Picture being one of eight women in a van packed full with three days worth of food, luggage and personalities.
We took a right onto Forest Ave. and were off on a 3 1/2 hour road trip with eight fully charged GPSs. We hit Auburn (mind you, it’s only forty minutes from Portland), and everybody needed lunch, bathrooms, and smoke breaks.
Looking like a long ride ahead of us, we continued north on the hot summer day and were all very excited to get there. As we got closer, ears were popping and views of mountains were very beautiful. Finally after a long 3 1/2 hours we pulled into our condo and everybody piled out quickly. We settled into our rooms and all took a few minutes to look around inside and out.
We all were looking forward to see what Nikki (Crossroads’ halfway house program manager) had planned for us. We then headed down to the lodge to get seats for the first meeting. A woman spoke and was very powerful, and her story was a great beginning to the weekend.
Following the speaker was a dance. Watching everybody cut a rug and having such a great time as a group, clean and sober, was amazing! It was a huge eye opener showing us as newcomers how much fun you can have without drugs and alcohol. We all went back to the condo and stayed up laughing and telling jokes half the night.
To experience that bond we created as a group was unforgettable.
Saturday was filled with workshops. We were able to experience all different meetings, from Al-Anon to newcomers, with speakers from all over. Their messages were all very powerful and filled with so much hope. A feeling of such comfort and peace being around all those strangers, that we were all connected by the same struggles and common problems of alcoholism and drug addiction. The way everybody came together and seeing the unity between us all was something I will never forget!
We had such a blast playing something as small as “I spy” from the rooftop balcony that overlooked a crowd of people talking around a campfire and making s’mores. Sunday was the countdown to sobriety. Everybody came together and supported each other as they counted down from fifty years all the way down to three days of sobriety. The room was overwhelmed with emotion, support, power, and hope.
I would like to thank Crossroads and the Program Manager, Nikki Oliver, and all the staff that came for this amazing experience and opportunity and giving me so much hope to the start of a new lifelong journey in recovery!