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7 S’s of Sobriety inspired by Nowruz

What is up, everyone? Happy Saturday March 16th of 2024! Welcome back to another live stream, a live stream in which a collective group of like minded individuals who are here to get some support in their own journey and maybe the journey of others as it relates to the healing, recovery and transformation space gather. I am your host on a week to week basis. My name is Parham. If I don’t know you, that’s the introduction. I do have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and I do have a personal history and background of being in recovery. So June 13th of 2008 is the day that I decided to pivot and change my life around, and change the way that the story was going. And you know it’s an interactive live stream so whenever you come and post comments, whether you use our Facebook page or you come on YouTube, and whatever you write in the chat box I do have the ability to read it and see it and hopefully answer it, and I also do have the ability to post them. So for example, counselor Jim here said Good Morning, and the way that I just put his comment up is the way that your comment could get placed if you have any questions about any of this stuff. So I hope my personal background and my professional background creates the platform for me to be able to share with you and give you some words of wisdom, nuggets, some inspiration, information, and help you in your healing journey. 

So today is an interesting day. I’ve done this talk two years ago – I looked – it was 2022 March. I did this talk and it’s actually inspired by the changing of the seasons. So as we all know, the Spring Equinox which is the official start of spring is right around the corner, right? Usually March 20th or something around there is the start of spring. And spring is a really fascinating time in this thing called nature. Why is that the case? Well, it’s when everything and everyone wakes up from the cold darkness of winter and some of you have experienced a winter that was beyond one season. Maybe you’ve been in a winter of your life for a couple years, it’s just been dark, cold, gloomy, uncomfortable, wet, frozen, but that’s the opportunity that’s in front of us right now. It’s with the changing of the season can you also change the narrative of your life. Animals wake up and come out of hibernation, birds start singing, trees’ leaves turn green, flowers bloom, the oxygen freshens up, life source vitality. So why not take what is happening around us and apply it to what’s happening to us in our world? Why not have it be a new beginning for you, a new chapter, a new start? And thank you! I got the Persians are already coming in saying “Hey, nice background!” We’re gonna be talking about the background here in a second. Also I was born in the country of Iran and there are a few Iranians that tune in and watch this on a week to week basis, and I just wanted to kind of use my background as a celebration and a representation of that culture and the traditions that exist within it. I’m going to teach you a little bit about it and then from there we’re going to pivot to why you’re here. Because not many of you are here for a historical, cultural, or traditional lesson. You’re here because you yourself in your life are struggling with something, or you got a loved one in your life that’s struggling with something, and you’re here for some suggestions, advice, solutions in that space. So I’m going to get right into it. 

