“I’ll never have fun again.” This is a phrase we hear far too often in addiction treatment. At Transformations, we strive to provide a therapeutic environment so our clients can work on all the issues they are suffering with. However, we also believe it is important to show our clients that they can have fun while in recovery. Whether it is air boat riding, bowling, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking or visiting the “Pinball Museum,” these are all things we give our clients the opportunity to enjoy while they are with us. As a man in recovery, I can relate to the “I’ll never have fun again” fear. I get a lot of joy out of seeing our clients discover they can have fun in recovery. It is also beneficial to provide our clients with some activities to decompress after a long week of treatment work and sessions with their therapists.
We find it imperative to show our clients that helping others can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. We provide our clients with opportunities to feed those less fortunate, volunteer at the CARING Kitchen, and even participate in beach cleanups. We get a lot of positive feedback in regards to how our clients feel after serving the homeless and less fortunate population. I remember back when I was early in treatment and all of the things I considered to be “problems.” One day, I was taken with a group of guys to provide food for the homeless population in downtown Atlanta. Boy was I hit with a dose of gratitude! It really put in to perspective what I considered to be world shattering issues, like having to wake up early for therapy, and what constituted as an actual issue, such as not having food to eat.
Not only are the activities we provide for our clients fun, a lot of them even have therapeutic benefits. For example, THRIIV is orchestrated by a certified Mental Health Counselor named Jonny who served our country for four years in the US Army. Sessions conducted by Jonny include: strategic team building and group cohesion challenges, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, exploring secluded islands and even snorkeling through local reefs with tropical fish. Jonny does a tremendous job at providing a fun experience that benefits our clients’ character and even their confidence.
We also take our clients to what is called a Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is best described as a “walking meditation.” The Labyrinth walk is led by a certified Labyrinth Facilitator. The walk is conducted both indoors and outdoors depending on the weather. Clients walk on a painted canvas that is a replica of the Chartres labyrinth, or outdoors between the stone outlines of the Cretan labyrinth. The pattern is intended to evoke thoughts of our interactions with each other on life’s journey. In short, it becomes a metaphor for life. I have witnessed clients become highly emotional and even brought to tears during this experience.
The disease of addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Not only will this disease do whatever it can to keep you using, but once you quit using, it will do whatever it can to bring you back in to its grip. That is why we provide an array of activities to complement our therapeutic services. The fact of the matter is, Transformations’ approach works. This is why we have past clients celebrating multiple years of sobriety every month. I have the honor and privilege to see these clients walk through our doors broken and transform spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is truly the most rewarding experience I could have ever asked for.