This is a guest post from Don Troutman, founder of Clean & Sober Transitional Living
You know the expression, “The best defense is a good offense?” My days serving our nation in Vietnam gave me plenty of opportunity to practice that principal. Sometimes, while my platoon was marching through the jungle, we’d hear a twig snap nearby. Instead of dropping down into a watchful crouch, that snapping twig was our cue to race towards the noise, weapons poised for action. We never discovered an opponent lying in wait, but if we had, we’d have been ready.
That experience has carried over in the work I do today, and I consider being on the offense a great tool in the world of recovery. Relapse: it can be lying in wait around the corner, but you can disarm it by being proactive. Here’s how that works:
If I am helping others stay clean and sober, then I’m playing offense. Perhaps I am modeling a life of recovery and integrity. Maybe I am offering support and guidance to a brother or sister in recovery. Maybe my presence as a sober companion keeps someone from heading out on the town, only to find relapse waiting at the bar. And while I’m on the offensive, I’m strengthening my own recovery. In the world of recovery, that’s called keeping the precious gift of sobriety by giving it away.
Here’s another example of being on the offensive: if I’m vigilant about NOT looking the other way when someone seems veering towards relapse, I may quite possibly save a life. Attentive and caring neighbors in a transitional living community can create a social safety net for sustained sobriety.
Addiction has been described as a “wily foe” that sneaks up on people. And that’s where having a community of recovery with sober companionship and support can be a life-saving game-changer.
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