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What is it about the addiction recovery community that allows grace to flourish there? How does miraculous healing happen in church basements?

The recovery community, for me, is a family. A large, funky, and dysfunctional one, to be sure, but a family that holds up a loving mirror that says: you are welcome here. 

In most recovery spaces I’ve found a level of honesty and truth that is hard to find anywhere else. There are no masks that say “everything is fine.”  The social hierarchy is non-existent. It doesn’t matter if you live in a Southern mansion and your daddy’s a millionaire or you’ve come into the rooms from the biting cold of the cardboard-lined streets. 

Philip Yancey, best-selling author of Where the Light Fell: A Memoir says: “From the downstairs church I learned radical honesty and radical dependence. We can’t make it on our own.” I’ve learned this,—am learning this—too. 

The Beauty Of Recovery Places

Something gritty and beautiful happens in recovery places. Perhaps you’ve experienced it, too. Perhaps you, like countless of us, are searching for a better way. A new way. A life of healing and purpose and meaning. 

When a group of people sit in a circle (either in-person or virtually) and share the deepest parts of themselves without reservation, hearts are changed. Those of us who have been broken down by the struggle of addiction are able to come from a place of surrender. This is one of the miraculous and upside-down gifts of grace. 

My own experience of finding and maintaining sobriety (it is a process), has led me to discover some amazing truths about recovery. One of them being: the journey propels me outside of myself and my comfort zone to share this recovery life with others. 

My Gift To You

In this spirit, In the Rooms family, I’d love to share the first chapter of my new book: Downstairs Church: Finding Faith in the Grit of Addiction Recovery with you! In the book, I explore addiction, mental health, and trauma recovery and then highlight the freedom, faith, and hope that can be found in the “downstairs church” or recovery community. The radical vulnerability required of addiction and mental health recovery is something that we can all benefit from.

Find out what happens when we share our stories of struggle with authenticity! DOWNLOAD your free first chapter today! 



Caroline Beidler, MSW is an author, recovery advocate and founder of the storytelling platform Bright Story Shine. Her new book Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery is available anywhere you buy books. With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she is a team writer for the Grit and Grace Project and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms. Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. Connect with her @carolinebeidler_official and

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