Real Recovery Alumni Spotlight
For this week’s Real Recovery Alumni Spotlight we spoke with Bill M, a New Life House alumni who went through the house in 1988. A lot has changed at New Life since then, but the principles of recovery and character that we teach are still the same! We spent some time discussing his journey of recovery and what life is like today.
New Life House: Was New Life House the first time you tried to get sober?
Bill: Yes , I came to New Life house after a 21 day inpatient treatment program that was somewhat helpful, but certainly not enough to build a foundation for lasting sobriety.
NLH: Was there one event that led to you coming into the house?
Bill: I asked my Dad for help after coming home drunk one night. I meant to tell him good night but instead, I broke down and told him I couldn’t do it anymore. It was very powerful and the first time I saw evidence of God moving in my life!
NLH: When you were in the house, what were your biggest struggles?
Bill: At first I was told not to work since my rent was being taken care of. I had a hard time getting motivated after that and felt lethargic a lot. I think I just needed a kick in the pants which I wound up getting!
NLH: How did you get your first job in the house?
Bill: I was laying in my bunk one morning and a landscaper walked up to me . He had been hired to do a big landscaping job in the backyard and needed a laborer. It was my first job in recovery and by far the easiest job I’ve ever gotten!
NLH: What do you do for work now?
Bill: A good friend of mine from recovery and I moved to the state of Washington in 1993 because we wanted to escape the big city and live in the country. I now live in a place called Whidbey Island which is about 40 miles above Seattle. I work for place called Whidbey Telecom on their maintenance crew. I have worked there 17 years now.
NLH: How did you feel back when you first graduated?
Bill: I remember feeling a mixture of fear and excitement the day I left New Life house. I had a strong foundation and I wound up sharing a rental with some guys I met in recovery.
NLH: What are you pursuing nowadays?
Bill: I am pursuing my faith, it’s everything to me!
NLH: What hobbies or passions do you enjoy?
Bill: I am close with my 16 year old son Josh and most of my free time is spent doing things with him. I am aware that before I know it, he will be gone living his own life and I want our time left to be memorable .
NLH: Now that you’re a number of years out of the house, looking back on your experience what did you get out of the program?
Bill: I learned that it is possible to live a rich life without relying on chemicals. I learned to work and have fun with a better quality of people who actually care about me, not just what I have .
NLH: Are you still involved in recovery?
Bill: I am involved in a recovery based bible study at my church and I still have a heart for the still suffering addict. I have had many opportunities to help guys find their way out of the bondage of addiction!
NLH: Are you involved at the house at all still?
Bill: I call the house every few years to let them know that I am still alive and clean.
NLH: So how much time sober do you have?
Bill: Last month I celebrated 27 years clean and sober.
NLH: Do you have any advice for the guys in the house, their parents, and people in AA?
Bill: Let go of your stubborn pride, walk humbly and remain teachable .
NLH: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Bill: I was blessed to have gone through New Life house when Perry Pettacia was running it and leading groups. He had a street toughness about him but he was passionate about helping guys make it. I miss him and I hope someone I went through the house with reads this and reaches out to me, that would be wonderful. Thanks and God bless!
Thanks for talking with us Bill!