December 2018
Willingway Welcomes Back Dr. Robert Bryan 
Willingway is happy to announce that Dr. Robert Bryan will be joining us on December 11 as our new Medical Director. Many of our alumni will remember him from his time on our staff from 1990-2010. We welcome him back to Willingway and look forward to working with him. Be on the look-out for an in-depth interview with Dr. Robert in the coming months.
The Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University Blue & White Gala 
The Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary last month at their Blue and White Gala with live music, a silent auction, dinner, and alumni speakers. Willingway was so grateful to be a part of this beautiful event arranged by Program Director Emily Eisenhart and CRC Coordinator Bret Frazier . For over a decade, The Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University has served students who are in long-term recovery and have helped them thrive at GSU. Students have the opportunity to benefit from scholarships, early registration, leadership retreats, community support and other perks that assist their commitments to both school and their recovery.
Pictured above are Director of Communications for the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network Chris Johnson and CRC Coordinator Bret Frazier.
Going to a party?
1.       Make a plan for staying sober at the party.    Decide in advance that there’s no way in the world that you will drink or use drugs at the event. Ask for help from your Higher Power, because you may need it. Know and rehearse exactly what you will say if someone asks, “Would you like a drink?”.

2.      Serve yourself.   If you can, bring your own water bottle or glass full of soda, so you don’t even have to go near the bar. If you don’t bring your own, when you arrive head straight to the liquid refreshments and help yourself to a safe option. Keep your beverage in your hand for the rest of your time at the party (refill as needed). That way you won’t have to keep turning down offers of something to drink. People won’t be asking you and unknowingly tempting you. If you set your drink down while dancing or when you step into the bathroom, get a new one when you return. Don’t take a chance on anyone having accidentally switched drinks or good-naturedly topped yours off, or even worse, slipped a drug into it.

3.      Bring your own beverage.    If a holiday celebration includes the use of alcoholic beverages (such as wine at Passover), make sure in advance that there are substitutes (such as grape juice) for you and anyone else who doesn’t want to drink the harder stuff.

4.      Don’t go it alone – bring a sober friend.  Bring along an AA buddy or a hired sober companion. Or take someone at the party into your confidence (the host, a friend, even a waiter); candor will serve you better than pride, embarrassment, or guilt. Tell them that you can’t drink, and enlist them as bodyguard. It will make the event easier for you, and will keep you from winding up in a relapse. If you can’t take someone with you, arrange to text with someone throughout the evening. Or make a plan to call your sponsor every hour on the hour. Build in some accountability, however you can.

5.      It’s okay to tell people that you are now in recovery.   There is a lot less stigma these days to being in recovery. Nearly everyone knows someone who is in recovery and very open about it. It’s your choice whether or not you want to tell people. One good reason to be open about it: If your friends don’t know you’ve given up alcohol, they may lead you into temptation without intending to. Another reason: When you let it be known that you don’t drink, you offer support and encouragement to others who are thinking about sobriety but are afraid to take the leap. You just might be the catalyst that gets someone else started on recovery.

6.      Don’t romance the drink or drug.   If everyone starts talking about the “good old days,” leave the room. You don’t want to change your focus to thoughts of your drinking or using days. That can lead to preoccupation and obsession, and then to cravings. Keep your focus on your life right now, your life in recovery.

7.      Curb resentment.   You’re almost sure to run into someone who’ll say, “Do you mind if I have a drink?” Your automatic answer will most likely be “No, I don’t mind.” The truth is you probably do resent it. You’re as good as the other guy. If he can drink, why can’t you? If you feel resentment building, make your excuses and find your sober buddy, slip out to a meeting, or call or text your sponsor. Pull out your phone for a quick check-in with an online meeting or recovery forum. Or head home and immerse yourself in an online meeting.

8.    Be ready to leave.   Keep your car keys or taxi fare in your pocket. Should you suddenly feel overwhelmed by temptation, leave immediately. Do not try to test yourself. If there are drugs at the party, it is usually best to leave as soon as you are able.

9.   Take inventory the next day.   The day after you go to an event with alcohol you may well fall into self-pity mode. “Why can’t I have fun like those other people?” Don’t let those feelings and ideas simmer; they can push you right over the edge into a relapse. Plug right back into your recovery program. Call or text your sponsor, double up on meetings, and read recovery literature. Be honest about any feelings that arose from being around drinking.

10.     Plan your own celebrations  . If you are not traveling for the holidays, plan to celebrate with local AA or NA friends. If you haven’t been invited, do the inviting yourself. Follow old family traditions or start some of your own  .

