By Chris Sommerfeldt, Apricity Recovery Coach
When I began my journey as a transitional employee in recovery with Apricity Contract Packaging (ACP) and as a participant of their Sober Living (SL) program, I had been in addiction for thirty years. Through my time with Apricity, I began to recognize the importance of recovery coaching, peer modeling and being surrounded by people in recovery in order to stay sober. As a result, I became a certified recovery coach and certified peer support, specialist. I now provide peer services and support to men in our SL program and am available for the transitional employees in Apricity Contract Packaging.
My recovery coaching style is based on making sure that everyone feels good about their recovery. I tell them "it's all about what works best for YOU - there is no right or wrong way to do or be in recovery." I let people know they define what recovery is for them while supporting them along the journey of their own self- discovery and following state established ethical boundaries. I provide a non-judgement space and lend an ear where people can share feelings that they may not want to share with their parole officer or a counselor. I walk with people in the direction they are trying to go, instead of where I think they should be going. I fill in gaps with my knowledge as a recovery coach as well as lived experience.
As a way to additionally connect with people in recovery, I play the guitar and organize Apricity jam sessions. I encourage any and all to come. I use the opportunity to discuss other things happening in their life. I teach them they are capable of learning a chord or two and that they are valued with the gifts they bring to the table. Partaking in the group rolls over into other aspects of self-discovery, proving to them that they are capable of achieving goals in their recovery and life.
Last year when life stood still for a while, the jam sessions continued. I also hung up posters so people could find Apricity's weekly Smart Recovery support group and personally picked up people so they could attend the meetings and stay on-track with their recovery. In December of 2020, I signed up to be an on-call recovery coach to meet and support individuals who overdose in hospital emergency rooms through Apricity's collaboration with ThedaCare.
I do what I do, because it's my passion to support people in recovery. I want to ensure they know how capable they are of getting their life back on track in a way that works for them.
Apricity certified recovery coaches, like Chris, impact the lives of those in recovery,
helping keep them on a sober path every day.