WRAP for Addictions - Waynette's Story
I had a hell of a moment last night
I went to a recovery meeting last night and the topic was HOPE. As I am coming up on a milestone in my own personal recovery, this is the time of year that I reflect on my journey and the lessons that I have learned through the struggles and challenges that I have faced and overcame over the years. Although 12 Step is the foundation of my recovery, I have to say that the Values and Ethics of WRAP along with the Five Key Recovery Concepts have taken my recovery to another level that is much deeper than it was prior to WRAP.
The values and ethics of WRAP speak to how we facilitate groups; they are set of principles and values that we, as facilitators of WRAP, must adhere to in order to work with the curriculum. However, when I chose to apply the same guiding principles in my personal life, I found that the way I viewed the world and everyone in it - the way I treated myself and treated others had changed beyond belief.
Many of us that are recovering from addictions have unrealistic expectations of how "others" should behave in the world. Because of WRAP Values and Ethics, I no longer focus on people's weaknesses. I am not looking to judge or criticize. Instead, I focus on my own strengths and assets, which in turn allows me to see the strength in others. I am a firm believer that I see what I am looking for; if I'm looking for people's faults, I will definitely find them. I no longer look for people's deficits. I am looking for the gifts that people bring to the world.
The five key concepts have introduced me to myself. The first of the five is Hope. Once Hope meant having to hear other people's experiences and drawing hope from their journeys. Today I have found Hope by knowing what my purpose is in life. Why do I get up in the morning? What drives me ? I now deal with difficulties and challenges with enthusiasm knowing that there is a solution. I validate myself and build on my own strengths without doing harm to myself or others. Yes, today Hope is having my own personal experience.
The second key concept is Personal Responsibility which holds me accountable on a whole other level. I have heard it said that "through our own inability to take personal responsibility we were actually creating our own problems." Looking at this from a new perspective allows me the freedom to fulfill my purpose in life. I create what happens to me today. I am no longer the victim but rather a survivor. No matter how great the pain, I consistently show up to participate in life, even when I’d rather not.
Education is the third key concept. Educate myself about myself so that I can make good decisions about all aspects of my life. I am not speaking in terms of textbook education but looking at education in terms of, from the moment of conception to this very moment in time, every action, reaction, event, circumstance or decisions I've made - painful or not - have been lessons learned. What an opportunity for growth and change in my life when I can look back on all my experiences as lessons and have no regrets – self-love, self-forgiveness, peace of mind and serenity.
Self-Advocacy. True freedom is what this third concept has given me. I have no excuses to ever use any substances to change the way I feel again. Key concept four is Self-Advocacy. Wow! I have learned to clearly and concisely communicate my needs so they can be met while allowing others the freedom of choice on whether they can support me or not during my process. This is a great segue into the final key concept which is Support.
I have accumulated the most amazing core group of supporters. It is often hard for me to ask for help, and it is even harder for me to accept help once I actually ask for it. Because I have taken personal responsibility to advocate for myself my core group of supporters know exactly when, where and how to support me.
No matter what is going on in my life, living life on life's terms is not easy, however with support in my life it is manageable. My purpose in life is to be of service to others and invite them into this process of self-discovery so that they can benefit as I have from WRAP and the Values and Ethics. Again WRAP introduced me to myself, and I would love for others to have the opportunity to be able to be introduced to themselves as well.
Waynette Brock is an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator Training from Northern California who works for the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery.