The Recovering Recovery Professional
I wanted to write a letter to all my people on the front lines of addiction who are in recovery themselves. I know what it is like; I am a recovering recovery professional. Along the way, I have picked up some tips and tricks that I want to share with you.
Today on the blog, we hear from Mitch Leff about what it is like to work in recovery while in recovery. Mitch is the Founder of Mitch Motivates, a recovery professional, and a member of the MyWellbeing community.
I wanted to write a letter to all my people on the front lines of addiction who are in recovery themselves. I know what it is like; I am a recovering recovery professional. My whole adult life has been in recovery. I help those suffering from substance abuse, addiction, or mental health issues. Along the way, I have picked up some tips and tricks that I want to share with you.
Today happens to be my 33rd birthday. Exactly 14 years ago today, I turned 19 while in rehab at the Caron Foundation. It seems like forever ago. After Caron, I went to sober living, and I was in treatment for a total of eight months. The system of treatment and aftercare saved my life.
A few years after going through treatment, I moved to New York and found a part-time job with an NYC sober living facility. I grew with the company and knew I was on the right track with my career.
After working in recovery for years, I started my own company, Mitch Motivates, after noticing the need for experienced, independent specialists in the community. We specialize in recovery coaching, 24/7 recovery companionship, crisis intervention, case management, and safe transport.
As a recovering recovery professional, I wanted to share a few tips to help you in your own work:
Do You, 24/7
The most important lesson I can share with you is to be yourself. All my success in life so far has come from being unapologetically myself. I chose to work in recovery over any other profession because helping those who have gone down the same path as I have is what makes me most happy. If you find something you enjoy doing, you never have to work a day in your life. I am recovery 24/7/365.When I am not working in it, I am working on my own personal recovery. It takes practice to draw the line between both, but it can be done. I don’t have a different life when I leave the office or on holidays or weekends. It gives me great pride to be me all the time.
Find a Passion…or Three
A passionate life is a fulfilled life. I suggest you find at least three passions.
I have been passionate about a few things in my life, but animals, family, and fitness are my top three. I work out about six to eight times a week, I have a dog, and I am super close with my family. My passions are the centerpieces of my life. They are the things I talk about with my clients, while encouraging them to find similar passions of their own.
My favorite part about having passions is they work in times of rough going. During this daunting time of coronavirus and quarantine, I find myself still engaged with all three of my passions. I have my dog Mazel (@mazeldoodle) who keeps me busy all day taking care of her and spoiling her. I have my fitness community which never lets me get lazy, encouraging me to go on virtual workouts and runs. Finally, I have my family. They are my number one support during this time, they have helped me with food and supplies, and they constantly check in on me.
I have been in recovery since I was 19. I still mess up all the time. I do the wrong thing. I act selfishly. I can tell you all this because it is ok to make mistakes.
I am proud of what I have done in my career; I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands of clients and their families. My policy has always been to live life, take chances, and make mistakes. However, this comes with the responsibility to admit when I am wrong, apologize if needed, and change my behavior and actions moving forward to support said apology.
The biggest and most memorable lessons in my life is that we’re born from mistakes and moving forward. I may mess up and I am not perfect, but I can hold my head high on admitting to mistakes, honestly apologizing when there is a need, and moving forward. Beat yourself up with a feather, not a bat.
Do You, Find a Passion, and Make Mistakes have helped me as a recovering recovery professional. I am not the authority on recovery work. All I can do is share my experience, strength, and hope of my path in the hope to help others who are performing this rewarding work.