about myself, so much about gratitude, and seeing others in the struggles they face has made me appreciate life so much more. I have had a ton of experience with addicts, which I can talk about in future posts, but this experience in ARP is unlike any other. These people truly want to change. Some of them even have. There are people from all walks of life, All demographics, and all ages. Some are battling current addictions and some have been in recovery a long time. But the amazing thing is they all showed up for their ARP meeting. Hearing their stories really puts things into perspective. I can't believe there is so much love and camaraderie where I didn't know it could exist. I genuinely Believe every human being can benefit from the 12 steps, regardless of whether or not they have a physical addiction. In fact, the 12 steps are currently helping me face anxiety and depression issues. It is such a magnificent program, I just thought I'd spread the word a little ☺
Next time, I'll share some personal experiences. In the meantime, if you struggle with an addiction, physical or mental, ARP is totally worth a shot. I promise. They are global and free. Don't be afraid to check them out.