Minnesota Recovery Connection is a Recovery Community Organization – a grassroots nonprofit whose staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors are all people in personal or family recovery or are community allies. We are dedicated to strengthening the recovery community and are proud to share our stories. This month, we’re spotlighting volunteer Frankie!
MRC: How did you learn about Minnesota Recovery Connection?
Frankie: A friend of mine brought me to my first All Recovery meeting at Minnesota Recovery Connection just before Covid hit. I enjoyed the format of the meeting. It was a good alternative for me, as I just didn’t connect with most other meetings I had been to. During Covid, I really started to rely on the All Recovery meetings via zoom to keep me on my recovery path.
MRC: Tell us a little about yourself
Frankie: I am a person in long-term recovery and what that means to me is that I no longer use mind-altering substances to numb my pain or deal with my emotions, and I actively seek help for my mental health difficulties. I am active in the recovery community through volunteering at Minnesota Recovery Connection. I lead the LGBTQ+ All Recovery Meeting on Wednesdays and I helped co-found a new alternative recovery group. One of the most important things I’ve learned on my recovery path is that there is no path to recovery that looks like another. All pathways to recovery are valid, and I’m passionate about exploring that with those in my recovery network.
MRC: How did you get involved with volunteering?
Frankie: At some point in my All Recovery Meeting journey I was pointed in the direction of a Recovery Coach, and she encouraged me to expand my recovery horizons. I had been feeling stagnant in my recovery after finishing outpatient treatment, moving out of sober living, and working full time. So I started volunteering at the front desk at MRC. Then I attended the Recovery Coach Academy and got a scholarship, which requires 50 volunteer hours within a year of attending. So I upped my game and started doing telephone recovery support and WOW does that make a difference in my recovery. I get to share the ups and downs of recovery with participants and really dig into why I am in recovery myself.
MRC: What inspired you to facilitate the All Recovery Meeting on Wednesdays?
Frankie: As a queer person in recovery and not in 12-step programs, I was feeling kind of overlooked. I couldn’t find meetings that were LGBTQ+-centered and also separate from traditional AA and NA type groups. I loved the All Recovery Meeting format, but I wanted a safe space for other queer folks to experience it. So I worked with Minnesota Recovery Connection to get the group going.
MRC: What does the LGBTQ+ All Recovery Meeting mean to you and the impact that the meeting has on the community?
Frankie: It’s a safe space for LGBTQ+ folks to share their journey of recovery and validate each other on each individual path to recovery. It’s also a way to build community and foster friendships. It’s still a growing group, and I know it has impacted several folks individually. They have come to find a place of their own within the recovery community.
MRC: What would you tell someone who may be attending their first All Recovery Meeting?
Frankie: I would tell them to start by observing how others check-in and offer feedback when you feel inspired to. I would also say that All Recovery Meetings are nothing like any other meeting you’ve been to so far, so be prepared to be surprised!