In the Community
Butte SPIRIT Home
September 16, 2022
“I am no better and no worse than anyone else, and I have nothing to prove.” I've been using this affirmation daily for the past few years because I have a superpower, and I need daily reminders that I must only use it for good. My superpower presents as addiction. I'm 32 years old, and 7 years into Recovery, and I'm still addicted to three things: more, better, and different. I was born in Kentucky, but I started my Recovery journey in Butte, Montana, where I still live. Today, I give back to the Recovery community that showed me a new way of life by serving as the Executive Director of the Butte SPIRIT Home, a state-licensed transitional living home for men in early recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
No one is exempt from the impacts of SUD; just ask your legislator, colleague, neighbor, barista, friend, cousin, parent, or sibling about how SUD has impacted their life or the lives of their loved ones. Everyone has a story about their struggle with addiction. This September, for Recovery Month, we are highlighting the work that moves people forward, from hopelessness into action. You see, Recovery happens not because people are focused on the problem, but because those who once struggled against a problem are now fighting toward a solution.
When maladaptive coping strategies have brought a person to the brink of destruction, many turn to various Recovery Support Services for direction. Each day, people who are fighting for their lives in early Recovery reach out to Licensed Addictions Counselors, Peer Support Specialists, Case Managers, Probation Officers, and Community Support Groups (such as 12 Step programs) for help. These peers and professionals are able to offer their experience, strength, and hope, giving a nudge in the right direction to each person they contact who is earnestly seeking a life of Recovery.
For me, accepting my own powerlessness over addiction was a transitional state, where I learned how to live without creating harm for myself and others, and I stepped through a threshold where I became empowered with the tools of recovery, my peers, my mentors, and a god of my own understanding. I stepped into a place where the voices in my head were no longer something that I just idly accepted as self, but were simply unconscious programs that could, in fact, be re-programmed. Now, don't misunderstand me, when a person is hardwired for self-destruction like I was, it takes a whole lot of mindfulness and "manual programming" as I like to call it, in order to see improvements. But the point is, the power of choice has been returned to me, not just in drinking or using drugs, but in ALL things. That is my superpower today, today I get to choose, moment by moment, how I'm going to live, and that comes with a LOT of responsibility. The intense focus that I once placed on drugs and alcohol, the tactful manipulation of the world and the people in it... all these things are powers that I still have today, and I am learning to only use them for good.
Within the Butte SPIRIT Home, we curate an environment that supports Recovery. All of our staff are people in long-term recovery, who can share directly from their experience of how to live life sober. When asked what they most appreciated about the SPIRIT Home, one Resident responded, “Encouragement. I have never felt controlled or coerced, not looked down upon. I have only felt encouraged, and that this facility is really here to back me up in my Recovery.” This means that we have zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use; we provide basic Case Management to get our residents the resources they need to work towards independent living; we encourage mentorship from our Peer Support Specialist, and we assist Residents in working through a Treatment Plan with our Licensed Addictions Counselor.
The Butte SPIRIT Home relied heavily on grants and donations for opening our doors to Residents in January of 2021. Now in our second year of operations, we’re receiving insurance reimbursements for professional services rendered, but ~14% of our operating budget still requires fundraising. That is why we’ve partnered with the Montana Community Foundation to create an Endowment Fund. With over $100,000 raised for our endowment thus far, we are off to a great start. This September, in celebration of Recovery Month, we are kicking off Phase III of our Endowment Fundraiser and hoping to raise an additional $100,000 by the year’s end. If you are interested in learning more about our work, or would like to contribute to the Endowment, please visit our webpage at www.buttespirit.org or reach out to me directly at email@example.com.
“Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.” – SAMHSA