Recovery Coach Spotlight: Brian Nash on Recovery Coaching, Recovery 365, and The Importance of Self-Care..

The Lighthouse Sober Living Recovery 365, has announced the appointment of Brian Nash as Executive Director of Recovery 365. The Lighthouse, a premier sober living home and recovery coaching program in New Canaan, Connecticut provide sober living and recovery coaching for men and women. Nash joins The Lighthouse from OnPoint Recovery Services.  Before working in the field of recovery, Nash served in numerous sales and marketing positions in the financial services field.

I had the opportunity to meet with Brian Nash recently. During our discussion, he expressed his excitement about his role and plans for the Recovery 365 coaching program.

Brian, like many, began a relationship with alcohol at an early age. He recalls going out to his family's cabin where he spent time with his large Irish family and having that first experience with alcohol.  

“I remember pulling into our lot and seeing a line of coolers that span the side of the cabin. I have such fond memories of those family get-togethers.

At the age of 12, I learned that alcohol could make me feel like I fit in with my friends; it could also make me not feel. I drank when I was happy and drink when they were sad. Alcohol showed me that it had a lot of power over my emotions.”  

Brian continued to tell a story which followed a similar pattern as many others in our recovery communities.

Denial. Blame. Guilt.

“In my mid 20’s I tried to get sober and went to groups that I could somewhat identify with, but because they were so much older I thought to myself, I’ll never be that bad.  So I figured when things started getting better in my life I had this under control. I went back to drinking, and it was at that point I went on for the next 20 years drinking with guilt.”

Inspiration to become a Recovery Coach.

“There have been a lot of friends and family that have helped me along the way, and for that, I am very grateful. The day finally came when I could not do it anymore.  I was so tired of living a lie and not being able to get off that Ferris Wheel. It was that day that my ex-wife and two of my good friends jumped into action and got me to detox to start my journey in recovery.  From there I went to treatment at Highwatch Farm, the first 12-Step rehabilitation program. Initially, I was to stay for 21 nights, but I enrolled in the extended care program, for an additional 5 months. During this time I was responsible for helping newcomers get situated and acquainted with life in treatment.  During this time, I began to think that this was a field that would give me great joy in helping others.

Upon leaving the program, It was suggested to me to help with the transition into life in recovery that I go to a sober living home and obtain a sober job while I began to rebuild.  I planned on being there a month like I had when I went to treatment but ended up staying for 2 years. After a short period at the house, I was asked to be the house manager.

Almost a year into my sobriety I had an excellent opportunity to enter back into financial services. I took a position leading up a sales team. Of course, this role required a significant amount of travel. Traveling is my greatest trigger for craving to use alcohol or drugs. I put in extra time with my sponsor, working the steps into my life, and building a sober network.

Then it began, I started traveling and not hitting as many meetings, started pulling away from my sober network and putting work first instead of recovery. IAround my 10th month, in this new position, I realized I was losing the feeling of happiness, joy, and grace I felt when actively connecting to my plan for recovery.  By the grace of God, I did not physically relapse, but I did relapse mentally. At this point, I decided to take heed of the suggestions from my sober network and resign from the position. I had to get back to basics.

I went back to work at Highwatch full-time working in admissions. Eventually, I transitioned into several other positions for various programs throughout the North East and contemplated becoming an LCSW.  

My mentor, John Hamilton, introduced me to the emerging role of addiction recovery coaching while he was on the board of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR). He suggested I’d enroll in the training and become a certified Recovery Coach.  I can’t thank John enough for his suggestion and guidance that day.

One of the greatest gifts that I get from my work is that I get to make connections with individuals who are struggling with addiction and new to recovery. The people I work with crave a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves.  Security and acceptance are found within this connection because a person now has someone to identify and relate with, who has gone through the same life's experiences they currently face. I heard a saying once from a British Journalist Johann Hari, that “the opposite of addiction isn't sobriety,” its connection. And this has become a mantra for my recovery.  

Plans for Recovery 365 Coaching Program and Self-Care

“In my new position, I will oversee all aspects of the Recovery 365 recovery coaching program. I want to support all the coaches in obtaining their designation as well as giving them the tools needed to assist them in their roles.  Weekly meetings will help us stay connected and share best practices so that we can support our clients.

Besides, I want to provide monthly training and continuing education programs for my coaches to ensure they are up to date on industry trends. I feel additional training, such as motivational interviewing skills, workshops about the multiple pathways for recovery, and establishing connections to recovery resources available within the recovery community are essential to their growth and development.

Another essential area is the wellness and self-care of our recovery coaching team. I believe when our coaching staff is operating on optimal levels of health and wellness, we can ensure all clients will receive the highest quality care.

I want to serve as a mentor to our sober coaching team - providing each with the tools needed to serve their clients better. My goal is to help each recovery coach develop their unique skills while maintaining happiness and fulfillment in their recovery.

There is a big demand for recovery coaching services in our area. I will continually evaluate and assess the program and services offered and work to educate the recovery community about the Recovery 365 program and its services so that we can provide recovery coaching to as many men and women as possible.

The Lighthouse Recovery 365 program serves men and women in the tri-state area who are early in their recovery stage and interested in creating and sustaining a fulfilling life in recovery. The Lighthouse Recovery 365 program is unique in its approach in meeting clients where they are in their journey. The program allows people who may have completed a treatment program to continue their work with a recovery coach. The Lighthouse coaches can be deployed to any location in the tri-state vicinity and will help guide people through the multiple pathways of recovery.

John Makohen