We’re going to start talking about the Persian New Years, and something called a Haft Sin which is a literal definition of the 7 S’s. So here we go. All over the world right now, in this moment that I’m talking to you, there are people from the Iranian culture, also known as the Persian culture, people that whether they’re in the country themselves or like myself have been able to immigrate and come out to the United States, however you know. I’m going to a family gathering later today and I promise you that one of these will be on the table somewhere and on the table there are seven things that start with the letter S or known as Sin in Persian or Farsi. And each one of them represents something unique. So the first one is called Sabzeh, which is that big green thing behind me and Sabzeh is usually like some type of a sprout that starts growing before this happens, and it kind of represents something really unique. It represents rebirth and renewal. And man, how many people come into this channel needing a little bit of a rebirth and renewal of their life. So that’s what that represents. The next one is something called Senjed, which is just dried fruit. Dried fruit is oftentimes sweet and sometimes from the lotus plant, the lotus flower, the lotus tree. What it does is it represents this thing called love. Why not have love represented on the tables across the world? The next thing that we have there is this thing called Sib, AKA apples. And you see some apples there behind me and in front of those apples are the Sib I was talking about. Apples represent beauty and health. I mean, every culture for thousands of years says an apple a day keeps the doctor away. You ever wondered why? Apples are superfoods and I hope that each one of you eats an apple a day, I really, really do. And the next one that we have is something called Seer, which is also known as garlic. Garlic is a powerhouse. It represents medicinal values, it represents taking care of yourself. If you go Google medicinal values of garlic you will be blown away. Not only is it antifungal, antibacterial, and not only does it help kill all those kinds of things that really invade us and hurt us, but it also helps with things like blood sugar regulation, it helps with cholesterol, it helps with blood pressure, it helps with the heart. Go look it up and you’ll see some garlic on that table right there behind me. The next one we have is something called Samanu which is a kind of sweet pudding. You can’t leave that one on the table at all times – you got to keep it refrigerated because it can go bad, but what Samanu represents is wealth and fertility. It’s right behind me right there. If I move a little bit right there, well you can’t see where I’m pointing, but you know right there. Wealth and fertility, so sweet pudding known as Samanu. The next one we have is something called Serkeh, which is also known as vinegar, which represents the wisdom that comes from aging another year. I hope each one of you looks back at your last year version and you better have some more wisdom than you had last year. Because I know you’ve gone through some experiences. I know last year was a potent year in my life and some of the lives of those around us. But it has caused and created and influenced some wisdom in my life and our lives. And the last one over there that you have is called Sumac. You’ll see this Persian spice at Persian restaurants. It has a very nice color to it. It comes from crushed sour berries and pretty much people use it on top of their food, their rice, their various meats. If it’s a beef kebab, chicken kebab, in my case a tofu kebab, you put it on top and it kind of makes it taste a little bit better. It represents the sunrise of a new day. So those are the seven S’s that you’ll see on tables in any type of Iranian or Persian home during this time of year. And now you understand the meaning and the representation behind all of them. So if you have any Persian friends send this to them and say, “Hey, we represent!” but if you have any other friends send this to them and say, “Hey, this is why they do what they do.” We’ve all integrated to a lot of different cultural norms and holidays out here as a product of immigration, whether that happens to be celebrating things like Christmas, and you learn about those and the tradition, the culture of them, and why not just get a little bit more entrenched or ingrained with a culture of another country? So Happy New Year to everyone that’s saying that to me! Good Morning to everyone that’s saying Good Morning.

Now I want to kind of take a little bit of pivot about seven S’s of the sobriety piece. Sobriety, remember, it’s not just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. There’s a whole emotional sobriety, there sobriety is a very vast and deep concept. So the seven S’s that exist, I’m going to go through them one by one and it’s just a play on kind of what I just taught earlier, so let’s get into it.

 

1. Number one, Sacrifice. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this moment for who and what you want to become? I’m going to ask you that question again. Are you willing to sacrifice who and what you are in this current moment in time for who and what you want to become? Some people are, and are willing to do so, and some people are not. I don’t know why but when you want to transform your life you must make sacrifices. You have to sacrifice your comfort zone to experience discomfort. You have to sacrifice certain patterns and behaviors and habits you have in order to establish and create and develop new ones. You have to sacrifice certain people in your life, certain toxic people, certain bad influences in order to surround yourself with people that can help you in your healing journey. You must be willing to sacrifice some sleep in order to really take care of yourself and get on this path of transformation. Some people are willing to make that sacrifice and some people are not. I don’t know why we just like to hold on to what’s comfortable. We like to hold on to what’s familiar. We don’t want to sacrifice because we’re afraid if I let go of something then what am I going to hold on to? Well, that’s the beauty of it. When you let go of something you can hold on to anything and everything you choose to, but you cannot grab on to anything new until you let go of something in your past. Sacrifice is a very strong trait of those who are strong, those who are powerful. Not those who are weak. I really hope that with the upcoming spring you take a look at your last 365 days and with the new found inspiration of a new beginning, you say, who and what do I need to sacrifice in my life? And sometimes the sacrifices we make potentially are short term for long-term gain. Are you willing to sacrifice some of your habits that are holding you from achieving the life you want in order to achieve, the life you want long term? So please do not sleep on or discredit the power of the word Sacrifice. 

