Bishop T.D. Jakes famously said, “if you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” This quote is significantly true for many of us at Casa Colina. For myself, and many of us at Casa Colina, this quote tells the story of how I began to pursue working in recovery as a career.
I have been an avid sports fan for as long as I could remember. My entire life revolved around sports whether it was playing, coaching, or cheering on the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Stars, or Sooners. I had always dreamed of a career in sports. As I got older, it was evident that I would pursue a career in athletics and I did exactly that. I was performing rather well. However, I also pursued a career in blackout drinking. Turns out the two don’t compliment each other well.
Falling in Love with Recovery
Once my career at come to a halt and my life had been flipped on its head, I wasn’t really sure what direction my life would go. I remember meeting with an Athletic Director and being told that I should consider a different career because it would be unlikely that anyone would hire me after my previous fallout. I no longer knew what avenue to pursue. It was at that time that all my focus went to recovery. It was all I had left.
I stepped into AA to get people off of my back. I am not ashamed to say that now. I didn’t show up to stop drinking. However, when I realized all that I had lost and took the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth, as old-timers like to say, my perspective changed. I fell in love with recovery. I saw what it was doing in my life and wanted to share that with others. I began going to treatment centers two or three times a week to share my experience, strength, and hope. I became passionate about my recovery and the recovery of others. I didn’t even know there was a career path to pursue, but I knew what I loved. Then, one day about six months after I got sober my sponsor informed me of an opportunity.
The beginning of this blog centers on two words, passion and purpose. My passion for recovery developed over time, but my purpose seemed to hit me in the face all at once. I worked in sports professionally for about five years. I played from age four into college, and coached at various times. I even refereed for a significant period of time in college. However, after an accumulated 21 years of sports being the focal point of my life I was still in search of my real purpose. A conversation with a fellow member of A.A. helped me see purpose in my life.
In a rant driven solely on self-pity I repeatedly asked my friend, “why this was happening to me? Why was God doing this to me?” Woe is me, am I right? He said to me, “Maybe God is letting you go through this now so you can help someone else go through it one day.” I’ll never forget that conversation on some ratty old couch in a small building that is home to the Last House group of A.A. From then on, my life was changed. I found what I lacked for so long. Purpose.
Finding Purpose Through Passion
It was a few months after that when a position opened at Casa Colina. The rest is history. I had found my passion in recovery, and through my passion I found purpose. This story is not the same semantically as everyone else at Casa, but our paths are all similar. From our CEO to every Recovery Advocate, we all found passion and purpose in recovery. This is one of the things that makes Casa special. We do not come to work every day simply because it is a job that pays the bills. We come to work here every day because we are passionate about recovery and have found a purpose in helping others out of the hopeless state of mind and body we once went through ourselves.
I opened with a quote, so I will end with one. There is a blue book, commonly referred to as the Big Book, that we use pretty often with some wise words almost as eloquent as the great T.D. Jakes. On page 157 of that book it reads:
“Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we ﬁnd the fellowship, and so will you.”
Life will mean something at last. For some of us, we had been searching for that for as long as we can remember. Now that we have found it, we have joined others at a place that’s main goal is to help others find it. Casa Colina’s purpose is our purpose. However, it is our passion that makes that purpose achievable.