First Step's Family Program: 'Our Region is Fortunate to Have this Resource' | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

First Step's Family Program: 'Our Region is Fortunate to Have this Resource'

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
"Not to care for him, but care about him. Not to fix him, but be supportive. Not to deny his alcoholism but to accept the disease." That's what Nancy says she learned through First Step's Family Program

For years Nancy lived in fear. In silence. Worry-filled days and sleepless nights were her reality.

Her son, Trevor*, was an alcoholic.

He’d turned to alcohol to self-medicate his anxiety, only for things to get worse. Nancy tried to help. She pleaded and bartered with Trevor, but she couldn’t fix it.

Nancy had read that alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they become serious about recovery. Rock bottom happened, and in a desperate Sunday morning phone call, Trevor asked for help.

A friend had told Nancy about First Step Recovery. Trevor made the call, and Nancy drove him. She asked if she should come inside with him. “Yes, please,” Trevor said.

As Trevor was led down the hallway of First Step’s Fargo office, Nancy stood silently.

“It’s all right, Mom,” said Judy, First Step’s receptionist, as she wrapped her arms around Nancy. “He is in the right place.”

Trevor got the help he needed from First Step, and so did Nancy. She took part in the First Step Family Program, offered free of charge to loved ones of those struggling with addiction. There, Nancy encountered people from all walks of life; alcoholism doesn’t discriminate, she realized.

Through the Family Program, Nancy learned Trevor’s alcoholism was not her fault. She also learned that she could not control or cure it. She was given tools to take care of herself.

“I began to realize how important it was to find healing for me,” Nancy says. “Letting go and letting God” is now her daily reminder as she processes Trevor’s disease and heals.

Today, Trevor is sober, and works hard every day to stay sober through outpatient treatment and AA meetings. Nancy attends family counseling and volunteers at this very special place.

On Sept. 14, Nancy, Trevor and their family will take part in the Michael Kaspari Memorial Run for Recovery, a run/walk to raise awareness about addiction recovery and support the work of First Step. Proceeds help fund the Family Program, which Nancy credits with helping her get her life back.

“First Step Recovery cares deeply for families,” Nancy says. “Our family recognizes the gift we have received through First Step. Our region is fortunate to have this resource.”

* Name changed to protect identity