10 Sep The Process of Recovery
We sent our son Gabe to New Life for aftercare following nearly 3 months in a wilderness program in Oregon. He was just 17 years old when he entered Reality House, and turned 18 shortly thereafter.
We chose the New Life program for Gabe after considering numerous other program options around the country. We loved the highly structured nature of the program with its clear rules, guidelines, and expectations that we thought were needed in order for him to get through the early stages of recovery. We also liked that it incorporated a 12 step program as a key component of the recovery process, as well as included a 90 day IOP program that provided both a counselor and a therapist. We found the fact that all of the staff have had the life experience of struggling against and overcoming their own addictions inspired hope, and that they would have the ability to relate to our son in very real way.
Gabe has embraced the opportunity for fellowship and friendship that living in the house has afforded, although conceded that while the other house members’ roles are supportive, they are also there to push you and to hold you accountable. His house director Sebastian has been an amazing resource for both Gabe and our family. Gabe related that being successful in the program has required a lot of ongoing very hard work, a willingness to be honest and open, dedication to a 12 step program, and being of service to others.
Our oldest son Peter also entered the New Life program at 23 years of age, 2 months after Gabe was enrolled. While Peter’s struggles were somewhat different from Gabe’s, they were no less devastating. He knew that he had a problem, but wasn’t sure if it was alcoholism. Peter initially agreed to stay in the program for a minimum of 90 days; the length of IOP program. Fast forward to 14 months later, and he is now a graduate of the program. Peter says that coming to New Life House was the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He’s regained his self esteem and self confidence, and has learned how to deal with his emotions in a healthy way.
New Life has given both of them a solid foundation on which to build a healthy lifestyle, the tools with which to develop healthy relationships, and the opportunity to be a part of a larger recovery community which includes other recent graduates and alumni. They have learned and continue to learn how to reclaim control over their lives.
As their parents, we were encouraged to attend Al Anon meetings. I did so initially with the intention of finding out how else I could help my sons with their addiction issues. I soon discovered that it was a recovery program for myself. As a mother of 2 sons whose lives had been devastated by addiction, I too, had suffered greatly from the effects of the disease. It helped me to better understand the nature of their disease, but just as importantly how it had affected my health and well being. I realized with the help of the Al Anon program that the best way for me to help my sons, was by focusing on healing myself. It is through the Al Anon program that I am learning how to have healthier relationships with them, and I am finding my own serenity.
I am profoundly grateful to New Life House for helping my sons to become healthy and happy young men, and to both Peter and Gabe for their huge hearts, courage, and willingness to put forth such hard work and perseverance to achieve this.