Only Gratitude and Love

Only Gratitude and Love

I learned about New Life House from a therapist in a wilderness program and a consultant. They both recognized New Life House as a place where my son, Matthew, would get support for his recovery and human skills to build an adult life. From the first phone conversation with a staff member of New Life I felt confident that this was the best fit for my son. When Matthew was accepted at NLH he was 17 years old. Matthew had made solid progress in the wilderness program, which made me hopeful for his continuing recovery at NLH.

The whole person approach of NLH embodied exactly what I intuitively knew Matthew needed. Before becoming an alcoholic, he possessed good qualities including a sharp mind, a caring heart, discernment, and insights about life and people. I trusted that the NLH experience would help him reconnect to his most authentic self.

I learned to trust myself and got to relinquish my son to the community of New Life House. Every conversation I had with a staff member reinforced my knowing that his dad and I had chosen the best place for Matthew. I had regular, informative, and meaningful conversations with Scott, Viren, and others who kept me informed of Matthew’s strides and struggles. I mailed loving and supportive letters to Matthew and he sent me heartfelt Mother’s Day letters. We had many phone conversations and I was blessed to visit him on his 18th birthday and this summer his sister and I were present for both his graduations (from North High School and NLH).

I grew up and he did too. He left Columbus an angry and addicted boy and through NLH transformed into a sober young man with a full time job plus benefits, a high school diploma, a car, responsibilities to the young men in the house, and an honest, good-heart. He possesses deep and real self-awareness. He knows he make mistakes, but can also make amends, reset and keep going strong.

In bravely choosing to send Matthew far away, I grieved this abrupt transition and the dreams I had for his life. Over time I let go of the anger, most of the fears and guilt about the past. I embraced an unwavering, unrelenting, and unconditional love for him and held strong intentions for his sobriety and thriving life. I focused on my spiritual, personal, and professional growth as a single woman entrepreneur and homeowner.

I’m forever grateful to the staff of New Life House, the parents who live close by and created meaningful connections to Matthew, and all the young men in NLH, who choose every single day to be sober, peel back layers, let go and let God, and support Matthew becoming the young man he is today and allowing Matthew to help them. Actually, love and gratitude only point to what I feel for the New Life House community.

With heartfelt gratitude and love,


Laura S.

Matthew’s Loving Mom

Columbus, Ohio

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