TRAIL — Camaraderie, fellowship and fish lured about 75 Tribal members and others from the sober community Oct. 10 to the seventh annual Fish Fry in Trail.
The group feasted on 50 pounds of tilapia, 30 pounds of snapper, nearly 40 slabs of ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, hush puppies and frybread, but they received a different kind of nourishment from one another.
For those in recovery, ensuring their spiritual, physical and emotional needs are nurtured and healthy is crucial.
“There has to be a balance in recovery,” said Helene Buster, coordinator of Seminoles in Recovery events. “If one is out of kilter, it just doesn’t happen. We are always working for that balance in our lives. Once you are in balance, you are a happy person and can be there for your family and community.”
Fitness is an important component of any recovery, but it isn’t always given the same priority as staying sober, Buster said. Once addicts understand why they abused and why they shouldn’t use again, they can put their efforts into staying clean.
“People don’t put enough focus on fitness,” Buster said. “It’s usually the last thing they do.”
Buster pushes herself to exercise regularly. She runs about 3 miles three times a week and watches her diet. She organizes the Seminoles in Recovery 5K event to encourage people to concentrate on fitness.
Jeremy Bowers works out about twice a week and watches what he eats. Since he’s been in recovery, his weight loss has made a big difference in his life.
“It makes me feel better about myself,” Bowers said. “It changes my thought process and I can move better and easier now. When I work out, it’s like a self-cleanse. We’ve damaged our bodies for years, but physically you want to be healthy.”
Several attendees shared experiences about their road to recovery during one of the two Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, where they found support and encouragement from the group.
Anonymous testimonials included:
“I knew that I loved what I was using, but I knew I was going to die.”
“I’m happy to be sober; now there is a joy to life.”
“Having clean time and being a mother again is a blessing.”
“Some of the blessings of sobriety are friendship, having love and compassion. Life is beautiful; I hear birds chirping again.”