My time in Lubbock, Texas was very special, Buddy Holly initially put it on the map and I felt so lucky visiting the museum, but for the last 30 plus years Lubbock has had a legacy of graduates in recovery.
Leaving Texas Tech Collegiate Recovery Community was really emotional for me. Spending time with the team and students has left a real impact. To be welcomed into the community with such warmth, acceptance and authenticity was incredibly special.
To leave them felt like leaving people I have known for a very long time. I’m on the flight to Houston writing this and trying to process my time there. What is it that literally made me cry when I left?
Well firstly the sense of community, led by Dr Tom and Vince the team are really genuine and caring people from diverse backgrounds, united in their mission to support students in recovery to succeed. They are continuously called upon by students either for support or just to say hello and share the happenings of the day. The reception is reminiscent of the kitchen at home, whilst pottering around someone is always passing through. In fact the centre has a very homely feel with a very large family of 120 members.
It’s not clinical at all, it’s a space to be real, however you are feeling that day. There’s structure, space to study, chat, drink coffee and be a community of huge promise.
The structure of the CRC is the scaffolding, attending small peer group meetings designed to hold each other accountable and build trusting relationships with each other is a crucial part. The students have a huge amount of gratitude and consequently take service to their own and outside communities very seriously
The weekly Celebration meeting, where families, CRC and outside recovery community members come together to share hope and celebration. There were over 100 people in the room, you could feel the community spirit and genuine love for each other’s achievement, whether it was weeks, months or years of abstinence, the joy expressed was the same. Young people in recovery make a lot of noise when they are celebratory!
I asked a number of students to share what was important to them as a member. Their responses had some differences but generally the gratitude oozed out for the team and their peers, describing the solidarity and unconditional support of each other.
It’s a very powerful experience and convinces me further of the need for a similar concept in the UK.
Texas Tech CRP have integrated a week with us at Recovery Connections in July 2018 as part of their study abroad programme. Oh boy!
Please watch the films as detailed in my previous blog, they really will leave you uplifted.
Next stop Houston and the shop for more tissues..