Having been in recovery for more than 8 years and an addictions counsellor for over 7 of those years, Renascent’s Martha Williams has supported hundreds of people in creating a new life without drugs and alcohol.
“My recovery is my lifestyle and has been built around certain things that I MUST do,” says Martha. “I must go to meetings. I must work the steps. I must continue along on this spiritual journey. These are all non-negotiable and do not change at all based on how I’m feeling.”
This principle of non-negotiable recovery has served Martha well, helping her stay in recovery while navigating life’s many challenges.
Recently Martha’s daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and to help her cope with the stresses, Martha has leaned into her principles.
“I am presented with something that is potentially devastating, which I cannot control. In the face of this, I have increased the “musts” that I have set for myself. I am going to more meetings, I am talking about how I feel, and I am spending more time in prayer and meditation.”
Martha’s journey toward embedding these principles into her lifestyle began slowly. Early on in her recovery, she understood the importance of substituting her bad habits for good ones that served her well-being, and started attending two recovery meetings per day. She quickly got a sponsor and worked through the 12 steps promptly. She also started her day with a simple prayer and ended it with gratitude. While these have served Martha well, today, her greatest sense of fulfillment and encouragement is being able to work with others who are starting their journey to recovery.
“Being able to share my own weaknesses and how I lived through various challenges helps build connectivity and trust with clients. It’s truly amazing to see how sharing our experiences allows other to have ‘ah-ha’ moments,” shares Martha. “The connection that comes with that is so very vital to recovery.”
For those who are newer in their recovery, Martha shares some of the simple, yet powerful actions that helped her. “Back in the early days of recovery when my brain was going a mile a minute, I used to tell myself that whatever I was thinking is “just a thought.” I also used to asked myself, how bad do I want recovery. I made the vow that I would do anything for my recovery and I meant that – all I have to do is show up,” says Martha. “There are no conditions to my sobriety.”