While still being homeless, I have been able to become sober, in control of my life, and off the street. This has provided me time to work with men and women at recovery centers and research the combinations of individual actions for success. By no means does this blog boast of solutions! It is meant for you to create “Action Plans,” which, in any combination, will establish a “Beach Head” so you can move into a new quality of life.
Note: I was at an men’s AA meeting which requires reading aloud part or all of a story from The Big Book. At the end of a story entitled, “Safe Haven”, the writer made a comment that struck me hard. I now quote it often and use it as a motto for moving forward. I have modified the comment so that AA is not the only solution for humans stricken with the disease of addiction. The comment can be found on page 457 of The Big Book.
“I’ve realized that I cannot go back and make a brand-new start. But I can start from now and make a brand-new end”.
To advise a path for that “brand-new end,” AA, SMART RECOVERY, Yale University Medical School Research, William White, and others have documented their suggestions. I have combined these ideas and my experiences into 11 Point Action Plan; These actions are to assist you to create a “foundation”, a “Beach Head” in which you can move forward an create a new quality of life. Each plan requires its own breakdown of “who, what, where, and when.” They are:
Highway to Homelessness – Road to Recovery 11-Point Action Plan:
- 90 days of mandatory or self-committed institutionalization. Attend ongoing classes, meetings, and online recovery websites without any substance use other than doctor-prescribed medication. The brain needs to reset itself.
- Reliable and consistent transportation. (Car, friends, metro, walking)
- Look for and utilize every resource offered by the federal and state government and recovery resource centers while using community housing, food options, work for state reimbursement, and food stamps (SNAP).
- Engage close friends and family for support who are not enablers or socially connected with substance users. This is over and above a sponsor.
- Remove yourself from the town, city, state, friends, and family that trigger substance use.
- Separate yourself from all those who use inconsistent and/or unsupported paths until you are self-assured that sobriety has returned. Continue to attend scheduled onsite and virtual recovery meetings. Engage in therapy and psychiatric support.
- With the support of a physician, experiment with medicine that may assist in cognitive realization.
- Find housing with substance-free family, friends, or housing organizations.
- Work and/or volunteer in substance-free organizations, and religious establishments, and/or turn to a Higher Power for understanding(s). KEEP BUSY
- Understand life’s “triggers” and seek therapy to neutralize the pain and memories that might keep you trapped in the past or contributors of homelessness and substance abuse.
- Create and implement a financial support plan, including a budget you can live on. With the use of transportation mentioned in number 2 and acquire stable work. For example, $16/hour for a 40-hour week will net $2,560 per month.
Note: Give yourself a minimum of one (1) year of self-control before considering a partner.
If you combine any of the above actions that work for you, you can have a better quality of life going forward. If that happens, this book and the accompanying website (www.addictionrealityeducation.com) Addiction-Reality-Education” will have achieved their goals.
If you combine any of the above actions that work for you, then you have a chance for a better quality of life in the future. When that happens, this blog, “Addiction-Reality-Education” has achieved its goal.
Even better, send in your comments about modifications and additions to these 11 Action Plans which will create thought and discussion.
Smile Every Day,
Brian Masters (pen name for William Reiley Butler)