It isn’t often enough that the opportunity arises where we can sit down with a 10-year Alumni who has not only flourished in his recovery but concurrently pursued a career in the recovery field. Craig Fluter is one such gentleman, and on Friday February 20th he came in to Together We Can where it all began for him to speak about who he was, who he is now, and what he is doing moving forward with his Intervention skills and his company SyncroAddictions. These are his words:
“I was here at TWC in 2005 and it was Christmastime. I remember the exact date, December 4th. I was coming off of alcohol and cocaine and for the past three years things had become progressively terrible. I was at 130 pounds soaking wet and while living in Deep Cove, BC I had managed to lose my marriage, my landscaping business, my massage therapy business, and any kind of life-force that was previously driving me was eradicated completely. I had a five year old son at the time and I just couldn’t leave him the depressing legacy of his father dying an addict.
I spent five months in treatment at TWC and I returned two months after my graduation to ask Robert Waring, the director at the time (and still now), for a job as a monitor at the facility. I had made up my mind through early recovery that I wanted to work in the addictions field and he agreed to my idea. I worked here for a year and then I worked at Harbour Light Detox for six years. I received my Addictions Diploma at VCC and along the way I picked up a number of different healing and holistic certificates related to not only my massage therapy history but my future with working in addictions. I began to specialize in interventions as well. I worked in the Downtown Eastside and learned about many different addictive behaviors. Best time of my life.
I know that TWC has grown, but the heart of the place has remained the same. It’s about men supporting men and the power that has is completely self-sustaining – unlike anything you would typically see outside of the recovery community. It’s common-sense thinking and that’s something we lose with time. TWC offers a realistic way of getting our common sense back or the sense that we never had to begin with – we build an emotional and moral fortitude that we can structure the basis of consistent wellness on. A lot of laughter, a lot of hugging, amazing support.
After Harbour Light, I took up a role at The Orchard and my title was Extended Care Facilitator and Step Guide. I’ve brought these skills into what I do now with my company SyncroAddictions. I do interventions for a variety of different things ranging from eating disorders to addiction to highly emotional family situations. I know how to facilitate group therapy as I’ve been specially trained, and I bring my heavy-hitting counselling skills into the group environment.
SyncroAddictions is an opportunity to do work with men who do not want to go to treatment, and that’s perfectly fine for some individuals. There are many times when someone can’t go to treatment because of their career or their privacy, and although I’m fully for the idea of treatment because I understand the incredible support it offers, I always want to support getting onto the path of recovery at the very least.
I have a home office and I work out of people’s homes. I go to the client, and I’m always between the Mainland and Victoria. I have clients all over the Lower Mainland and even in Alberta. I’m qualified in relationship counselling, eating disorders, core childhood issues, depression/anxiety, and some of these unique holistic therapy techniques I learned are incorporated into my counselling.
If you access my services, our conversation could be about most anything in general. It depends on what you’re calling about – yourself, family member, if it’s in any way to do with a life becoming unmanageable, then I have more than enough experience to come in and support it at any level in any way that I can with interventions and family counselling. I have withdrawal management skills, treatment stills, aftercare skills, and I’ve done five years of interventions with a success rate that is quite high.
Personally, the 12 Steps are the basis of my recovery, but I also use the Wellness Wheel which I believe isn’t truly emotionally and mentally accessible to anyone without doing the 12 Steps beforehand. When I came to TWC, I had actually done everything else other than the 12-Steps and I remember a counsellor here named Ted Connolly that taught us the Big Book from scratch. It changed my life. I still attend meetings each week and I still have a sponsor in Vancouver. I try to live a healthy lifestyle – as healthy as I possibly can anyway! If not, my spirituality suffers. The hard work that I put into becoming a good man and doing the next best thing has a direct correlation with how I do not suffer each day.
The reason I feel I am good at what I do is the fact that I learned the principles of the 12-Steps and I must continue doing these three things:
- Living them.
- Owning my part.
- Staying close to my higher power.
If I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not taking care of my livelihood. It’s a lot of pressure sometimes but it’s where I’m at.”
Craig Fluter is affiliated with Together We Can and his addiction services through SyncroAddictions can be directly accessed through the main facility or by calling him personally at 778-840-9351 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. He is taking the ICADC exam in the next couple months to become internationally certified as an addictions specialist.