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No Single, but Many, Paths to Recovery

Issue 17
The Gifts Are in The Journey, Not The Destination

by Leslie Clark

There is no one pathway to recovery.

Unless you’re talking about what got you there in the first place—waking up in jail, a trip to the emergency room, an ultimatum from your boss or your life partner—recovery is not a destination. It’s a life-long journey and the gifts are in the journey itself. That’s why we distinguish the pathways of recovery from pathways to recovery.

Each person’s pathway of recovery is uniquely their own and fortunately, there are so many ways to explore and discover what works for them.

Until a few years ago, I thought of “recovery” as synonymous with Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous.

I had never heard of the concept of multiple pathways.

On any given day in a recovery community center, someone might go to an A.A. meeting and then taking a recovery yoga class. Or perhaps they attend a meeting of Recovery Dharma and then meet one-one with a peer recovery coach. Or, they could decide to start a support group to address an unmet need, like Dads in Recovery. There are so many choices and rich offerings. And the best part is that people don’t have to choose just one.

Recovery community centers provide a home for people to explore and discover multiple pathways of recovery, including individualized peer support services and social activities. Some people may choose to use medication as a tool.

Some may seek strategies to reduce risk and prevent harm. The most common mutual aid pathways of recovery include All Recovery meetings, 12-step meetings, Life Ring, SMART, Wellbriety, Recovery Dharma, Natural Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery.

At the heart of all of these is finding a new way of life, connecting with peers, learning from others, and growing psychologically and emotionally.

PRCC’s mission is to provide support, education, resources, and advocacy for people recovering from and affected by addiction, and to spread the message of hope throughout the state of Maine and beyond. PRCC’s vision is that every person affected by addiction in Maine will have direct access to a local recovery community center that provides support, education, and individual resources to enhance their ability to heal, strengthen and grow in their recovery pathway, throughout all stages of their journey. PRCC provides a place for the recovery community to grow and thrive at 102 Bishop Street in Portland. The center offers space for meetings and activities devoted to recovery from substance use disorder. PRCC is operated by staff and volunteers who are passionate about recovery, and every activity is created by and for people in recovery. PRCC offers peer support to individuals who use a variety of recovery pathways, and we honor each person’s unique recovery journey. We know from experience that successful recovery from substance use disorder requires support from others. Our center welcomes all who are taking steps to recover. PRCC works statewide to support the development of new recovery community centers so that every community in Maine has access to its own local center. By providing training, resources, and technical support to new and developing centers, PRCC’s Recovery Hub sustains a network of mutual support among the centers that develops leadership and empowers communities.

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