Cara Bantom-O’Neill, MS., MCAP, RMHCI | Corporate Director of Alumni Services
One of the joys of working at Hanley has been watching the alumni community grow.
There is nothing like it. Being a part of the miracle of recovery is a blessing and not something I take for granted.
Years ago, I was asked to be a counselor on the women’s unit at the Hanley Center. When I stepped onto the unit, I had a vision. This vision was to create and maintain a community of strong, sober, and supportive female alumni. I knew we had strong alum out there, but we needed them to get connected.
Over the years, I watched new women come into treatment.
They were in crisis and needed help. As time went on and they worked the program, they reached a point where they could help others. This was a cycle that continued, and soon we had a community of women helping women.
Our community of Hanley women is beyond anything I could have envisioned.
Their love and support for each other knows no bounds and is truly a beautiful thing. SNAPS! I cannot express how valuable the support of women is in recovery. When I speak to a newcomer, they often claim, “I don’t get along well with women” or “it is easier to be friends with men.” There can be many reasons why these statements are factual for these newcomers, but this does not mean that these things can’t change.
When women get over the hump of old behavior and try something new, they get to see the power of a female friendship. They get to see how supportive women can be and how easy it is for women to help each other. It may have been easier to be friends with men in the past, but today I will reach out to a woman for help with my recovery.
I will try something new.
The Big Book speaks about contempt before investigation. We need to make a genuine, authentic attempt at these relationships before saying they do not work. I know that many women can attest that their relationships with women in recovery are indispensable.
My suggestion today is this. Get out of your comfort zone. Reach out to a woman in the program. Sponsor, support, and listen to them.
These relationships will change your life.
The women in the 12-Step program have held me accountable. They have helped me stay in the middle during the ups and downs of my life. This is all began when I reached out to my first sponsor. I trusted her; I believed in my Higher Power, and the rest is history. Now my cellphone is packed with my female community.
There is nothing like the support of strong women in recovery!
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.