Alumni Newsletter – May 2016
Greetings, 12 Step Warriors!
As we continue on the spiritual journey evoked by the recovery process, we are brought into a kind of faith that challenges old ways of thought. These challenges lead us to ever increasing experiences with a Higher Power that continually renew us from the inside out. If we are without an earnest commitment to a relationship with this Power, however, we find that we are limited in our ability to become all that we are meant to be. Instead, we stay in jobs we hate, in relationships with people we do not like, confined in towns we wish we could leave. The unwillingness to venture outside of our comfort zone limits our right to unreservedly explore our vast potential.
I love being in contact with our alumni because they do not settle for a limited version of reality. They dream. Big.
With that thought in mind, we are happy to use this newsletter to announce the dates for this year’s respective Alumni Reunions. As with last year, our events will continue to take place in October, with a third Reunion being added for our alumni of Gate Lodge at Origins in Vero Beach. Those of us on the firing line are tremendously excited that we will be able to honor our former client’s commitment to personal recovery, selfless love and global service.
So, mark your calendars for this October’s coming celebrations, and prepare to be rocketed into the fourth dimension!
An active addiction that spans any considerable length of time will make its presence felt, perhaps inconspicuously at first and then obnoxiously later. This is exactly what transpired during the years of my out of control drinking and drug use, leaving a vast swath of confused and hurt people in my wake. I vacillated between bewilderment at how I could be so uncaring towards others who loved me, to deliberately taking actions that I knew would create hurtful waves. My lifestyle and way of being had a negative effect on numerous people, many who were far removed from me. I now am in awareness of this fact and have opened myself to allowing my Creator to influence the tide of my current experience.
When I got sober in 1997, my sobriety began to have dramatic consequences on my immediate family. This first ripple included my family members who waited for the return of the person they knew I could be. I began to demonstrate that I was a new man through repetitious actions of character and honesty. This in turn led to having an influence on my local recovery community as I took on more and more service opportunities. I recognized that allowing my daily actions to be dictated by a Power greater than myself could have lasting and meaningful effect on not only my family, but in the city and state I lived in! This realization led to more action in the southwestern states and then to the entire nation. Working at Origins Behavioral Healthcare exposed me to individuals and their families from all over the United States. I am in contact with incredible people from all regions of our country and this is one of the bright spots of my life. If the sphere of influence I’ve been graced with went no further than this, I would be forever grateful. It appears that that this is not the case and the ripples have now extended across the oceans.
I recently returned from Istanbul, Turkey where I was immersed in helping others find their way to recovery and wellness. There were long, intense days of work that left me emotionally and spiritually drained, but as I would pray and meditate before I would go to bed, I would pause in wonder at how my journey has led me a long way from my home in Texas! I have a miracle-making God that I offer daily authorship and ownership of every thought, word, and deed that emanate from me. I am consistently in awe of how He can engineer the most amazing set of circumstances that previously did not exist or were even deemed possible. I am awake enough to feel and see that God is in the process of creating something special and I am humbled to play a small part in His plan. One of my favorite mantras is, “Think bigger!” because it has been so true throughout my sobriety. Whatever I think is possible is consistently proven shortsighted. I pray this is your experience as well.
I’ve spent many years trying to find a solution to my alcoholism and drug addiction, including 6 times in treatment. Like most chronic relapses, I’ve had some horrid experiences in treatment. I’ve been told things like “just love yourself sober,” “just think the drink,” or “therapy will fix everything.” Through all of those experiences, I was never challenged or told the truth.
I walked into Origins Recovery Center (ORC), the first time, and I had an absolutely wonderful experience. I learned a ton about myself, and the 12 Step program, along with viable therapeutic tools. I had never felt so loved and connected before until I joined the Origins Family. Unfortunately, I did not heed the suggestions of their team, and inevitably, I relapsed. The love they extended to me in helping me get back to ORC a second time was profound. I walked in a second time willing to do whatever they told me. Dope had finally beaten me into a state of reasonableness.
That was November 22, 2013, and today, by the grace of God, the Twelve Steps, and the amazing people of ORC, I still stand here, a free men. Origins Recovery center holds a VERY special place in my heart. They helped me break through the main barriers that were blocking me from a relationship with a loving God of my understanding.
I will forever be grateful to ORC and the amazing people God placed to work there.
The thought of helping another human being is almost a foreign concept by the time most of us make it to treatment. I watch the majority of our clients walk through our doors full of fear with no interest in anything beyond themselves and their comfort. The blessing for us, as treatment professionals, is the opportunity to witness God’s power of transformation.
We often speak of the joy we experience in seeing the light come on in another addict’s eyes. It will make anyone smile, but it falls short of watching a person discover that they can be useful. This experience will bring a tear to your eye. It’s the moment when I know that this man or woman has a shot. “Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon the constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs” (Big Book page 29). I can’t tell you how many times I have walked through our Cantina to find a client, who I questioned if he could ever get sober, helping another client with his step work. My eyes well up with tears, and in that moment, there is absolutely zero doubt in the power of God.
These are the men and women, who have found the solution. They typically stay sober, and go on to be powerful alumni. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey!