Monday, February 18, 2008

Making a Difference

from Gerald Butler:


If I were designing a new treatment mode for today’s new system of treatment and recovery, I would make sure the foundation of my program would be as follows: ‘Any practitioner of this treatment mode must first and foremost provide a warm and welcoming environment favorable to recovery.’ No matter how well conceived, lacking a positive, recovery centered environment, the success rate of new programs remains low. Conversely, by placing a strong emphasis on these values, the odds of the new treatment modes having good outcomes increase. The dream of recovery must first be alive inside of us before the system can help us make it a reality.

A few years ago, I started saying to myself, "Today I am going to concentrate only on my good points.” I realize that no matter how far I may go in this world, to certain folks I will forever be nothing but a consumer. Therefore, I seek out leaders who have my recovery at heart. I find strength in the eyes and the hugs of my brothers and sisters in recovery. When I give hope, love, and energy to those we serve, I am appreciated. The more I am appreciated, the more I have to give because their genuineness makes me stronger. By sharing our hopes and dreams, we learn more about how to cope with our disease’ and pass those strengths on to others in recovery. This is called Peer Support.

These are the reasons why the theme of this year’s ‘Empowerment Day’ will be centered on consumers sharing their assets. Not only are consumers planning this years’ conference, but the keynote speaker, entertainment, skits, art displays, etc. will all be consumers. After this weeks’ planning committee meeting, we will be able to provide a list of where and the type of assistance we will need to make our 3rd annual ‘Empowerment Day’ as good or better than the first two. Again, we thank everyone for your support.

Gerald Butler

Peer Support Specialist

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