“The evidence around the recovery process is that people need three things to succeed: social connection, motivation, and confidence. Digital resources can help with all three,” Gardner said. “If you have a digital life, you should think about weaving recovery in, just like you want to weave recovery into all other aspects of your life.”

Jeremiah Gardner, manager of the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy.

Of course I agree. Over time I hope that the Online Recovery Academy will become part of the online Recovery environment that has been emerging over the past few years. Online resources can form a vital component of an integrated Recovery lifestyle. Connectivity is a crucial part of Recovery and accessibility to new ideas, stories and practical resources can only help the development of a personal Recovery pathway.

The entry point to Recovery is as intensely personal as the journey that follows.

When the problems of my 30 year drinking and drug using eventually became apparent to me I made a phone call to a man I knew was sober. I didn’t know how he had got that way, I just knew he was. His solution had been a 12 Step Fellowship, and, the day I called him he took me to my first ever meeting.

Meeting attendance kept me sober for a while, and I felt a lot better. So inevitably, feeling better was a signal to start drinking and using again.

A little while later I clearly needed help again, this time a friend who had been to a Drug Rehabilitation Clinic, or Treatment Centre, was there. I was astounded as the last time I’d seen him he had been given about a year to live yet here he was 18 months sober.

I went where he had been, I did what he had told me he did, in fact I stayed in treatment a little longer than he had.

I used the suggested support of 12 Step meetings, I went into a therapy process too. As I found my feet, although certainly no digital native I started to take an interest in the wider perspectives of Recovery I found online.

What I found was different views, conflicting ideas, stimulating discussion, and quite often pictures of kittens. The main thing I found though, was opportunities and information that deepened my Recovery experience. To use Jeremiah Gardner’s phrase I “wove” this into all aspects of my life. Online activity is no replacement for face to face real time connectivity and I don’t believe it ever will be, but it can become a powerful addition to a personal Recovery practice.

The Gardner quote is taken from an excellent article by Kelly Burch about Online Recovery on The Daily Dot, and just think about the following statement from their Home Page, “The Internet is the story of the 21st century. It touches each of our lives daily—from our first Instagram scan over coffee to our last snapchat of the evening. We absorb the world through social feeds, and watch social issues play out online in real-time in between cat videos. Public opinion isn’t just measured on the Internet—it takes shape there. It is more influential than governments or religion, and it deserves to be covered with incredible scrutiny. The beats the Daily Dot covers may not be traditional today, but they will be the new normal tomorrow.”

Visit us a couple of times a week to catch up on Recovery!

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