I landed in Asheville, NC raw. Raw, confused, angry, and terrified. I had checked two large suitcases under the small puddle-jumper. They charged me an extra fee for the 2nd bag. I am grateful that there are no check fees for the mountains of shame and guilt that I had also brought with me on that plane. How could I be 33 and on my way to a halfway house? I wasn’t that guy. I could point out that guy in a crowd, and did so without much hesitation; but, it wasn’t me. I fiddled with the latch of the tray-table; straightened and re-straightened my seatbelt; checked and re-checked that my seat was in its full, upright position as we made our way down through the cloud cover.
An Unexpected Welcome
It’s just under 3 hours of flight time, with a connection in Charlotte, from the 90-day inpatient facility I was coming from in West Palm Beach, to the areas surrounding Next Step Recovery. Just about 170 minutes. It was not until the final 15 minutes of the plane’s descent into Asheville, that my mind finally began to settle. It was not the finality of the overhead seatbelt lights pinging as we slowly approached the airport; it wasn’t the slightly jarring pop of my ear drums as my body attempted to regulate to the cabin pressure; I do not believe that it was some deep sense of acceptance of the situation in which I found myself. It was the mountains. It was the endless, rolling reaches of these mountains. They calmed me. They welcomed me. Hell, I swear they hugged me. And to this day, they embrace me still.
There is a powerful medicine in the mountains and natural playgrounds of Western North Carolina. There is a powerful medicine in the fellowship and community forged in a supportive, structured living environment such as Next Step Recovery. I believe that nature wears down walls; that it dissolves differences; that it answers years of isolation and hesitation with connectivity and support. I believe that there are endless opportunities ahead. I believe that, by actively engaging in a life free from substance use, there is a boundless field of possibilities. I believe this because I have experienced this. And I believe that PIVOTPoint WNC is where these possibilities thrive in abundance. I started PIVOTPoint WNC in an effort to shine a light on just some of these possibilities, these maybe’s, these whynot’s. It thrills me that I may have a part to play in these first few steps of residences living full-on and at full-volume. PIVOTPoint WNC is here to
provide support. PIVOTPoint WNC holds space so that residents might have an experience of their own.
Because It Helps
PIVOTPoint WNC takes groups of individuals in the early stages of recovery on experiential outings. We take them to swimming holes, by
waterfalls, down rivers, along ridges, and across the trails and meadows of Western North Carolina. We do this because it helps. We do this because we are walking this path, too. We do this because life without mind-altering substances can still be challenging; as expansive as you allow it to be. We do this because these truths do not have to be negatives; they can be embraced. PIVOTPoint WNC was born from many things, many experiences. One of my favorites is something a dear friend said to some of us as we took in the views from atop Mt Pisgah: He said, “When someone asks you what you did today, you can tell them … I climbed a mountain.” We celebrate our fellow travelers. We hope you enjoy the experience.
Know someone who could use some of Western North Carolina’s powerful mountain medicine? Please like and share this post with them. Or, if you have questions or comments, please leave them below! We’re always looking for ways to keep the conversation about recovery going. Education is one the most powerful tools we have combat addiction.