“Sometimes people think recovery is a death sentence,” said Lincoln Coleman. “But we want to show people how to have a good time in recovery.” Wow, that would have sounded like music to my ears in my first 90 days of recovery! We all have this notion of recovery being a death sentence in the beginning, and the idea of a complete lifestyle change is daunting at first. For many years, most of us had only known the people, places, and things that we associated with using. Creating a strong sober network, especially in early recovery, can be vital to one’s success.
I Am Somebody became the brainchild of Lincoln Coleman, who was a member of the Dallas Cowboy’s Superbowl team in 90s, and the project was born from the need he saw for sober networks. Lincoln said, “It only took me a couple months out of treatment while walking Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Florida, to realize boredom is by far the quickest path to relapse. The struggles the new person in recovery faces already seem daunting the first 30, 60, 90 days out of treatment…let alone having few, if any, sober activities outside of AA/NA to participate in and meet other sober people.”
Lincoln sat, sipping coffee with a few friends in recovery, when they began brainstorming various activities that would ignite the surrounding recovery community to gather together for some fun, sober, events. The first creation, Recovery Weekends, was born to support Creating Sober Connections in Recovery. Lincoln said, “The sport on the weekends is relapse.” Recovery Weekends aims to give those in recovery fun, weekend activities, to foster sober connections and networking within the recovery community.
Lincoln C. Coleman Jr. was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He is the oldest of three siblings, and Lincoln overcame severe childhood trauma to become one of the top football players in the state of Texas, as well as the entire US. He went to Baylor University, graduating with a BA in Economics. He went on to join the Dallas Cowboys, where he became a Superbowl Champion in the 90s. He also became an Arena Bowl Champion with the Grand Rapids Rampage in 2001.
Lincoln managed to achieve all of these things while being heavily addicted to alcohol and drugs. Lincoln said, “My addiction had me believe I could be the life of the party and an over-achiever at the same time.” Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Lincoln spent many of his adult years fighting his demons and battling drug and alcohol abuse, eventually culminating in a failed suicide attempt. Today Lincoln says, “I thank my Higher Power every day for that failed attempt at taking my own life.” He was finally put on a path to recovery, and today he desires to share his message of hope with others.
Lincoln describes himself as someone who knows people wherever he goes, and his gregarious personality and friendly smile are infectious. He realized that his sober network was huge, but he also realized that a lot of people have trouble making these sober connections. Especially in early recovery, it is hard for people to know where to begin making these connections and fostering these relationships. Lincoln hopes that I Am Somebody and their Recovery Weekends can provide that bridge that so many people need.
Today, Lincoln sets an example for others by being a loving father, caring son, and trusted family member. He volunteered with Nation of Angels, where he helped others achieve sobriety through drug and alcohol treatment. He speaks all over the country to both youth and fellow addicts about finding and staying in the solution. I Am Somebody and Recovery Weekends are an extension of that message, and Lincoln hopes to be able to help many more with this new project.
Recovery Weekends not only provides fun, sober activities for those in recovery, but it creates a great opportunity to make sober connections. Fostering a strong sober network is key for so many in recovery. Lincoln hopes to extend those sober connections, by also providing a vast network full of solutions. Lincoln said, “So often I hear people new to recovery are in need of housing, and a safe place to live.” I Am Somebody works with various halfway houses, providing these solutions to those in need. They have scholarships set up to help those in need getting into a halfway house, and many of the halfway houses have agreed to match the scholarships from I Am Somebody, in hopes to give more people in recovery the stable foundation they require for success. They also provide assistance with various life skills, such as resume writing or the job hunt. Lincoln hopes that Recovery Weekends will become a great source of networking and support, especially to those new to recovery.
Lincoln said, “I want to help others find the peace I have today in my sobriety, as well as carrying my message to those still sick and suffering from the disease of addiction.” Lincoln knows all too well what it means to be sick and suffering, and his story today brings hope to those who have not seen a glimmer of hope in years. Recovery Weekends and I Am Somebody can foster those hopes, making them a reality.
Recovery Weekends will take place in Delray Beach, Florida, where the town’s motto is “the little town by the beach.” They will host their first event over Memorial Day Weekend on Sunday, May 27th at Veterans Park on Atlantic between Federal and the Intercostal. This event will kickoff Sober Connections in Recovery and is open to anyone and everyone, from the entire recovery community and all family and friends. BBQ will be provided from 1pm to 4pm, and Karaoke, with prizes, will be hosted from 4pm to 7pm. This is the first event of many, that will be chock full of fun and sober activities.
If you would like to help out with this event, or just need more information, please contact Erin Lett, or I Am Somebody. Both of these contacts are through their Facebook pages. Check out the pages, and like I Am Somebody to get regular updates and help extend your own sober connections.
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