• Aaron Axford

A Moving Experience at Health Realization

This week, I had the absolute pleasure of participating in the Health Realization program at the Damiano Center. It happens every Wednesday night at 7:00 and has about 70 participants! What I find so fascinating about this program is that it’s a support group for anybody, whether you’re struggling with something big, small or just have some stress in your life. It’s a cognitive-skills based alternative to twelve-step programs for addiction recovery. Everybody is welcome no matter who they are or their background. I walked in and there were tons of seats and at each one was some candy, a granola bar, and some papers. To be honest, I was a little nervous since I had never been there.


Once the meeting started, we all went around and said our name as well as how we were feeling that day on a scale of 1-10. I was expecting it to be the way they show AA meetings on TV shows and movies, but it wasn’t at all. As people introduced themselves, it was joyful and almost everyone was acting like they were friends. It immediately gave this cool energy throughout the room. After that, people took turns reading from a packet that listed rules and morals to live your life by. No matter how your life is going, the rules spoke a lot of truth about maintaining happiness in your life.



The next parts of the program are my favorites. Richard Howell, who guides the program, speaks about his own experiences and how he looks back on them today. His way of storytelling is not only attention-grabbing and funny, but it’s full of wisdom life lessons that everyone can learn something from. And he also makes it clear that Health Realization is for anybody and that when we’re around those tables, we are all equals regardless of our pasts. Once Richard wraps up, he opens the floor up to anyone to share their own positive stories. I can’t even convey how empowering it was to hear about people overcoming their own struggles and to witness the overwhelming cheers for that person.

This has been one of the best experiences I have had since I started working at the Damiano Center. I’m excited to see who it helps and what it grows into in the future, and I encourage you to check it out!

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206 W 4th St

Duluth, MN 55806

info@damianocenter.org

218-722-8708

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