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Dec 2, 2021

By Bart Ross | Recovery Services Manager

Season’s greetings to all the Hanley family. For me, “family” is not a word used lightly.

Many of us had forgotten the importance of how to show appreciation for family. When we suffer from addiction, we become consciously and unconsciously separated from God and the people around us.

One of the many blessings in our role as part of the Hanley family staff is getting to watch you sober soldiers rebuild some old relationships and form many new ones.

As we recover, we continue to build many new relationships. The first and most important is our relationship with a Higher Power. We also begin to have lasting, authentic relationships with each other. A new branch of solid family ties begins.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-841-1033.

We are blessed to have many opportunities to stay connected via Alumni Zoom meetings during the pandemic.

I love seeing you guys join us for these. I want to give a huge thank you to those who have been able to visit in person with the current patients to do the Fifth Step of service and join the in-person alumni meetings. I know many others would if it were possible for you.

And there are our Hanley family reunions.

Visiting with you is a feeling like no other. I look forward to many future alumni events. Then, of course, you also build a family in your 12-Step community. Community is where we get to share life and help newcomers find recovery.

“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.” (Big Book, Page 89)

 I can’t help but think of these additional lines in the Big Book:

“We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain’s table. Unlike the feelings of the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined. The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.” (Big Book, Page 17)

It could be a much different world if the world could watch what we do and practice the amazing 12-Step life.

It’s nothing short of a miracle how the 12-Step family is built from the ground up. Not only are we blessed with sobriety, but sobriety is also just the beginning. It’s the things we experience as a family, which come out of our adversities, that are the miracles.

Reflecting on the incredible holidays I’ve had over the years since I’ve been “soba,” here are some suggestions for you to try doing during this season: Spend time with immediate and other family or volunteer somewhere serving food. Check out your local group for marathon meetings. Lots of groups also have a holiday party, so bring something to them. Most important, bring yourself and some hope.

I wish all of you a blessed holiday season and a “soba” New Year!


Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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