Sometimes I think I have a sign on me that says, “Tell me your troubles.”
I have 38 years of sobriety, and it must somehow show. I frequently have people from all walks of life spontaneously broach the topic of addiction with me. I don’t start it, they do.
These are often people I don’t even know, or are just familiar faces in the stores, shopping malls, parks, or other places I frequent. And. of course, it’s a given in social gatherings.
Here are some examples:
- I asked the usually cheerful cashier in the drug store how she was and she told me she was stressed out and tired of her grown son draining her resources, with his continuous drug use.
- A grandmother standing in front of a grocery store waiting for her husband to bring the car around related her concerns about her grandson watching on-line pornography.
- A woman in the linen department of a store wept over her veteran son’s suffering from PTSD and self-medicating with alcohol.
- The sweet kid at the burger stand who couldn’t sleep at night because he had stopped abusing drugs and didn’t realize that all the repressed emotions that led him to abuse were now trying to surface. He didn’t know he was suffering from depression.
- My own brother died from cancer because he used marijuana to mask the stomach pain that was really a symptom of a serious illness. When he finally saw the doctor, it was too late. It broke my heart.
I know from my own experiences that fear of the unknown creates a natural resistance to change. Entering treatment, going to a 12-step program or initiating an intervention can seem overwhelming when you do not know what to expect. And then there are the after treatment, late night fears that continue to creep in, and no one to talk to at 2 a.m.. That is where the idea of creating Sobriety Navigator stems from.
People need to communicate with others and learn from their experiences. It must happen in a safe, anonymous environment. This sharing is a crucial aspect of change and transformation. They already know there is a problem. The question is, what to do with it?
Sobriety Navigator (www.SobrietyNavigator.com) provides a solution.
There are both public and member components to the site.
Public resources include:
- Stories of personal experiences.
- Information about treatment and meetings
- World Sobriety News provides links to anything and everything pertaining to addiction.
- Articles written for Sobriety Navigator by addiction professionals.
It’s a great information source for any and all types of addictions, whether behavioral or chemical, which anyone can use.
Member’s resources also include:
- 24/7 forum and 24/7 live chat rooms, one for adults and one for teens. As members connect and develop rapport with others, they have a multitude of options for customizing chat rooms for specific topics, or they have the open chat rooms. Being able to talk about what is really going on, right now, in the present, can be very liberating.
- The opportunity to submit your personal story in the Members’ Stories Section. Sharing personal stories and giving voice to personal experiences is very empowering.
Sobriety Navigator is your personal club where you can explore, communicate or just unwind with other Navigators in a safe non-threatening way.