 

2. The next one that we have here is something called the Story. How is your story one of the main components of the recovery and transformation process? Well, this is for all human beings. Most of us identify with the stories of our lives with the events that you’ve gone through, with the things that have happened, good or bad, with the decisions you’ve made. Some are you’re proud of and some you hang your head and you’re full of guilt and shame. And the more you identify with the stories of your past the more your future will be filled with your past, because your story is constantly changing and evolving. If you don’t identify with one version of it, for those of you who continue to repeat the same story over and over again, three times, five times, 10 times, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe life just isn’t happening to you? It’s just like, what am I supposed to do? It keeps happening but what are you doing that’s influencing the same outcome over and over and over again? Some quotes are really good and some quotes are kind of corny. There’s a corny quote that I like and it says, “You are the author of your life. You are the creator of your life.” And the quality of it, the story you are experiencing when you realize that you’re writing it in the present tense and not in the past tense. That’s the moment you realize that you can write whatever the heck you want. You can create whatever the heck you want. You can influence whatever the heck you want. I’m not saying in the lives of others. All you codependents are like, “Okay, so if I change my story, my son or daughter’s story is going to change?” No, change your story so your life can change, and hopefully they do the same. For the repeating stories, just to give you a nice metaphor of how powerful it is, let’s say you go to the movie theater and you sit down and you’re excited to watch this movie, you’re excited to watch this story. And two, three minutes, five minutes goes into it, and it shows some characters. It shows a potential hook, a plot, something like that, and you’re like, “Okay, I’m getting into this, it’s good!” And then all of a sudden the movie theater stops and it repeats from the beginning. Again the same exact five minutes you watched and you look around whoever you’re watching it with, “Did you see that? Was that weird?” And you’re like maybe it was just a glitch, maybe the film just automatically started from the beginning and that can’t happen again. And you watch another three, five minutes of the very same thing you watch and all of a sudden it stops and it starts right back from the beginning again. And you’re like, “Oh my God, is this someone punking us? What’s going on over here?” Maybe you get up and want to go tell the movie theater manager, but be like, “No, no, let me just sit through this. This can’t be happening.” And after five minutes, the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After five minutes the same thing happens again. After the fifth time of watching the same thing over and over again you’re going to walk out of the story and say that was a waste of time. You’re going to go complain to the manager, get your money back and walk out of there. Now some of you have been doing the same five minute dance for five years, for 10 years, for 15 years, over and over and over again. The moment you realize that you have the ability to change the story of your life back, the moment the story of your life will change. We write the story of our lives in the present moment, in a moment by moment interaction. Everything you do from this moment moving forward will change the story. However, if you’re not willing to sacrifice the past, if you’re not willing to sacrifice who and what you think you are, if you’re not willing to stop identifying with the stories of your past, the future will look exactly the same. That’s up to you to decide, my friends. 

 

3. The next one that we have here is something called Support. None of us will ever get through this thing called life without support. I know that’s a tough thing for some people because you love to support others but when it comes to yourself you don’t ask for support. I know it’s a tough thing for some people because they feel like they’re strong enough or smart enough or should be able to get through everything in life. But not one person in the history of mankind has ever been able to start this thing called life and end this thing called life without support, let alone during times of casualties, during times of pain, during times of loss. I mean, how powerful do you think you are to be able to handle circumstances and situations in life without the help of other people? You know, when we talk about people being powerless and you’re like, “No man, I don’t. I don’t believe in that,” what we’re actually saying is look at an infant. An infant when they’re zero to like two years old, you know kind of like 18 to 24 months old, they’re powerless. You can’t get through life without support. So anytime you start something new for the first 18 months to two years of it, just like a baby you’re powerless with all this stuff. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know how to do it. You need support to get through it. There’s no shame in that. Sometimes you just got to put your ego aside and put your pride aside and put your “I can do this by myself” aside. It’s okay to get support if you’re trying to transform, recover, heal, obtain sobriety, maintain sobriety, have emotional sobriety. You got to need some support and this moment that we’re having right here is a moment of support. You tuned in, you realize that, but what about all the other 23 hours in a day, 6 other days a week? How are you going to go about that? So please don’t underestimate the power of support when it comes to this. 

Let’s see, we got some comments here. Jim said, “You can’t change your past but you can change your future’s past.” Yeah, 100% man! And that’s where the tie-up is, right Jim? People come in with guilt and shame, anger, resentment, sadness about their past and they just choose to over identify with it. And guess what’s filled in their future? Guilt, shame, anger, sadness and they’re like, “I don’t know why I can’t catch a break.” Because you haven’t let go. You haven’t sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice, which is like I said, sacrificing who and what you are in this moment for who and what you want to become. I wish more people would do it.

