Newly sober or not-yet-abstinent individuals will benefit most from a more directive coaching approach. If you are trying to get sober and still struggling with abstinence, you need to bring all the resources you can to that fight: therapy, sponsorship, meetings, and other treatment. As a part of that multi-faceted approach, Jeff’s role is to provide the necessary coaching and therapy as you navigate this new landscape: setting goals and achieving results that are self-reinforcing.
It is HARD to do. It may seem obvious, but not deliberately accepting this truth can set you up for failure. You need to bring all the resources you can to the effort. Many alcoholics are lone wolves, especially high-achieving individuals, who often resist connection and help. This is the second attitude we need to address. Getting sober is not a goal to be done alone. To maximize success, you want an experienced and trained guide.
The substance was the answer to problems that existed before you ever used until it became a separate problem. We need to treat the whole person, not just the addict or alcoholic part. Most coaches got their training in the rooms of AA and at weekend workshops. Jeff, who has been in recovery since 1988, can go deeper and provide the support necessary to address the challenges that led to your addiction or alcoholism. Jeff comes to this work after more than thirty years of owning and running a successful mortgage company. My personal experiences and training enable me to understand my clients’ needs and challenges better than most.
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In many cases, those with long-term sobriety continue to struggle with the trauma that was a factor in your addiction. You may also find you have feelings of malaise, of being “stuck”, or perhaps experience inexplicable anger or the inability to connect as deeply as you would like with a spouse or others.
A number of studies in the past two decades have focused on the distinct aspects of people who have reached a state of what is referred to in the literature as ‘long-term sobriety” (individuals who have been sober for ten or more years in succession). Each of the researchers address different questions about the characteristics of long-term sobriety using different methodologies. Although premises and approaches vary, one consistent observation appears to bear out across all the research: the ten-year mark appears to be a watershed. Those who continue to work a 12-step program through this period and beyond continue to grow.
In fact, descriptions of recovery in the literature, from the long-term sober perspective, are filled with recounting of amazement, gratitude and a powerful sense of connection to grace. If this resonates with you, as is has for me in my own work, you’ve prepared yourself for the deeper work that will bring you to an even richer and more fulfilling experience of your sobriety.
One of the benefits or outcomes of long-term 12-step work is a general dismantling of the ego defenses that can be an obstacle to getting at and engaging in this deeper work. By bringing our thinking mind, or cognitive processes, into body-felt experience, you have the opportunity uncover and shift deeply buried feelings, changing the way you experience them, but not be able to easily explain. Some of the tools we will use in this work are powerlessness, acceptance and humility—all of which create profound leverage in advancing your work, your understanding, and your experience.
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