Here are some additional suggestions provided to us by Willingway alumni:

·         Skip the riskiest parties.  One can more easily get away with abstaining from alcohol at an afternoon work get-together or a crowded buffet dinner. Other events are more challenging, and should be avoided, such as a cocktail party or an event at a bar.
·         Don’t go hungry.   A common saying at AA meetings is, 'Never let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired." Make sure to have a snack and a good night’s rest before the party! 
·         Go to a meeting before (or after) the party.   “It just puts me in the right frame of mind, reiterates my purpose and how much I love being sober - I wouldn’t want to lose that for anything in the world,” one alumni shared with us.
·         Always, always have an exit plan!   

Got more tips? We would love to hear them -  email  us your submissions and have a safe and joyous holiday season.
Alumni Updates
Do you have news to share? 

Reply to this email or start a new message to  communications@willingway.com to publish:

  • Birth announcements
  • Marriages
  • New jobs
  • Sobriety/Wedding anniversaries
  • Obituaries
  • Spiritual support requests 

Use "Alumni News" in the subject line for all submissions and let us know where you are currently located. We welcome your photos. 

Deadline for inclusion is the 15th of each month
and as they say, thanks for sharing. 
Happenings Around The Way

January 25th, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

This workshop utilizes the music industry to establish a line of communication with today’s youth. By emphasizing the importance of Media Literacy and Media Advocacy this workshop provides tools to help participants critically analyze various genres of music to detect subtle (or not-so-subtle) influences and suggestions that glorify and promote reckless, negative lifestyles, choices and decisions among today’s youth.

The effects of the music culture on today’s society are explored in depth. This workshop is ideal for creative prevention and intervention strategies to facilitate groups, trainings and/or simple, open dialogue by actively involving youth in the process of deciphering, dissecting and listening to the “Message in the Music”.
We are offering an Early Bird Registration Fee of $55 for those who sign up prior to January 11th. After that day, registration will increase to $60.00. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, so please make sure to  regist er in advance.
Project Recovery and Because You Asked

We know that our alumni will be very excited to learn that Willingway has partnered with The Averitt Center for the Arts to create an immersive week of theater, dialogue, and education called " Project Recovery" The goal of this project is to destigmatize the views of addiction and people in recovery, while spotlighting the community services available to persons involved in the recovery process. At the heart of Project Recovery is Because You Asked, a dramatic adaptation of true-life stories of addiction and recovery. The production will inform audiences of the risks and effects of substance abuse, as well as provide insight into this human tragedy. Because You Asked will premiere in Statesboro, Georgia, September 16-22, 2019
Pictured above, beginning from the left and going clockwise, are Project Recovery Staff and Advisory Board members- Trish Tootle, Jamie Grady, Dr. Bobby Mooney, Connie Lawler, Raymond Scott, Clint Tootle, Rachel Morris, and Rachel Elkins.
Homecoming is May 3 - 5, 2019!

Each year we welcome returning alumni and their families as well as friends of Willingway to Statesboro for a weekend of fellowship and fun while celebrating recovery. Activities include an ice cream social, open house and BBQ on our main campus, pizza and dance party, and recovery speakers. Homecoming 2019 will take place on May 3-5 in Statesboro, GA. Be on the look-out for an announcement regarding this year's theme contest winner!
Willingway Weekly Continuing Care Community Groups

Held weekly in the following cities, our care extends beyond the Statesboro campus
to provide ongoing support for those in recovery. Alumni, their families and friends,
and anyone with a touchpoint to recovery are welcome.

For detailed meeting location information and local contacts, please visit our Continuing Care page  or contact Director of Continuing Care and Outcomes Jason "JD" DuPell at 912.489.7218 or email him at jdupell@willingway.com

Atlanta - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm
Augusta - Saturdays, 10:00 am
Bluffton - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm
Charleston - Mondays, 6:30 pm
Macon - Mondays, 6:30 pm
Marietta - Thursdays, 7:00 pm
Raleigh - Mondays, 7:30 pm   
Statesboro - Mondays, 6:30 pm
 St. Simon's Island - Saturdays, 10:00 am
Jacksonville - Mondays, 6:00 pm
Jacksonville Beach - Tuesdays, 6:00 pm  
Warner Robins - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm  
Waycross - Tuesdays, 6:30 pm

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Chandelier is a digital monthly publication for the Alumni, Family, and Friends of Willingway. For any questions about it or our Alumni program in general, please contact Alumni & Community Relations Coordinator Emily McFarland at emcfarland@willingway.com or 912.489.7277.