OT: The Importance of Connection at FFSA

Old 01-08-2016, 10:35 PM
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OT: The Importance of Connection at FFSA

As a lot of you know, the past 6+ months for me have been a bit of a challenge. I could also say that the past 5+ years have been a bit of a challenge for me. Let's face it. when we lose people we love (in my case, my mentor, a dear, dear friend, and my mother last summer), we don't escape from that untouched. In the wake of Mom's passing, I've spent a lot of time thinking about my priorities and what's truly important in this life.

But in the past week, I've also spent a lot of time thinking about how those lessons inform my role here. I'd like to share with all of you what I think is important.

Part of my gig here is to welcome newcomers ("Welcome to the Board"), and to let them know that they're amongst people who understand and empathize with where they currently are in their lives. Let's face it; when someone searches for us, they are in a considerable amount of emotional distress. Perhaps their spouse has gone off the rails. Or a significant other. Or their child, parent, sibling, friend...we sadly see it all here. So I do my best to try to make a newcomer feel as welcome and as safe as possible in their moment of need.

But the real heavy lifting here at FFSA is done by you, our members. And we have a great community here. Some of us have been through the fire and can tell a newcomer that, yes, they will be OK. Some of us are still in the middle of the fire, but yet they have enough kindness and empathy to reach out to a newcomer in need and let them know that, yes, I understand you. We should never underestimate how important that connection is to someone in need. We should never underestimate how that gift of kindness can impact someone for the better.

The big takeaway for me after my Mom died was my understanding that the most important thing in this life is who we love. High powered education, career, cash, guitars!!, for me, it's those I love. To quote Neil Peart, the treasure of a life, is a measure of love and respect, the way you live, the gifts that you give. At the end of the day...when things around us go to sh*t...all we have is each other, and we should never take those connections for granted.

One thing my time here has given me an appreciation for is there's more than one way to reclaim our lives after dealing with the pain of someone's addiction. Those who know me know what my AXGF did, and they know how I responded. But I also recognize that not everyone thinks the way I do. Nor should they. What I try to encourage members -- both new and veteran -- to do is to get in touch with their own moral compass and think about what their values are. Whatever program they work outside of FFSA is their business. As long as it works for them, that's good enough for me. And I'm thankful that as a whole, FFSA adopts that same sort of mentality when it comes to helping those who may feel lost or totally alone. Remember: it's all about how we connect with people.

So I'm going to wrap this up and hit the rack. Saturday night is Date Night, and I'm taking my girlfriend to the best pizza joint in Boston, and then to Capital Grille for drinks and dessert. Life's a joy these days. And a big reason why it's a joy is because of the love and support the members of FFSA have given me over the past 4 years, and especially since Mom's passing. There are too many of you to thank here, but know you're always in my heart and prayers. And for those newcomers who are reading my words...remember, I'm in your corner. All of us here at FFSA are in your corner. And someday, when you too have been through the fire and have come out the other side, remember to pass on what we've shared with you to others.

Remind me that we'll always have each other/When everything else is gone. -- "Dig", Incubus
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:14 AM
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Zoso, I have watched you walk through the fire and come out the other side and you are an inspiration and a beacon of hope for all of us here.

Your life today may not resemble your past, but the thing is it is the lessons from the past, the recovery and healthy living you have learned, and the support of all who walk with you here, that brought you to the good place you are in today. That's how life is for me too and I am grateful for every person who went before me and walked with me on the journey.

Life and recovery do not promise us blue skies every day, but it does promise that we have the courage and strength and knowledge to get through the tough times and find our rainbows after the storms.

Thank you for all you do, for all you give to make SR a safe and welcome place for the newcomer walking in the door and the old timer stumbling around like me.

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Old 01-09-2016, 08:42 AM
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My first post on FFSA was March of last year. Thank you Zoso for all your support. It means more than you know. Thank you to the others eho have shared as well.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:15 AM
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Zoso, I am so touched by your post. It is all so spot on. It's so important to have each other. I know that my XAH's addiction made me feel so alone. Instead, I had the lovely people here at SR to help me through. And importantly, people who could truly understand what I was going through.

Many hugs to you. I hope you enjoyed your night out!
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:39 AM
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Thank you also for a poignant and touching communication, Zoso.
Yeah, addiction sucks.
It would suck worse if faced alone.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:34 PM
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I am always amazed by your tireless help, Zoso. You really and truly rock for others. Have so much fun on your date night.
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