The following was written by a current resident of Stepping Stone and is designed to give an idea of what to expect. Obviously, every day is different, and every resident’s program may be customized to his/her needs, but this perspective is important.
Here’s what a Monday in the life of a Stepping Stone resident looks like…
We wake up at 6:30 am, with breakfast being served by residents until 7am. Chores are done in the houses and around the property until 8am. At 8:30 am, we have AM Community, where we set our intention for the day, handle house business, and recognize members of the community for positive accomplishments and attitudes.
From 9:30-11 am, we have a process group called “New Choices,” where we learn to make new choices in the same old situations. The group is facilitated by a volunteer with over 30 years of sobriety who has been involved with Stepping Stone since the 1980’s. The focus is on solutions and feedback from peers is encouraged.
At 12 noon, it’s lunch time, again prepared by residents, supervised by the resident Kitchen Managers and the staff Kitchen Director, a trained chef. The Kitchen Managers are residents who head up the kitchen every other day. As a Stepping Stone resident, you may apply for one of a number of service positions in the community, positions which teach responsibility and leadership.
Every Monday morning, residents are asked to turn in ballots for Stepping Stone’s weekly “award show,” “Monday World Famous,” which takes place at 1pm. Residents are recognized for their contributions in the last week with awards like Gold Star, Master Chef, and Calm and Collected.
At 2pm, Stepping Stone Leadership meets to discuss issues facing the community. Leadership consists of the 7 most senior residents and helps facilitate conflict resolution between residents and brings community issues to staff.
Next is “My Story” at 2:45, where residents have a chance to tell their life story. For many residents, this is the first time they have shared certain facts about themselves with others in recovery. This group is a safe space and residents typically find sharing their story to be a liberating and affirming experience.
Dinner is served by the kitchen staff at 4:30. During free time, residents meet with their Alcohol/Drug Counselor, who helps them navigate the challenges facing people building a new life in recovery. Residents also meet weekly with their therapist, exploring some of the deeper issues that may have contributed to their drug and alcohol use.
At 6:30 pm, residents meet and choose kitchen and community chores for the next week. Cooking and cleaning are done almost 100% by Stepping Stone residents. Stepping Stone uses a “social model” for recovery, meaning that many recovery lessons, skills, and thanking and imparted to residents through the experience of living and working with 30 others in a community. For example, through kitchen and community chores, residents learn time management, service, accountability, and team work – things which fell by the wayside for many of us in our addiction.
After scheduling, it’s movie night. Alumni old and new come back to the Stone on Monday to watch movies with residents and share some fun in recovery. When weather permits, movies are projected onto a screen set up in the courtyard for an outdoor movie night. This is just one of many ways Stepping Stone alumni stay connected. Residents receive rides to appointments from alumni, go to meetings with them, and enjoy other fun activities. For alumni, it’s a way to give back to the place that helped them get their lives back together.
At 9:30, it’s snack time, followed by curfew at 10:30 and lights out at 11:30. By the end of the day, you’ll be ready for bed!