Help End the Addiction Epidemic. Join the New SMART Insiders+ Program

By Jim Williams, SMART Recovery Facilitator from British Columbia, Canada

As it was a holiday Monday, experience had taught me to expect a small crowd at the SMART meeting I facilitated in White Rock. As the clock rolled over to starting time there was just two of us, John and I. John was one of those consistent, zealous types and reliable as hell. He was, I believe, taking the Facilitator’s course at the time and would later become our Regional Coordinator. As John and I were talking shop and deciding how long to wait, a slender bearded man walked in.

“Hi I’m Andrew,” he said, shaking both our hands, “sorry I’m late.”

It turned out Andrew had known about SMART for over a year but had never come to a meeting until today. He’d decided six months before to quit drinking but had recently slipped and had a bad six weeks. That’s when he decided that he needed support and came to our meeting.

As no one else came, we concentrated on Andrew’s needs and what caused the lapse. While listening to him it seemed that he needed a strong constant motivation to get through those cravings when they came again. John and I agreed with a nod and we did a Hierarchy of Values(HOV) on the whiteboard.

It hit Andrew like an explosion when he realized that when he used, alcohol actually became his number one value and he’s been clean from that day.

Andrew not only became a regular but also an avid student of SMART and its tools. He gave great and useful input during crosstalk and eventually decided to take the Facilitator’s course.

When I decided to move on and start a new meeting he gladly and with enthusiasm agreed to become the Monday evening Facilitator, and in fact, is one of the best and most intuitive Facilitator’s I’ve met.

The moral of the story? Extraordinary things can come from a very small group of SMART Recovery participants.