Testimonies

These are just a few of the wonderful things  folks are saying about the Southeastern Institute.

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Submitted by: Rev. Theresa Dove-Waters, Elder in the United Methodist North Georgia Conference

Let me begin by thanking the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency
for inviting me, as a pastor, to write a short commentary dealing with my perspective on the church‘s
response to substance abuse use and addiction. I also applaud the Southern Institute’s Board for
the remarkable work that is being done to educate and train the community about the effects that
substance abuse has on our society, including, but not limited to, church families, individuals, youth and
the educational system. In the summer of 2010, I participated in the first Summer Institute on Addiction
sponsored by the Institute, and now as I work with families and individuals in my church who are in need
of spiritual care giving while dealing with substance abuse, I continue to refer to the resources I gained,
as well as participants, and presenters that I met during that experience. I am convinced that the best
thing that clergy and other spiritual caregivers can do to help families is to become educated on the
topic.

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On 05/25/11, Shaysha Kingsbury<thekingsburys@bellsouth.net> wrote:

Thank you, Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency, for providing quarterly lunch & learn opportunities such as your recent presentation on “Enabling, Rescuing and Controlling”.  From speaker Bill Anderson, LCSW, Director of Admissions, MARR, Inc., www.marrinc.org, I learned how to recognize behaviors of manipulation, division and isolation used by family members as a result of a loved one’s addiction.  More importantly, I learned how my actions and behaviors affect my addicted loved one, other family members and myself.  Since learning how to better develop new, healthier and more effective behaviors for myself, my boundaries have since become my focus.  I personally am wiser now to apply this new understanding to the situations I face daily; so that I can continue the progress of being kind to myself in healthy ways and so that my life can be more like a “fountain of life”.

Shaysha Kingsbury

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Reflections on the 2010 Summer Institute on Addiction

(A letter received from a participant.)

Words cannot express my gratitude for the many ways I have been blessed by this experience! Sitting at my desk with piles of work to do, overwhelmed by the daunting mission of the battle against addiction…frankly, a week away seemed frivolous! But your encouragement and invitational spirit came through your emails and beckoned me to come (and bring two others with me!).
The accommodations were beyond what I imagined! The Lodge was perfect for our purpose, the rooms very comfortable for a home away from home, and the setting serene – just what I needed! The environment allowed me to leave everything behind and focus my attention on learning and seeking God’s leading.

I quickly became aware that we were privileged to be sitting under the teaching of experienced professionals. The combination of education, personal testimony and the small group setting were perfect! I learned more beneficial information in eight days than I had gathered in the last eight years of working in the field!  When I returned home, I thought I would explode with ideas!

Finally, I am quite sure that God hand-picked the people who came together for the Summer Institute. We could not have been a more diverse group! The variety of experiences, backgrounds, applications, and personalities enriched my experience and stretched me. The intimacy of the size of our group as well as the structure which promoted our interaction made all the difference in the impact of our week together. Being with others that I collaborate with in NE GA gave us an opportunity to plan and apply the ideas we received. We are already implementing some!

One last thought… the Summer Institute would have been just another class if not for you, Jewell, and Val and Joyce and Ella and the others! Your passions, your strengths, and your gentle spirits created an atmosphere of acceptance and strong leadership. Thank you for your commitment, your sacrifice and your heart! I hope to continue to be a part of the Institute family!

Blessings, Marty

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A Reflection on the 2011 Summer Institute on Addiction

 

Introduction:

 

As a lay person, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the thought of attending a conference on addiction sponsored by the Southeast Institute on Chemical Addiction (the Institute), at least one of this depth and breadth. This primarily because I guessed that most of the attendees would be professionals in the field with subject matter expertise and direct experience whether they were from faith-based organizations or not.

So, I justified my presence by using the pretense of ‘just monitoring’ the event. Although I did have areason for being there since I was assisting in the coordination of the program, I was not prepared for the impact of the experience.

Experience:

As I discovered, each attendee could bear personal witness as to the powerful effects of addiction and how it had impacted their lives. Because the Institute is a faith-based organization, most in attendance were leaders of the church: pastors, chaplains, lay leaders, laity at large. Others were professionals who were very experienced in substance abuse identification, confrontation, treatment, and recovery processes.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing,

we would literally astound ourselves“ – Thomas Edison

I was fascinated with the stories. Some were about personal situations and others about the powerful ways people with addiction can be helped. Some had happy endings but sadly, many did not. This part of the meeting was very moving.

Conclusion:

I cannot imagine engaging in the battle with addiction without dedicated people in organizations such as the Institute.  I applaud their commitment, their strength, and their heart. This is one example of ‘having it all in the game’.

I exited the conference changed, challenged, and with a huge amount of new knowledge.  This will be life changing for me, and I think it will send me in unexpected new directions.

We will  come to know, in future reflections on this web site, how the Institute’s activities impact others who get involved.

Mike Macomber, 08/11