By Cole Shiflet
What is important to me in recovery? So many things, but if there was an umbrella over it, it would be Principle Based Living. For me, Principle Based Living (PBL) is a broad stroke that touches on every aspect of my life - the way I treat others, my level of humility, honesty, forgiveness, etc., etc., etc.
I don’t put too much stock in how I handle myself when times are all peaches and rainbows. It's how I conduct myself after I did something that fucked something up. Am I able to practice PBL and own my mistakes and clean that shit up? Can I maintain my faith and disciplines when enduring difficult times? At what level? Am I willing to look at my shit when every fiber in my being wants to blame someone or something? Yeah? Well what does that look like?
Well, it depends on the day and/or circumstance. But it's important for me to be consistent. Can I keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what? Sometimes I run in a state of pure bliss and sometimes I feel like I'm trudging through the deepest realm of hell. Regardless, t's important for me to keep going. When I slip and take two steps back, I don’t fucking quit. I take another step forward. Through all the inconsistencies, stay consistent.
This shit is a design for living that works in rough going.
Recipient of the 2018 Ulysees "Mac" McLester Champion of Recovery Award*, Cole Shiflet has been working in the field of substance abuse for 14 years and has done it all. Cole is no stranger to the devastation of addiction and has his own miraculous story of redemption from years of hard drug use, a criminal record, legal disasters, and a seemingly hopeless condition that was sure to kill him. After numerous treatment facilities and countless relapses, he finally found his stride in sobriety in 2006, the same year he launched his career in the recovery industry. Having worked in a wide variety of positions across the industry since then, Cole went on to found the nationally prominent The Last Resort Recovery Center in 2012, where he served as acting Director. Selling his shares of TLR in 2015, he launched his dream program, Solstice Recovery. His passion and deep love for helping others struggling with addiction is absolutely extraordinary. Regardless of the sacrifice, Cole continues to give back to his community and to others. He has served on numerous boards including: Austin Recovery, The Counsel for Recovery, University High School, Keystone Alternative Peer Group, and Austin Recovery Network. His wife Tara and their 2 children are his rocks and greatest source of love and joy.
*The Ulysses "Mac" McLester Champion of Recovery Award honors a clinician or professional in the substance abuse and/or mental health field who has made a significant contribution to the Austin and Central Texas recovery community.