Success Stories: “The Right Step Saved My Life” – Part II

The following story comes directly from a person in recovery and a The Right Step alumnus. For his privacy, we have removed all references to his name. However, we hope that this story will inspire others who are addicted and their loved ones to seek out recovery programs like The Right Step’s to learn how to live life sober. To read the first part of this story, please click here. My previous treatment center experience in 2001 was not a good one. This one [at The Right Step] was refreshing from the moment I stepped onto the property. There was humor, love, and a feeling of serenity like I had never experienced. I spent five days in detox, where the nurses continually assured me that I was going to be okay. I emerged from detoxification and checked into the residential program, which began a 30-day journey full of laughter, tears, structure, balance, insight, solution, reflection and, most importantly, hope. My most memorable experience at The Right Step, and there were many, was about two weeks in, when a counselor asked me to talk to one of the clients that was checking out that day. He had only been there a week and felt he didn’t need it. I remember at that time feeling like a piece of crap…what did I have to offer? She asked that I just talk to him about my story, and I did. Remarkably, he stayed…that day and the rest of my time there. I actually helped someone and, in doing so, I helped myself. Another moment of awakening was in group…the counselor handed out obituaries of clients that had relapsed and were taken by the disease. These obituaries were ones that the loved ones and families [of the victims] had asked to be shared with us. I read each obituary with no emotion, no feeling, and then one hit me like a lightning bolt…I knew her. She was a friend, she was a name and a face that was real. It was someone I cared about. I broke down and cried. Why her and not me? These moments were turning points in my recovery. I dove into my step work, opened my ears to all of my counselors’ suggestions, embraced all that The Right Step was offering. Every waking moment of my time at The Right Step was structured toward building a defense against that first drink and, most importantly, building self-esteem. What amazed me about my time there was that everything was so subtle. There was no jamming of the program; it was a perfect balance of suggestions, one-on-one [sessions] with counselors, group sessions, medical information, field trips, and meetings on- and off-campus. The experience of living on-campus with others fighting a common problem was amazing. Although we were required to go to group and follow a strict, exhausting schedule, the nights were our own. I remember many a night staying up late with my housemates sharing deep, dark secrets, talking of pain and hope. The friends I made during my time there are still friends today. Because of the terrific Alumni Association, the sober social website, the regular onsite meetings, the reaching out on Facebook, and the regular calls from my counselor, I have stayed close. My life is now full and wonderful. I am a father again, I am a son again, I am employable and grateful to be alive. Now I must sign out. I have to get ready for my Monday night meeting at The Right Step. I’m sponsoring a client there. Thank you, The Right Step.

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