[…] In 2021, I was hired by the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium to serve as the first recovery coach supervisor for the Ware Regional Recovery Center. It is exciting to be helping to build a new recovery coach program in the Quaboag Hills Region. When I was first in recovery, 21 years ago, I did not have the option of a recovery coach, who is a peer who helps another overcome obstacles to sobriety. We undergo training and extensive supervision.

I choose to do this because I have been through my own experiences in recovery, and I know that there are many obstacles and consequences due to substance use. I want to be there for someone “where they are,” and help them make positive choices that meet their unique needs and circumstances. Some people opt for 12-step programs or seek spiritual guidance. Others choose a multi-service approach that might include clinical, spiritual and peer supports. Regardless, my goal is to help each person build confidence and self-esteem and to move past whatever shame they may feel. They may choose to work with me for a few weeks or months, or maybe a year. Every circumstance is different. Sometimes, I just help someone connect with basic necessities, and I am with them to learn new skills and to laugh together along the way. Recovery is challenging, and it’s important to laugh. […] It is very fulfilling to see a recoveree feel empowered to move forward and connected to their community in a positive way.

We have made a solid start in the Quaboag Region, and I am excited about what we can provide the community in 2022.