It is like the seed put in the soil – the more one sows, the greater the harvest.
Orison Swett Marden
There’s a very old expression: “You reap what you sow.” The farmer gathers his crops from the seeds he has planted and carefully cultivated. The hard, diligent work is what determines what is gained at harvest time. The same goes for the recovering alcoholic and drug addict: the conscientious effort you put into your recovery predicts what you will get from it.
Take the 12 Steps, for example. You can go through all the steps and think yourself “cured,” but in reality, it is just the beginning of the process. In order to stay clean and/or sober, the 12 Steps must be applied every day to every aspect of the recovering alcoholic/addict’s life. No one is perfect, but by applying the 12 Steps to the best of your ability, you can begin to experience the benefits of that effort, and have a succesful, bountiful life. That’s your “harvest.”
Harvest season for the farmer comes each September. It is the result of a cycle of preparing, sowing, fertilizing and irrigating, harvesting, and storing. Let’s take a look at what each of these stages of the cycle look like as applied to the recovery process.
In order to plant seeds (or sowing) a farmer must prepare his soil. Crops can not grow in a rocky or concrete foundation, so part of the preparation involves removing rocks and other things that could get in the way. Similarly, no one can recover if their foundation for personal growth is obstructed by drugs and alcohol. So the first step of the preparation stage is to remain free from any alcohol or drugs in by weeding out old habits and sources of temptation which may cause you to indulge in them. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says alcohol (or drugs) are just a symptom of the root causes of our drinking and using. Exploring these roots and weeding them out through counseling and self-examination is critical to recovery.
Sowing means planting seeds. As we learn the techniques and new habits which will develop our own recovery, we also can sow the recovery of others. In fact, the purpose of the 12 steps is “one alcoholic/addict helping another.” One person “plants a seed” of recovery into another person’s life by reaching out or living a life that reflects the 12 steps and its benefits. Once the seed has been planted, that first person helped reaches out to another in turn and it becomes a virtuous cycle. One of the truisms of recovery is, “You have to give it away to keep it.” Spread the seeds of recovery knowledge far and wide, and it will sustain your recovery and bolster others.
Fertilizing and Irrigating
Just like us, crops need nutrients and water in order to grow and stay healthy. Irrigation is the process of applying water to a certain area. Take our spiritual lives as an example: we need to be constantly feeding our spiritual life in prayer, meditation, meetings, and nourished through surrounding ourselves with the energy of positive people. Working the 12 Steps can help us discover our own shortcomings, which we are then able to address in a way that nurtures our spiritual health. This is an effort requiring patience and honesty, which are true nutrients in recovery’s fertile soil. When a farmer fertilizes and waters his crops, he understands that they will not grow overnight. Stay focused on healthy routines of personal growth and being of service to others.
Harvesting & Storing
Harvesting is the gathering all the ripe crops you have grown. We already mentioned the expression “you reap what you sow.” Reap means “to receive” something, as in recognition or reward, for one’s effort. Recovery’s bountiful harvest, then, reaps all the potential a healthy life has to offer. Whether it be being liberated from the fixation on scoring, mending relationships with your loved ones, getting into a career, enjoying new hobbies, traveling, or just experiencing peace of mind, all are the fruits of your labor in recovery. You have put in the work necessary to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally. You can now sustain both your recovery and a life worth living. Store up your successful crops and to take from them the sees to sow anew. It’s harvest time somewhere!
There’s an old quote that says the road to recovery is paved with good intentions, but mine would read the road to recovery was a dirt road, with pot holes and land mines. It’s been an 18-year journey that started the day my beautiful baby daughter died, and to say I’m lucky to be alive is an understatement. Years of trying to white knuckle getting sober and trying to pray myself into getting sober only led to short term success. I tried several outpatient programs that seemed to help but only for a short period of time. I could never just stay sober. As the depression got worse so did my alcoholism. The final months leading up to me entering SA was a catastrophe, I was drinking all day and when I wasn’t I was extremely ill until I got alcohol into my system.
On October 22nd, 2017 as I laid helplessly on my bathroom floor shaking violently as I did so many other times from withdrawal I asked why I was still alive. It was while I was on that floor I realized that God had so many opportunities to allow me to die and yet I was still here. I knew my purpose wasn’t to have my four-year-old son be without a father. All those years I grieved my daughter’s death while not realizing I was neglecting my living son. I entered Serenity Acers that night. From the start the staff and counselors treated me with respect. They taught me how to positively grieve my daughter all while giving me the tools to stay sober. SA introduced me to so many useful techniques, and the twelve-step program. There was a lot of hard work that I had to put in to the program because ultimately you got to want to stay sober to be sober. However, without the tools I got from SA that wouldn’t have been possible to realize. I can’t thank the staff enough for saving my life, allowing me to be a productive person in the world, and most importantly a father my son deserves. I’m coming up on one year sober in October and that would of never been possible without the continued support I get from SA and the alumni that I have grown to love.
Congratulations to some of our Alumni in celebrating their clean time. Thank you for giving hope to those who are still suffering!
- Stephanie B – 1 month
- Sarah K – 2 months
- Maggie M – 2 months
- Jacob G – 2 months
- Scott B – 2 months
- Joe H – 2 months
- Tim M – 2 months
- Jenna L – 2 months
- Kirsten C – 3 months
- EG – 3 months
- Jeremy S – 3 months
- Brett S – 4 months
- Ryan G – 4 months
- Alex A – 4 months
- Shawn H – 6 months
- Shannon S – 6 months
- Chis K – 6 months
- John B – 6 months
- Erin D – 7 months
- Ashley F – 7 months
- Andy J – 8 months
- Mel D – 8 months
- Mary Beth W – 8 months
- Roberto P – 8 months
- Nancy B – 9 months
- Ty – 10 months
1st Annual Alumni Summer’s End Family BBQ
Celebrate the season . . .
One more time!
Join us for some
Fun in the Sun
at our Family BBQ.
Bring your kids, spouse or significant other!
Bring a side dish to share if you can 🙂
Sunday, September 16, 2018, 1-6 pm
1100 East College Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21409
Please RSVP via Eventbrite
If you did not receive an Eventbrite email invite
please call Joanna at 443-990-1366
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
See you there!
Alumni Field Trip to Kings Dominion
Saturday, September 22nd
Bring your family and friends!
Must meet at the gate by 10:00am to get the group rate of $36
Carpool or meet us there!
16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA 23047
Please call Joanna (443) 990-1366 or Nancy (443) 903-6441 with any questions 🙂
Serenity Acres Mobile App
Our program now has its very own Alumni App! We have had a great number of alumni sign up already, with many of them sharing their milestone (length of clean time). It is also a perfect opportunity to reach out if you are in need of support and encouragement. The setup is similar to Facebook and Instagram, where you can comment and “like” posts from other members. You can download the app on your smartphone from either the iTunes store or the Play store, depending on what type of smartphone you have. You can also access the site from the internet on your laptop/computer via the Serenity Acres.com website. It is a private app, strictly for Serenity Acres alumni.
- Weekly Alumni 12-Step meetings every Sunday, 6:30-7:30pm at the St. Stephens Episcopal Church (1110 St Stephens Church Road, Crownsville, MD 21032
- September 16th – End of Summer Family BBQ
- September 22nd – Kings Dominion Trip