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Sober Support Groups come to GLIDE

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Glide Memorial Church opens its doors to those suffering from addiction

sober support groups

Glide Memorial Church has opened its doors to those suffering from addiction. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) group meetings happen every Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:00 pm. Crystal Meth Anonymous groups meet every Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Alcoholic Anonymous meetings are currently scheduled on Wednesdays at 12:00 pm (noon).  

Starting this past April, GLIDE Memorial Church began featuring sober support groups as part of its weekly offerings. The groups are open to anyone and are a safe space for those to come and go as they please. The only requirement is that you want to stop using narcotics. If you are not a recovering narcotic addict you may observe but are requested not to speak or share during the meeting. 

NA group meetings begin with participants reading from colored placards placed on a table. They cover subjects ranging from recovery, affirmation, and the mission of every addict: to not fall back into addiction. 

At this most recent NA meeting, five individuals showed up, each eager to share a little bit of their story and how they are coping since they embarked on a journey of drug abstinence.  

“I’m an addict. All the people I’ve hurt are a result of my addiction. I have only myself to blame,” said Dennis, who volunteered to lead the meeting.  

Dennis took out his mobile phone and out came a calming voice from a meditation app that encourages participants to stretch their spine, close their eyes, and clear their minds. It is a message that asks one to be mindful and focus solely on the moment at hand.  

The NA group began meditating. 15 minutes later, when they open their eyes, Dennis encouraged each person to introduce themselves.  

“Hi. My name is Alain. And I’m a crystal meth addict. I’ve been sober for the past 2.5 months. In that time, I’ve seen other addicts go through an amazing transformation once they’ve reached sobriety.”   

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For addicts, it can be very frustrating to get sober because of their desire for instant results, according to Alain. Your self-esteem can take a serious hit. “What matters is that you be easy on yourself and work to stop harming yourself and others,” said Alain.  

“Hi. My name is Victoria. And I’m a drug addict. I grew up in Fresno. I started using and selling drugs when I was in the 7th grade. First it was weed, then PCP, and then I got into the powders in my late teens. I ended up being in and out of jails and prisons due to my selling of drugs and I lived in that culture for decades.” 

For Victoria, who transitioned from being a man to a woman, living that type of life led her down a perilous path, including losing one of her arms in a terrible car accident. “When I was in the hospital, none of my friends came to see me. I was totally alone.”  

Victoria eventually made her way to a WestCare facility in 2022 when she received her sobriety date. She came to realize that she needed to focus on herself and find the beauty inside of herself.

“In hindsight, the car wreck was a blessing. If I hadn’t been bit by that car and lost my arm, I’d still be heading down the materialistic path of destruction.”  

She has begun volunteering at the Women’s Recovery Program in Santa Rosa and serves as a peer support specialist. She’s also attending school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor.

“I now want to be of service to others. Helping another person is so rewarding. What’s important to me is having positive relationships and interactions with your fellow human beings,” said Victoria. “Above all else, I want to help people.”  

When the hour was up, the group stood on their feet, held hands, and recited a portion of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s most famous prayer, the Serenity Prayer.  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

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