 

4. The next one that I have here is something called Steps. Now if you’ve gone to any type of recovery resource program center, you’ll hear quite frankly a strong suggestion and recommendation to do the steps of recovery. So I’m going to do my best to provide a five minute psycho education on what this is, how it can benefit you and why it’s worth a try. So there are a lot of various 12-step programs out there. We have Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, they even break it down to specific drugs for people to really be able to identify so Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, but they also have it for things that are related to our emotions, like emotional sobriety. They have Codependents Anonymous, which I strongly suggest anyone who struggles with a loved one that you continue to enable to go give it a try. They have Al Anon which is for family members, children, parents, spouses, siblings of those who are struggling with addiction. They have things that are related to other addictive processes like gambling or sex or smoking. And what some of you might not know is you think, “Hey, those 12 step programs are good for those people that are dealing with something.” All 12 steps, except the first half of the first step, are identical. So the first half of the first step says, “I am powerless over…” and it’ll say the drug or the behavior or the person and that “my life has become unmanageable.” The rest of it’s all the same. So what it’s trying to say is that it works for all types of people. And so what are the benefits and what are the 12 steps?  I’m not going to read them one by one but I’ll summarize them together so you have a better understanding of it. So if I do the 12 Steps how is that going to help my life? Fair enough! Well the first three steps, steps one, two and three, they help you get connected to a power, a source that is not only greater than yourself but also can restore your sanity, which means your soundness of mind. Most people who come to these types of spaces are really struggling with their sanity. They feel like they’re losing it, they’re making bad decisions despite knowing the opposite would be better. They’re struggling with the fact that they feel lost, lonely, afraid in this giant thing called this planet Earth. The first three steps allow us to not only disconnect ourselves from thinking that we’re the master of this whole thing and everything revolves around us, to understanding that there are powers that are much greater than the self. Now some people choose to call that God and there’s nothing wrong with that, if that word resonates with you, if that word fulfills you, and you can connect to that word feel free to. But if that’s a word that you’re like, “Hey, I’m not into this whole God thing,” that’s okay because there are different ways to tap into resources and powers and energies that are much greater than yourself during difficult times. I mean the collective group of people like this group that’s watching this right now, I don’t know 20 people watching this right now, is greater than one person. There’s more wisdom, more energy, more experience, more knowledge, more solutions when it comes to the group. You don’t have to go through it alone anymore. You tap into the power of the group, you ask for support. Maybe for some people it’s nature. I mean there is high medicinal value and therapeutic value in just being connected to nature. Go stand in front of an ocean, watch the waves crash, hear them crash, feel the Sun. That’s way more powerful and great and mysterious than your own thoughts and feelings. Go underneath the canopy of majestic trees in the forest that are breathing living life forces and feel the relief you get when you’re under that magnitude of nature. Go in the desert, stare at the stars and look at the artwork that exists inside this thing called space, the countless stars that are just painted perfectly up there. So the first three steps help you connect to all that because you need that support. You need that to not feel alone and scared in this thing called life, especially when you’re going through painful situations, traumatic experiences, a loss of self for a long time. Steps four, five, six and seven make you right with yourself. I always say when you look in the mirror do you recognize the person