OCD & Addiction

“OCD and SUDs isolate people. Both illnesses can drive a person to disconnect from family and friends. This further emphasizes the importance of social support in recovery.” From Jenike, S., Smith, E. S. & Sisson, R. (2014). OCD and Addiction available at http://www.rileyswish.com/education.

I never met Riley Sisson.

His death immediately afforded me the opportunity to get closer to a mutual friend who grappled with feelings of inferiority and insecurity as one who “should” have done something differently while grappling with not having the answer as to why this occurred. All that while simultaneously facing a personal commitment to show up hours later as the public face and voice of long-term recovery. I was privileged to witness this masterful ally present such an impactful blend of despair yet hope that, as I’m sure happens at every talk, she was swamped afterwards by people sharing validations and connections.

Another mutual friend experienced a series of setbacks. Reflecting on the experience while recuperating in an intensive treatment program she said, “Although maybe I should have known better with all of my experience as a therapist and as a peer recovery coach, I’m doing well now and have re-connected with my supporters!” Riley’s hope and wish personified.

I was also graced by an encounter with perhaps Riley’s most ardent shero of which I’d heard many stories. The palatable yet edgy grief was accompanied by familiar unanswerable questions summarily followed with a singular conviction to persevere in Riley’s cause. He had been enlightened by Alfred Adler’s work stressing the importance of, “looking at… the person in the context of the entire environment including other people… The highest expression of a social being is one who functions in cooperation with others, while helping the group function at a higher level.”

I never met Riley Sisson.

George S. Braucht,  LPC

Brauchtworks Consulting; Email: george@brauchtworks.com; Website: www.brauchtworks.com