“She’s a runner- she’s a track star…
She gon’ run when it gets hard.
She can’t take the pain; she can’t get scarred.
Hearts broken so deep, hearts aching, breaking into a million pieces…
She gon’ do the race, just not this one.
She hurt anyone that gets involved.
Don’t wanna commit, why take it this far…”
This popular song, recognized by our Millennial generation, often describes how our girls feel when they start to face their past and their addictions. When they remember. When the effects of drugs and alcohol start to wear off, clarity comes, and the painful memories start to flood the reservoirs of their minds. These moments are pivotal ones for some our residents, and they want to run. Impulse is telling them to book it out of here as fast as they can- to become track stars- just so they do not have to face some painful truths.
However, we see the genesis of healing happen, right before our eyes and are very aware that this is a critical period with each resident. This awakening when they come out of their therapy sessions and their recovery groups, wounded but wiser, grappling with the idea that they feel like they need to run even though reality says, you are in a safe space, being loved and nurtured and you will be ok.
But old habits and coping mechanisms sometimes scream so loudly that they can’t hear much else. That’s the battle. They want to run away and numb, so they do not have to face the pressures of the past or the reality of their unmanageable lives.
Last week- we had a huge victory and we wanted to share- She didn’t run!!! She stayed.
Through all the safety plans that we had to implement, the countless hours of intervention, pressing, and working her recovery tools, therapeutic interventions, prayer and holding of hands- we faced it together and she stayed.
She has only been with us for only two and a half months and had had just transitioned into Phase II facing many emotional highs and lows, however last week she thought to herself- “this is too much, and I’m going to run.”
So- what does any good coach do when one of the team refuses to cooperate? He goes to the playbook and creates a plan. That’s what we did.
His House staff provided the resident with her individualized SMART recovery tools and worked with her in processing her memories, thoughts, and emotions so she would understand that she had a clear choice as to whether to stay in the program or to leave. We encouraged her to reach out and use her healthy supports in the safe people and new relationships that she has formed while being here, which includes staff, peer supports, her sponsor and her therapists.
Our team coordinated with the resident’s counselors and therapists and supports to host what we call a “Family Team Meeting.” These meetings serve as the primary forum for safety planning, collaborative service planning, service identification, and assessing progress. These meetings represent a person-centered, Christ-driven, strength-based, team-guided approach, designed to engage the resident in developing plans for cooperation to stay with her programming and her recovery journey. And- it worked!!
As a result of interventions put in place, the resident was able to see her history of destructive patterns with tendencies to avoid and run away from difficult feelings and she decided to stay at His House to continue her healing in her recovery journey.
We rejoice in her decision to stay. She is learning new ways of being.
So, we get to keep her another day and it is day by day. But the more time passes, the better she looks. She is now taking on a leadership role with some of the new girls and mentors them with some of her wisdom from her war.
Sometimes, when it’s her turn to share she will smile, lean in, and say- “I had to decide and face what I was running away from. Now, I’m learning new things about me and understanding
that Jesus loves all the parts and everything about me, and there is no running from Him, I have decided to stay and run towards my recovery and freedom.”