looking back at you? If the answer is no, four, five, six and seven is going to help you get a clear and crystal view of the person in the mirror. You sit down and you do this thing called an inventory. Sounds scary but it’s really not. You sit down, you write down all the resentments you have in life, the people, places, things, institutions, principles, whatever the heck you resent in life, all the way back. And then you find out what kind of harms you’ve caused to people. I mean, that can always happen. What, how have I harmed these people? You look at some of your behavior when it comes to relationships and all that kind of stuff. And you really start to get a full comprehensive view of how you’ve impacted life and how life has impacted you. And once you write all that down you go and you share it with another person. For some people it might be the first time they ever have and it’s like this because once you share it with another person it becomes real. But guess what, it also loses its power because when it’s inside your mind just for years and decades it starts to get really really dark and tainted and nasty. And then six and seven, man you’re looking at your character defects. You’re looking at the things in life you want to change. You’re looking at your assets, things that are good about you, identify those. Sometimes we forget the good we have in us when we’re going through a hard time. The good values, the good character traits, the good qualities, the beautiful parts that make your assets. So the four, five, six and seven makes you right with yourself. Eight and nine, what does it do? Step eight and nine, it makes you right with others. You make a list of all the people you’ve harmed in life and you become willing to go make amends to them. And then whenever the time’s right, whenever the time arises, whenever the opportunity is just right, you reach out to those people, you meet with them, you call them, you write a letter, just randomly see them in a grocery store, and you make amends for what you’ve done, and you ask them the following question. “What can I do to make it right?” Whatever they say that’s the amends process. Sometimes the amends goes really, really well and sometimes it might not but you’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for you. Hopefully it goes well so that both people feel reciprocated. But sometimes people might say, “I don’t want your amends but at least you did your part.” So it leaves three steps here. Steps 10, 11, and 12. They’re also known as maintenance steps. Step 10, you continue to take daily inventory of yourself, very similar to step four, but just a mini version of it. It’s not about your whole life and your whole past. It’s just about your day. “Was I resentful, selfish, dishonest, afraid? Do I owe anyone an apology? Is there anything that I got to go clean up and fix?” So you continue to stay clean with yourself. It’s kind of like tiding up the house. Step 11, through prayer and meditation you try to stay in constant contact with that Source, the Infinite Source, and it’s a maintenance step. It’s a maintenance step to stay connected. And number 12, you go and help another human being out. After you learn all these steps you go give it to someone else. It continues to keep us right with the world with others. So the reason why people say, “do these steps, they help,” is because it makes you right with a greater power that’s actually going to help you through some dark times, whether that’s people or the universe or God of your understanding. 4, 5, 6 make you right with yourself, 8 and 9 make you right with others, the maintenance steps maintain all those. So that’s the steps in a nutshell. Whenever family members get frustrated they say, “Hey, I don’t know, my kid’s not going to meetings. He’s not doing steps.” My thing is like, “Well, do you go to meetings and do you do steps?” And they’re like, “No, it’s not for me.” “Alright, well, you know what, your kid thinks it’s not for them.” I’m not saying everybody’s got to do this and live it forever. I’m just saying try it for one time because there’s also something that we learned in the program, and it says ‘contempt prior to investigation.’ So some people knock things down before they even try them and I get the reasoning behind it, but it’s fair to give something a shot.

