What is The Serenity Club and what do you want people to know about it?
The Serenity Club (TSC) is a nonprofit organization that addresses the problem of addiction in our county. We offer meeting space for 12-step meetings like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Gamblers Anonymous. We also have common areas for fellowship and drug and alcohol free activities & events (pre-covid). We are finally able to resume some of the activities that have been sorely missing during the pandemic. This Thanksgiving Day we will be hosting our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner along with scheduled meetings at noon and at 6 pm. In December we be resuming our once a month Bunco night, our Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day and our annual Children’s Christmas Project for the children of parents/guardians who are active in 12-step addiction recovery. Instead of a physical gathering, it will be a personal doorstep visit from Santa Claus and the Elves and will include a holiday stocking and a special gift for each child.
What is your role with the Serenity Club and, if you are comfortable sharing, how did you come to get involved in the organization?
I am the current interim manager as well as a member of the serenity club, and also a recovering addict. I have been a part of the 12-step groups here along with extra-curricular activities for the past 10 yrs. I came to TSC desperately seeking a new way of life without drugs and alcohol, and I found it here in 12-step meetings and amongst the many people just like me. I owe this wonderful building and its members an unmeasurable amount of gratitude.
What is special about the Serenity Club or others like it?
TSC is special because it not only provides 12-step meetings, but also provides social activities and fellowship. It offers experience in living a life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Even during the 1st wave of covid, we did absolutely everything we could to provide meetings. We know how much they are needed in times like these. We offered information on meetings on zoom, and then eventually phased into outside yard meetings, which were so welcomed after so many days/months of isolation. We are pretty much back in business now and our rooms are full again.
What can be challenging for people and what are some strategies that seem to work for people who are part of Serenity Club?
I think people assume coming here will put some sort of judgmental target on their back, or that they are somehow different than the rest of us here or just feel embarrassed. I can say, from experience I had the same doubts, but I see when others just keep coming back every day or as often as they can, they eventually realize we are all the same here and are all here to help one another. One of the best things about this place, is how welcoming the people in it are. And I don’t exaggerate when I say they welcome you with open arms. If you weren’t a hugger before, you’ll swiftly become one.
What do you wish people knew about alcohol and substance use disorder?
I wish people knew there was another way of life to live, and that all hope is not lost. I wish all the time that people who are out there still struggling knew that the impending doom, hopelessness, and overwhelming mental and physical addictions they are feeling, can be helped. People here, DO recover. I’ve been a witness to this and I myself, have experienced this.
How can people access this support at the Tillamook Serenity Club?
TSC is open every day of the week for 12 step meetings and fellowship. We encourage all to attend and leave with a schedule and some hope. We also have schedules of meetings offered on Zoom and schedules of 12-step meetings all over our county. You can find more information about TSC on our Facebook page and our website www.tillamookserenityclub.org.
What other community resources exist?
The Tillamook counseling center offers a peer support program, and their peer mentors have been bringing clients to TSC for meetings in the afternoon to lead them in a positive direction for when they are ready to once again take the reins of life. There is also information at www.ourtillamook.org.
For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.