We say the Serenity Prayer a lot around The Healing Place. This prayer closes practically every event on our campus, from staff meetings to 12 Step meetings. This prayer which I have repeated thousands of times never had more meaning to me than in this past year. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We’re remarkable at at The Healing Place and we are in the business of change. We change hearts, minds, and spirits on a daily basis. We work hard at acceptance, which is necessary for change. We know that change can’t happen without acceptance. Well, this past year was a hard lesson in acceptance and change.
It has been an opportunity for all of us at The Healing Place, staff and clients alike, to get on board with or at least accept that things are wholly out of our control. Getting on board with lockdowns, masks, and recovery in isolation were all very difficult. We made programmatic and structural changes to The Healing Place that we never thought we would do.
We swapped in person meetings for virtual ones, we restricted client movement (no trudge!) and we allowed cell phones (every alumni immediately resentful). We made these changes because it was more important for us to continue to keep our doors open to those struggling with addiction and out on the streets. We’ve mostly gone back to normal and have even kept some of the changes because it was the right thing to do. It was very difficult managing the unknown.
Change is never easy because it seems to never come when we are prepared. No one was prepared for 2020, including us and we are experts in change. But we did what we expect our clients to do; accept reality, take a minute to be angry, and then just get on with it. It’s never easy and it’s never going to be.
I have no idea what this next year will bring but I do know that we have never experienced something like this past year, where overdose rates are way up, mental health issues are way up, and functional alcoholics are no longer functioning. That means The Healing Place will be here, just like the previous 32 years. We’ll be ready for anything and everything, even if we don’t like it.