Let me see the comments, sorry! Oh actually, you know one day I’m gonna have Jim just here to do this. So Jim, he’s going to be off for a couple weeks doing some personal stuff but when he comes back, if he’s feeling well, I’ll bring Jim to do an entire talk on what I just talked about. One is, I can’t. Two, someone else can. Three, so I can let him. So what happens here is like Jim’s got a really really fantastic way with words when it comes to breaking down the steps, and in the program itself, to the point that people call Jim all the time and say, “Hey, can you drive down to our meeting? Can you drive up to our meeting? We just want to hear you speak for our group.” And Jim does it, bless his heart. You know he travels. I don’t do that kind of stuff anymore but Jim goes and he travels and he shares his experience, strength and hope, and he makes people laugh, and he makes people cry, and he makes people think, and he makes people change, and he’s very knowledgeable in this space. So I did a pretty good job giving you the summary but I’ll have him come down and do the the full enchilada.

 

5. So the next one that we have here is something called Spirituality. I think it’s a very big component of the sobriety and recovery process. Spirituality again, is one of those polarizing words because oftentimes people connect spirituality with religion. Furthest thing from it. So this morning I went to go get my coffee with espresso shots in it. As you can tell I’m fired up. And right next to it, there’s a gas station right there and by where I live and there’s someone out there that was struggling, and as soon as I walked into the gas station to get my protein bar to have with my coffee he’s like, “Hey man, you got a few bucks?” and I say, “I sure do but first, what’s your name?” and so he tells me his name and I said, “Hey man, it’s really nice to meet you man. It looks like it’s going to be a good day out here,” and he’s like,”Yeah, I guess. I’m just really down and out.” I said, “Well, what’s going on with you, man?” and he kind of shared a few minutes of what’s going on with him and I gave him some suggestions and some resources and you know I said, “Hey, so what do you want from the store?” I’m thinking this guy’s going to say probably some alcohol or something like that which I wouldn’t have gotten for him. I would have given him money and if he chose to buy alcohol I wouldn’t have cared but I didn’t go buy him alcohol but it was different. He said, “Can you please get me two soups? Can you get me some orange juice? And can you get me some super unhealthy cookies or crackers or something he wanted. But I was like, “Yeah man, not a problem at all!” I got him all that stuff and threw a bag of chips in there for him and we had a little one more minute conversation and then I left. I wished him a good day but I’ll tell you this. I’m not saying that to talk about myself because that’s completely not the point. I’m saying it because I want you to know that that conversation was a spiritual act. That conversation was about connection, connection to another human, connection to Life Source. And yes, it feels good to know that you helped somebody but that person walks away feeling seen and heard, and feeling connected. Spirituality could be going somewhere and helping people, feed homeless people. Spirituality could be sitting down, closing your eyes and going deep within yourself in the galaxy of self, and tapping into the God within which just means the infinite source of wisdom that all of us have inside. We all have something that knows what is right and wrong. Sometimes when people say, “I just don’t know if it’s right or wrong,” it’s like, “yeah you do think about it, feel it,” and they’re like, “oh I guess you’re right. I just didn’t want to admit it.” So spirituality, I don’t know how you access it in your life but please find a way to access it. It is what helps us through dark times. It keeps our candle lit when life is trying to blow it out. It is something that can be found in many different places at many different times, sometimes when you least expect it. People find spirituality through church or mosque or temple or religions, yes of course, but you could find spirituality in places that are uncommon like gas stations in the morning. 

Nice, I like that word hope, Dorothy, I like the word hope, I really do. It’s a personal definition for everyone, right? But I think it means a lot and it’s a very loaded word, and I mean loaded in a good way, not the bad way that we talk about in these rooms.

 

6. The very last one that I have is something you know I talk about all the time is Self-care. Why do I talk about it all the time? It’s because our society as a whole is completely in a deficit of self-care. Everybody is running on stress, everybody’s running on fear, everybody’s running on anger, everyone’s running on sadness, everyone’s running on differences. And self-care is what slows us down and allows us to take care of ourself, the person that’s experiencing this life, to hopefully show up 1% better each day. The biggest hack I could tell you about how to implement self-care in your life is simple. Every day when you wake up, make sure you do one thing for your mind, one thing for your body, and one thing for your spirit. Don’t set it for another time of the day because guess what, when life happens and it evolves and stress kicks in? The odds of you saying, “I’m just going to do a little self-care right now” goes out the window. I prioritize self-care first in my day so I don’t have to fit it in later. I fit my day around self-care, that’s the difference. And self-care doesn’t always have to be going to get a massage, or self-care doesn’t have to be taking a little nap, or this and that. Self-care could just be a quick five minute introspection of self. It could be a quick 15 minute walk around your neighborhood. It could be sitting down and having that apple that’s on the Persian Nowruz table. I don’t know what self-care it could be talking to a friend, a confidant, but please please please please make sure that you get all these things right. 

 

