65 days ago, I stepped into a familiar setting. It’s an environment that I immersed myself into over 15 years ago. A non-judgmental, unconditionally welcoming space for anyone looking for support during their darkest moments of their lives. On June 16, 2021 – I walked into a local Celebrate Recovery meeting. This week I am celebrating 65 days of surrendering my marriage, resentments against my husband, need for control and anger to my higher power, Jesus Christ.
“Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. It is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life.”https://www.celebraterecovery.com/
If you’ve ever heard of Celebrate Recovery, CR for the ones in the know, people often assume it’s only for folks recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. This program is for anyone looking for freedom from any issue in their life. 15 years ago, I entered into the program for being a codependent of my husband, a recovering drug addict. His story is his own to share and throughout this blog I will only share my experience in CR as a recovering codependent.
To make this official, I’d like to introduce myself “the CR way”:
Hi, everyone. I am a believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have freedom from all types of abuse. I am recovering from codependency, resentment, anger, control, anxiety and depression. My name is Maryann.
CR saved me, my husband and our marriage 15 years ago. While I fully understand nothing is guaranteed this time around, my shortcomings are my responsibility and my husband’s are his. I cannot change my husband – read that again. All I can do is take the right steps to change my unhealthy behaviors, thought processes, and reactions.
Weekly Small Group
Meetings are normally held weekly at a non-denominational Christian Church or that’s how I’ve usually found a local CR. They usually begin with all attendees in a large group setting worshiping two to three Christian based songs, followed by the reciting of the 12 Steps and their Biblical Comparisons and a lesson on one of the 12 Steps or a testimony from someone in the congregation. Announcements for this location are shared by one of the CR leaders, then Chips are handed out to those celebrating a milestone in their recovery, and we end this setting with the Serenity Prayer. From this point attendees will make their way to an open share group according to their gender and vice/hurts. Females only share with females and males only share with males.
There is never any pressure to share any information in ‘Small Group’. I’ve experienced attendees sit quietly and politely “pass” when it was their turn to speak. These settings are strictly regulated by guidelines to ensure everyone feels safe at all times. After everyone has shared we recite ‘Our Father’ and our closing “cheer.” From this point you are welcome to head home or build community in “Crosstalk Café” where you are able to have conversations with fellow attendees, exchange phone numbers to build a community of accountability partners, or find a sponsor to work the 12 Steps.
An accountability partner in Celebrate Recovery is someone you ask to hold you accountable for certain areas of your recovery or issues, such as attendance, journaling, and so forth. This person can be at the same level of recovery as you are, unlike a sponsor, who should have completed the eight principles or 12 Steps. The main goal of this relationship is to encourage one another. You can even form an accountability team of three or four.https://cr-centerpointnh.org/the-12-steps/cr-accountability-partners/
If you are looking for deeper insight and healing, a Step Study would be a good fit for you.
A Step Study is a personal journey through each of the 12 Steps of Celebrate Recovery in a confidential group led by a facilitator who has completed a study. The step study is where we get into the heart of the program and true healing from life’s’ hurts, hang-ups, and habits occur. Recovery is not an overnight phenomenon, but more like a journey; step study groups meet once per week and typically take 6 to 9 months to complete the study. A Step Study is a long-term commitment to the members of the group. if you join a Step Study, you are expected to come each week until you complete it. As with any endeavor, the more effort you put into Celebrate Recovery, the more benefit you will gain. After completing the Step Study, we hope you will join us as we minister to others dealing with their hurts, habits, and hang-ups.https://www.celebraterecovery.life/step-study
Remember when I said you can talk to people in Crosstalk Café, well that is where you can find out more information about beginning a Step Study. Depending on the church, there are Step Studies that start monthly in gender specific groups or you can do an individual Step Study with your Sponsor.
A sponsor is an individual who has completed the 12-step recovery process, someone who has gone through the 4 participation guides, and someone who has therefore covered all of the CR lessons.https://sharinglifeandlove.com/blog/celebrate-recovery-lesson-7-sponsor/#:~:text=A%20sponsor%20is%20an%20individual,or%20a%20sound%20accountability%20partner.
I will begin my Step Study in the next few weeks and I am terrified. Not because I don’t want to do the work. I am ready and willing to do it, I just know it’ll bring up so many emotions from my past. I also understand that in order to create real lasting change in my life, I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is where the biggest transformation happens.
One Day At A Time
CR has saved my life on more than one occasion and I am eager to see how God will use this season to transform me more into his image. Reflecting back on the past 60+ days, I can see all of the moment when God placed specific people in my life to help me get to the next right step. Today, I am hopeful and will continue to take life – one moment at a time.
And with that, I’ll pass.