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Living in Recovery as a Coach

Gary St.Clair, Jr. is a Recovery Coach and Sober Escort at Family Services and Resource Center, Inc. As a recovering addict himself, Gary uses the knowledge he has gained from his own journey, as well as tailored training he has received in the human services field, to support other addicts, alcoholics, and their family members achieve peace through recovery.

Recently, Gary appeared on WTLV Channel 12’s First Coast Living to share his experience, strength, and hope. In this article, Gary shares a little more about his reasons for giving back as a Recovery Coach and Sober Escort.

“For the last few years I have been working with other addicts and alcoholics, as well as their family members. I have been assisting them in developing recovery solutions that are individually tailored to their needs, in the hope they can experience a better their life.

This passion for supporting others, who have struggled with the disease of addiction, emerged in the early stages of my own recovery journey. My involvement in service work, within my recovery community, led me to understand that my own personal recovery is enhanced through the support of others. This enlightenment has brought me to where I am today, helping people face the challenge of overcoming addiction.

I believe that as a recovery coach, I draw on some of my own experiences as an addict, while relying on the education I have received as I embarked on this career path. Recovery coaching is all about helping people make the initial transition into a clean and sober lifestyle or supporting individuals who are recently sober maintain their new lifestyle. It is about setting new goals for living in sobriety, such as goals for improving family life, relationships, education, career, health, or overall wellness.

For many suffering with addiction the initial stages of sobriety can be an intimidating and loathsome experience. What many addicts do not fully realize is that true recovery is obtained, not just by letting go of the drugs and alcohol, but by letting go of the routines or way of life that is centered around to using. There is a whole gamut of things that people do not realize they need to change in the process of recovery, such as – ending relationships with friends who remain part of a drug and alcohol abusing lifestyle; no longer frequenting familiar places such as clubs, bars, and drug houses that they used to frequent; and even avoiding certain areas of neighborhoods and towns in which they used to hang out.

It has been proven time and time again that these ties, which bind the addict to the drug and alcohol abusing lifestyle, are extremely difficult to break. The beginning stages of recovery are critical in ensuring the addict or alcoholic can build a strong recovery foundation. This is why I believe recovery coaching is so important, as a support service to the addict, alcoholic, or their family.

Many of our clients come to us right after they leave the inpatient rehabilitation centers. In my role as a Sober Escort, I pick them up at the end of their inpatient stay and help them begin the process of adjusting to their new life.

Our main focus in recovery coaching is on how to form a new and better life based on reducing consumption or use; becoming alcohol and drug free; and preventing relapse. In my role as a Recovery Coach at Family Services and Resource Center, Inc. I am able to help deal with the individuals who come to me for services as whole individuals with issues to address across a wide range of areas. Each individual is unique and comes with their own strengths, abilities, and challenges. As a Recovery Coach I can help individuals build a recovery plan that addresses their recovery across the dimensions of education, employment, relationships, finances, and more.

Understanding that addiction is a family disease, and that each member of a family system plays a role within the addict’s life, I also work with family members to develop their own recovery plan. It is critical for families to be educated and well informed on the disease of addiction. It is also necessary to support family members with their own roadmap to living a life free from the trials and tribulations of addiction.

At Family Services and Resource Center, Inc. we have set up a program which we feel will help strengthen addicts and their family members to be successful on the road to personal growth and recovery.

Each and every time I work with an addict or their family, in our community, I am renewed and excited. It is my honor to be able to provide this service, as I use my own experience, strength, and hope to help give back to those in need of support. I believe that every personal recovery story is a miracle and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to witness so many transitions from the depths of addiction to the heights of recovery.”

Gary St.Clair, Jr., Recovery Coach and Sober Escort