It’s just how it sounds: New Life House gave my son, Nicolas, a new life.
New Life House gave him many tools, support and encouragement to realize his need for sobriety. He was given much needed structure and accountability through consistency. Nicolas was taught life skills to change his destructive lifestyle. He also gained skills like daily household cleaning, organization, team work, cooking and budgeting. When he was ready to work, management and graduates helped him find a job.
The brotherhood, communication and gratitude that is formed among the 25+ house members is impressive and heartwarming. The first 90 days were tough. There was still doubt, denial and anger within Nicolas. While attending my first parent weekend, one of the mothers told me to give it time and just watch. I let go and put my trust in God and New Life to help and guide Nicolas.
When Nicolas reached 90 days in the program, he was thinking he had completed the program. It did not go well when we talked about him staying longer and that coming home wasn’t healthy. I will be forever grateful to those 6 to 7 house members who surrounded Nicolas, convincing him he needed to continue his recovery in the house with New Life. After a few more weeks and months, I was able to see a healthier, engaged Nicolas. Like that mother told me, just wait. I live six hours from New Life and chose to attend one parent weekend each month.
Getting to know the other young men living in the house with my son as well as their parents is so important. You can’t help but marvel over what you see, hear, learn and feel. After each visit, I can’t wait for the next. The parent connective bond we all share through this process is comforting and amazing. We are able to see the difference over time, young men accepting, helping and encouraging each other. It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a scary and awful reason for coming together, but the positive transformation is incredible. Nicolas now has healthy friendships with guys his age as well as their wonderful parents.
Nicolas graduated in 14 months and turned 21 years old while in the house. He then moved out after 18 months with two other graduates.
The first year Nicolas was in New Life, I didn’t tell many people that he was in recovery. I wanted to work through it, educating myself through my visits to New Life and NarAnon at home. New Life and the 12 Steps give me the strength and desire to talk about Nicolas’ recovery to others. When people ask about Nicolas, I now share, day by day that he is doing great. He’s 21 and sober. The response is powerfully accepting because most of them have been touched by addiction and a new connection begins. I hope to help someone who may need New Life’s program, or just someone to talk to.
May God bless The New Life program and the managers for what they do for our sons and families. I am proud of Nicolas for staying with New Life, working hard and learning about himself, his addiction and recovery, taking it day by day. Nicolas is working in a restaurant as well as for New Life itself two nights a week.
New Life, it’s exactly that!