Stacie Woodall, MCJ, BS, LCDC, understands what it takes to rebuild a life. She’s done it. As the Outpatient Manager of Cenikor’s Care Counseling Center in Waco, Texas, she sees her clients’ challenges from both sides of the street. She was in and out of recovery for 17 years before she got sober eight years ago.
Men and women new to recovery “obsess about drugs and alcohol,” she says. There are so many things to draw them into the old lifestyle. She tells them it gets easier with time. “They need a support system and a structured routine. I believe in schedules. Every day needs to be planned, and they need to follow the plan.”
After detoxing, immersion in recovery is essential. That’s where Cenikor’s short-term inpatient program comes in. “Removing drugs and alcohol from the system is physically and psychologically shocking. We have just ripped away their ‘solution’ to all issues, so they must begin a new way of thinking. They’re a captive audience, surrounded by others in recovery and a team of professionals who have their best interest at heart.” Every counseling session, meeting or activity prepares clients for a new way of life. Before they leave inpatient care, it’s crucial to have an appointment with an outpatient counselor. “It’s too easy to leave the residential program and think, ‘I’m good. I can handle this. ’ They need to leave with a referral in hand.”
Clients who can’t return to a stable living environment may choose Cenikor’s Sober Living, which offers a safe place to live with peer accountability. “As they work and become financially independent, they live as sober, productive members of society.”
Participating in an outpatient program is the next post-inpatient right choice. Reinforced with the right mindset and a good foundation in recovery, clients return to a life with all the challenges, but without the crutch. They need a strong support system and a community of people who also are making good daily choices. In Cenikor’s outpatient programs, clients participate in education groups, processing groups and individual counseling one to three times each week.
“Somewhere along the line, adults forget what it’s like to have fun,” Stacie explains. “We have a creative staff of counselors who know that simple activities can help us enjoy life. We give assignments – go to a park, cook a meal, ride a bike. Have fun.” A strong 12-step program is another right choice.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery and similar programs, men and women support each other as they rebuild, repair and maintain their lives. “It’s important to have others close by who understand the journey.
“Recovery comes down to this: Are you doing the next right thing? If not, then you need to make a different choice. It’s a daily decision,” says Stacie Woodall, MCJ, BS, LCDC – Outpatient Manager