“I initially volunteered at Recovery Café because my stepson was in addiction recovery, and I thought I could give back this way. Instead, I found a place that welcomed me, nurtured me, and accepted me for who I am. The community has been there for me during my recovery from my depression and supported me in walking with my stepson through his journey of recovery. A month ago, my stepson died. The Café community grieved with me and surrounded me with love as I processed his death.”
Volunteer Lisa Bechard shared these words during our Power of Storytelling Workshop presentation at the end of September. She reflects on the opportunity to tell her story as a way to connect with the different parts of herself and allow herself to be known completely.
Lisa has offered loving hospitality to members of the Café since the doors opened in May of 2019. During the bumpy road of supporting her stepson through recovery and relapses, she reaped the gifts of love she had sowed in the foundation of Recovery Café over the years. In challenging times, she sought advice from those in the Café who had experienced substance use disorder and learned to stay strong and keep her boundaries while loving her stepson and taking care of herself. She was reassured that she was doing the best she could in the situation.
Upon learning about her son’s death, Lisa described the feeling in her body as gut-wrenching, depressing, and soul-draining.
“In my grieving process, I had somewhere to go. I was able to talk to others who have been through this too.”
In the wake of her worst nightmare, Lisa knew where to turn. She chose to share her heaviest feelings with others instead of silencing the thoughts and isolating herself in grief.
Sharing her story proved to be a healing and cathartic process. Lisa’s willingness to vocalize the unspoken aspects of her life resonated with others which in turn allowed them to shine light on their dark memories.
“When you open yourself up with all of your feelings you might realize you’re not alone in it and you might help someone else.”
Lisa wants people affected by their loved one’s substance use to know that they, too, deserve recovery. She stresses the importance of having a place to go with people who understand. For in our hardest moments, it’s the people in our lives that get us through.
Recovery Café Longmont is a community of refuge and healing for people in recovery. Whatever it is you are recovering from — grief, trauma, mental health challenges, loneliness, or substance use disorder — you are welcome here.