Addiction can be isolating. But what no one tells you is, so can the process of starting recovery. It can be hard to know where to turn, especially when you’re in crisis, or you’re managing a life that — in all honesty — feels unmanageable. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to raise awareness about what resources are available to you. And, perhaps even more importantly, we’re here to let you know you’re not alone.
We’re fully in support of you finding resources to support your healing journey from any source that truly helps. Here’s why we think our addiction recovery blog is one of the best on the internet:
We Examine Underlying Issues
We understand that addiction has more to do with underlying trauma than it does what substance you’re using. And that’s what we place the focus on.
Often issues like alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, and codependency seem like the real problem. But the truth is, they’re just coping strategies. That is, they’re merely a symptom of something deeper. Of course, substance use itself has all kinds of consequences for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health that are hugely important to address. But the core of the recovery journey is dealing with what lies underneath. Because until that’s healed, it will continue to express itself in ways that you don’t like.
Every single person alive on Earth suffers from core wounds. These wounds — which include abandonment, abuse, betrayal, defectiveness, and separation — show up in different ways for different people. But while our experiences may be distinct, our human condition is the same. And we all need healing in order to stop acting in harmful ways towards ourselves and others. Once we do that, we can start connecting to our true purpose and living in a way that embodies our values.
We Don’t Place Labels on You
So much rhetoric in the recovery space revolves around labeling people as “addicts,” talking about them as if they’re inherently flawed, condemning their behavior, and otherwise focusing on their inadequacies. In fact, the first step of AA is admitting your powerlessness. And this message is echoed throughout recovery circles.
But rather than solving the problem, what we’ve seen in our clients and in our own experience is that this makes it worse. Shame is the lowest vibration. We cannot change from this disempowered place. Actually, much of self-harming behavior — including addiction — is rooted in our negative stories about ourselves. And these are only worsened by a recovery mentality that serves to increase our self-contempt.
It may seem counterintuitive, but we can’t start to make real progress until we learn to forgive ourselves. We need to have compassion for ourselves and hold ourselves gently as we go through the very difficult work of deep change. When we respect ourselves, our actions reflect that.
That’s why we never shame you but aim to meet you where you’re at. Because we understand how it feels to be on this journey. And we know that, though it may feel otherwise at times, there is nothing wrong with you. You are whole, you have everything you need, and giving yourself some room to heal can help you grasp that and apply it to your life.
We not only do this in our programming but in our message. We want you to know that you can change and that you can do so without feeling miserable along the way.
We Respect Your Agency
Our model for change is based on empowerment. It’s not about fixing what’s wrong with you. It’s about uncovering your gifts, bringing them forth, and growing them so you can fully realize yourself.
We respect your intelligence and autonomy, even when you’re in a difficult place in life. That’s why we never condescend or push you towards any particular choice. Because only you know what’s best for your life.
We know you come from an entire history of life experiences that have gotten you to where you are today. Our job is simply to empathize with where you’re at, point out possibilities you may not have been aware of, and highlight pathways to healing that can genuinely help. Because of the lack of effective resources available, it’s unfortunately very common for people to try various treatment approaches over long periods of time without making the progress they want to see. We believe this is because dominant paradigms prevent people from accessing the healing they deserve.
But this is not how it should be.
We’re Not Afraid to Speak our Truth
Our program may be considered unorthodox by conventional standards. We’re aware of that and completely okay with it. We believe so deeply in the importance of our work that we would never let fear of what others might think to prevent us from doing it.
Many people who come to us are in severely critical situations. They’re at the end of their rope.
They feel they’ve tried everything else, and this is their last hope. And many of these clients of The Sanctuary do find the healing they’re looking for. We’d never want to deny people that experience.
Everyone who comes to our rehab center, whether they have previous experience with holistic treatments or not, discover something new. Something they never tried before gives them a new opportunity to make a breakthrough. They might free themselves of a lifelong trauma in a holotropic breathwork journey. Or, they may gain a whole new perspective on their issue in ketamine therapy. Whatever it may be, something that speaks to them connects with them and helps them move through that part of their journey.
While alternative options have been mystified in mainstream treatment paradigms, we know these are hugely powerful for our clients. And we feel it’s important for people to be aware of all their options and decide for themselves what they want to pursue.
We Support all Paths to Healing
Just because we don’t practice the 12-Step methodology doesn’t mean that we’re against it. And just because we employ alternative treatment methods doesn’t mean we’re against Western medicine.
We use a Functional Medicine approach that sees your systems as a whole and uses natural methods like nutrition, movement therapies, and energy medicine. These help you recalibrate your energetic system and provide a gentler way to bring yourself back into balance. But we also understand that medication can be very helpful for people in certain situations and that even if they want to get off of it, they may not be ready right away.
We respect your choices, needs, and preferences. That’s why we don’t promote the idea that there’s only one way to heal. We’re here to make you aware of all the avenues to whatever success looks like for you.
We Talk Honestly About What We See in Practice
The topics we discuss here are inspired by and based on what we see in real life, on a day-to-day basis, at our rehab. They’re a reflection of what we hear from our clients, patterns we see over the years, and common threads that can be found in everyone’s healing journey.
Our knowledge of what it takes to heal from addiction and mental health issues is experiential. It comes from doing this work hands-on and deeply investing in our clients’ treatment outcomes, for years.
When our clients share what’s going on with them, we listen. And this blog is a place to talk about what we see happening: what brings people to our rehab and what deeper issues within our society, culture, and way of life they point to.
We’re Not Just Here To Sell You Our Services
At The Sanctuary, we want people to recover. And that doesn’t mean they have to do so with us.
In fact, if someone decides our program isn’t the best fit for them, we’re happy to point them towards other resources that might be.
We respect other rehabs’ approaches and realize that every individual needs a unique combination of ingredients for their journey.
If you need help with something, feel free to contact us. Our admissions specialist is more than happy to provide more information and connect you to resources that can help you take your first — or next — step.
Kelley Alexander JD. is the co-director of The Sanctuary at Sedona and has worked over the last decade to develop its innovative Integrative Addiction Recovery Program that has helped hundreds of clients to be recovered from addiction and co-occurring disorders. Through her pioneering work, Kelley and her team at The Sanctuary also work with clients to overcome issues related to codependency, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. A JD and former practicing attorney, Kelley holds a BA in World Religions and has done graduate work in psychology. She is an ordained minister, certified shamanic breathwork facilitator, and a graduate of the Four Winds Healing The Light Body School, the premier energy medicine program founded by Alberto Villoldo. Kelley has also been a student of Dr. Joe Dispenza since 2009. She is a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and the Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. She is a frequent lecturer at seminars and conferences throughout the United States.