Realizing that addiction does not just affect the person who is struggling, in November 2020 we started a bi-weekly, in person, family support group at Revive Recovery Resource Center. The meeting is called Journey without Judgement. We are all peers who have been affected by the disease of addiction in some way.
As the name implies, Journey without Judgement is a judgement-free group and judge-free zone. It is a safe atmosphere in which the group members can freely share without worry.
Our mission is to create a safe environment in which people may share their stories and express their concerns. We seek to assist individuals in gaining knowledge and coping skills regarding their loved ones use as well as providing solace in knowing they are not alone.
The vision is to create a meeting space where people can gather to be able to share and support one another about their loved one's SUD or recovery experience. Allowing members to communicate freely and openly without fear of being judged, as well as assisting them in coping with their feelings concerning their loved ones' SUD.
We encourage people to support one another with patience, compassion, and empathy. As we know, addiction can slice through our life, especially when you're living and dealing with a loved one in recovery or active addiction. We know that there will likely be a flood of emotions during different stages of recovery. Even if the person is in recovery there is likely to be some changes that not everyone will understand or know how to cope with – hence Journey without Judgement.
One of the things we try to get people to understand is that they didn't cause this, they can't cure it and they definitely can't control it. YOU cannot work harder at THEIR recovery. They need to want, accept, and do the necessary work. You can be supportive, but you cannot take on their responsibilities.
Realizing that healing is a journey not a destination and in order to begin to heal - families need to begin to take care of and nurture themselves. Healing does not depend on another person's journey; it needs to be their own journey.
What we cannot do is; be a counselor, adviser, etc.
We have resources to help in those areas. As we realize there are some situations that require more support than we can provide.