Our Recipe for Success in Recovery
We have found recovery is in-motion when a person follows certain steps predicated on developing a Personal Constitution, which is vitally important to the overall process of the Balance House philosophy.
The Balance House program is simple by design. Of the very few things we focus on, it is one’s word that matters most. What we aren’t spending much time discussing is addiction or alcoholism. To be honest, if one could finish school, get a career, have a family, keep family close, and be proud of themselves all while doing drugs and drinking alcohol, then one wouldn’t end up in treatment or at Balance House. However, if you are reading this website, it is for a reason…and we believe it is safe to assume that reason isn’t because you have been on a winning streak. So we start with some simple promises, both from you and from us.
People are measured by what they do when no one is looking. No one ever really gets away with anything because, at the very least, the individual knows what he did. This self-knowledge of one’s own “defects of character” is what slowly erodes the fabric of who he wishes so badly to be. As we see it, a constitution is comprised of four elements: Honesty, Emotional Health, Social Stability, and Self-Sufficiency. There are vital activities within each element, which helps locate one’s position with regards to their personal constitution in any given moment. For example, Honesty requires a person to keep promises (the trick being taking care with what is promised). Emotional Health requires involvement in continued therapy either through our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), or at the very least, weekly individual sessions with a primary therapist. Social Stability requires involvement inside the Balance House program, within the alumni network, or in a 12 Step program of choice. Finally, Self-Sufficiency requires maintaining a schedule that either involves fulfilling academic requirements or actively seeking gainful employment and managing your money while saving for the deposit on an apartment once you leave Balance House. If this looks like too much to accomplish, do not worry, we promise to help you every step of the way.
Benchmarks are standards that must be in place to give each resident the best chance of long-term recovery. Such benchmarks are very important for many reasons, but mostly because each benchmark shows where the person is at any given moment with regard to their personal constitution. Benchmarks are good measurements that will clearly show whether a person is ready to transition out of Balance House or if they need more time. These benchmarks are essential in early recovery whether or not Balance House is the program you choose.
- Involvement In 12-Step Community
- Gainful Employment or Enrollment in School: Show up everyday, budget money, save money, make a reasonable schedule, show up everyday, do homework
- Rebuild Critical Family Relationships
- Take Direction
- Continue Therapy
- Continue Testing
One of the main objectives of Balance House is to stop the insanity of continuing to go through program, after program, after program. Not only is it expensive monetarily, it is also very expensive in time. As such, we are asking for a commitment of time and trust. We honestly know, all things being equal, that time is essential for our clients and their families to build a foundation upon which they (and the family) can start moving forward in life. This gives enough time for our clients to build a foundation upon which they (and the family) can start moving forward in life.
Our job is to be objective while standing in our truth, a truth rooted in our experience and our expertise. Although we focus squarely on evidence-based treatment, we must also admit the existence of times when a diagnosis cannot explain the hurt, heartbreak, confusion, disappointment, sadness, or anger. Sometimes, those feelings are just that—feelings very real to the person experiencing them.
And what is the definition of success, anyways? To most, the word “success” implies cure in the minds of those closest to the individual in treatment. Sometimes, people even think it means learning how to drink (or do drugs) like a gentleman…or…learning how to control the “urge.” Sometimes, it might just mean experiencing some hope.
What’s our definition of success? Well, that depends. The way we look at it is if we can help a guy who hasn’t stopped using drugs for 10 years stop for one day, we would count that as a success. Helping a guy begin to respect himself and learn to save money to place a deposit down on an apartment is also a success in our book. Yet, if we ruled the world, our definition of success would be the following:
The guy leaves our program with at least one year of sobriety, enough money to be self-sufficient, and in a space (emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually) where he can—with a clear mind—decide whether he wishes to continue on living the life he has built while toiling with us. After all, the quality of his life will always come down to the decisions he makes. We want to get him to a point where he can make good decisions on a regular basis, with a clear head and heart, after building some things in his life he doesn’t want to lose. Certainly, it is harder to make seriously problematic decision when standing upon a mountain of right decisions.