7. I did forget an S right there, sorry about that. It was Sponsorship. So the reason why I forgot sponsorship – I had it after steps and because I gave you the bird’s eye view, I gave you the macro view of what it is. Each step has its nuances and each step has certain types of not assignments but suggestions and recommendations to do it as it’s followed, as it’s suggested or recommended. And when you’re doing something new like I said earlier, the first time you might not really know how to do it. There’s a lot of people that say they started the program, they’re doing the steps on their own because they don’t want to do it with somebody else. I mean first of all, that’s better than nothing, I’ll tell you that. Because at least you get exposed to the information. But second of all, if you don’t know what you’re doing then you don’t know what you’re doing. Because there’s a profound quote that I love and I’ve been sharing it over and over again because I used to talk about it all the time and I forgot about it but here’s what it is. It says, “The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know.” I love that. The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know so if you’re trying something for the first time or you’re new to it there is so much you don’t know. Therefore your eyes are not able to see what it is that you’re looking for. So the whole point of a sponsorship or a mentor or someone who knows the way, shows the way, goes the way, is to help you uncover the unseen and to make it seen, so you can see it. And then you can do something about it. If you want to see further in life stand on the shoulders of giants. A sponsor is not a perfect person – it’s a human being – they are flawed. A sponsor is not somebody that takes over every aspect of your life. If they do that they’re overstepping. The sponsor is just a human being that’s very committed to the recovery process themselves and they have understood that by working with other people it is a way that they can maintain the progress they’ve had while also helping somebody else out. And it’s somebody that can create a little bit of a road map, a little bit of structure, especially in your early stages. Now sponsorship is wonderful throughout recovery but those early first two stages, I think, are probably the most important part and need for strong sponsorship. The benefit of it is tenfold. I mean, you get through something the way it’s intended to get through, you work through the different challenges that might come up, and you continue to grow in this thing called sobriety and recovery. And it’s really hard to do it without it. Now there’s different styles of sponsorship. Some people are more structured and strict in requirements and all that kind of stuff, and some people are a little more loose or a little bit more open-ended and they don’t really engage unless you engage and that kind of stuff. Whatever it is for your so called continuum, you know yourself better. If you work really well with someone a specific way then find someone a specific way. How do you find one, by the way? Obviously, number one would be like a straight referral. You see someone that’s doing well and you ask them some questions and say, “hey, do you have a sponsor?” They’re typically going to say yes because if they’re doing well there’s a likelihood that someone’s helping them. And then you say, “Is there any way I can get their number, or if you can connect me to somebody that you might know?” And because they’ve been going they have a better idea of who would be a good candidate for that person. Doesn’t always have to be same sex or anything like that but it’s recommended. Because in any type of inventory there is a lot of potential issues that arise that it’s just a little bit more comfortable talking to someone of the same gender. It’s not a requirement but it’s a best practice, if you will. And the other version is this. If you don’t know anybody and you go to the rooms for the first time, just go to about six meetings. The same meeting so six weeks, so it’s a little bit over a month. Go to the same meeting at the same time because typically they’re called regulars or usuals. Kind of like any bar, if you go at a certain time there’s certain people sitting in certain chairs. Rooms of recovery are the same way – the same people sit in the same chairs. I mean I’ve never been to Jim’s home group but I can bet my entire life that Jim sits in the same damn seat over and over again. So what happens is if you go to these meetings and you see the people in the same seats they become familiar. You’re like, “Okay I trust that person’s there, I trust that person’s there,” but then people typically share if it’s a sharing meeting and then you can just sit back and listen to what they’re saying and see if it resonates with you, if it vibes with you, if you’re comfortable with their approach or their outlook on life. And then here’s the part that’s scary for some people. You gotta walk up to them like you’re in junior high getting ready to ask somebody for a date. You walk up to them and say, “Hey, I’ve heard you share a few times. You’ve said some things that have really resonated with me. Do you have a few minutes or some time to sit down and have a further conversation?” Eventually through that process, or you just walk up and straight away say, “hey, would you like to sponsor me?” Everyone’s different with that. Some people are more reserved and some people need to slowly work into it but it’s a request, it’s a simple request. They will give you an answer yes or no, oftentimes yes. And if they say no, which can happen.  Jim might have like 30 sponsorees. He might have 10 sponsorees, and he’s just booked and he might say, “Hey unfortunately I can’t sponsor you but I have these sponsors that have been recovered for a while now and I work with them directly and you can be a part of our sponsorship family. They can sponsor you,” and in that case Jim would become like a grand sponsor right? It’s nice to have that kind of a support so no one leaves you hanging if you go ask for it. 

 

So again in summary, today we talked about the seven S’s that exist on the Nowruz table of Iranians all over the world and what each one of those S’s represent. So if you didn’t watch it just watch the first 10 minutes and then we talked about spring and what it represents, meaning rebirth, renewal, the start of something beautiful, and how we can apply all that to ourselves. And then I pivoted to the seven S’s of the sobriety recovery transformation process that I feel are important. You can go back and watch what those were but all that being said, it’s almost time to leave and I just want to thank each and every single one of you for being here. Again, another beautiful experience with you. Feel free to share this with anyone you want, especially the Iranians. Feel free to spread this around because I think there will be a sense of pride in the fact that we used our traditions and cultures to teach something that helps humankind and mankind. I’ll be back next week, same time, same place. I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you for your ongoing support for these past four years. Let’s make it another 40. Take care everyone! Bye!

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.