I Couldn’t Do It Without these People

by Don Bosley, Recovery Café West Sacramento’s Executive Director

As Recovery Café West Sac hits its first birthday, gratitude is the celebration song!

You grab some friends, see, and you roll up some church pews every Monday morning, drop down some café tables, bust out some puzzles and cards, and maybe uncork a raucous round of bingo.

Then you turn Chef Shirley loose in the kitchen or on the barbecue or in the dessert aisle, and watch her knock your taste buds off with bacon-wrapped asparagus and brisket that melts in your mouth like ice cream. You belly up to the latte bar where Java Joe is slinging espressos like a madman. You shout “Ray!” or “Dre!” or maybe just “Hey!” every time another friend comes through the door.

You do ceramics with Rusty or life skills with Georgia or just conversation with whoever’s sitting next to you, regardless of where they came from. You bring your trauma with you: your substance use struggles, your mental health struggles, your homelessness, grief, or domestic abuse. And maybe in time you dare to lay that trauma out on the table a little in a Recovery Circle of deepening friends.

You look at that logo of the mosaic cup—the diverse, broken pieces fit together to form a vessel of warmth and wholeness for all—and you realize you’ve got a place in this picture.

Yeah. That’s how you Recovery Café, West Sac.

“There’s a lot of days I’m barely hanging on,” one Café Member said this week. “But I’ll tell you what: I couldn’t do it without these people.”

As Recovery Café celebrates one year since its opening in West Sacramento, it stands as a beautifully unpolished monument to the principle of restorative community. For the more than 100 unique individuals who have inhabited the Café, it has been a year of victories and setbacks, celebrations and sorrows, inhibitions lost and resilience found.

The nationwide Recovery Café Network is to credit for the groundbreaking model, the framework, and the nonstop encouragement for West Sac’s Café. City officials, Yolo County officials, a dozen nonprofit partners, and scores of everyday people have lent their wisdom, their resources, and their elbow grease.

To them and to everyone who makes the Recovery Café happen, an earnest thanks and congratulations!  We’ve got a lot more celebrating to come.  

Recovery Café West Sacramento is a program of the West Sacramento Mercy Coalition. The Café recently celebrated its first anniversary. Learn more about Recovery Café West Sac and the Mercy Coalition.

Thank you for sharing this piece with the Network! Author Don Bosley is pictured at the far right of the photo at the top of this post, along with some of the folks behind Recovery Café West Sacramento.