Addiction is an isolating disease. Although drug and alcohol use may begin in a social setting, it eventually results in isolation for the addict. To keep up with the addiction, he or she detaches from family and friends. Seclusion triggers loneliness and depression, and the addict suppresses these painful feelings with drugs and alcohol. The cycle is relentless.
Clients are brought out of isolation as soon as they come to MARR. Our goal is not only to help them feel welcome, but also to make them feel like a part of the community. MARR helps facilitate healthy relationships through the use of the Therapeutic Community model, beginning with introductions and continuing with groups and activities throughout addiction treatment. Community members share their life story with one another, assist housemates in developing a contract of personal goals, attend 12-Step meetings as a group and eat meals together. Clients live and work with others in recovery in order to stay connected.
At MARR, exits are just as important as entrances. Because the client’s relationships during active addiction were manipulative and deceitful, we believe meaningful goodbyes in treatment honor the healthy relationships that were established and allow for reflection and appreciation. They also provide necessary closure for the recovering addict and community members. Abandonment issues are common among addicts and alcoholics; therefore, a verbal farewell appropriately acknowledges the relationship and the connections made.
During Goodbye Week, the client addresses each person (including volunteers and counselors) in every group throughout the week prior to successfully completing the program. Once the client reflects on what that individual has meant to him or her during treatment, the addressee reciprocates. Both parties feel a sense of loss and liberation from the meaningful exit.
Life is full of changes. To the recovering addict, change yields fear; fear can lead to relapse. Saying goodbye is an important part of relationships. MARR offers the opportunity for clients to experience healthy relationships and goodbyes, which are vital for lasting recovery.