During Recovery Month, observed nationally every September, we remember the lives lost to the disease of addiction and celebrate with those who found the treatment they needed to get well. Here is one of those stories, as told by an alumnus of First Step Recovery of The Village:
It was May 2015, and I was scared. My health was suffering with several short hospital stays for pancreatitis (too much alcohol for too long) and ketoacidosis (high blood sugars for too long). My career was in stress and legal problems had been the reason for several job offers being pulled. In short, I knew I was in trouble and was not sure where to turn. My cousins had sat me down and expressed grave family concern. My doctor had asked me, “Why do you want to hurt yourself?” My girlfriend was urging me to look the problem in the face, and my children were sick and tired of my intemperance. I opened the phone book and picked First Step Recovery to call.
I scheduled an alcohol evaluation and found some comfort in the fact that I had taken this small action. I met with a licensed addiction counselor and told no lies. Again, this small action of honesty for an hour felt good. I was asked to return the next day for an official evaluation and be completely sober this time. During the discussion it was clear I needed help with alcohol withdrawal and the First Step nurse called my doctor so I could proceed more safely and with less suffering. Their watchful eye and help was a godsend! I returned several days later and we discussed the recommendations and options.
I opted to travel out of state for an inpatient residential recovery center. After 37 days of healing and working to understand my disease, I returned to Fargo. I immediately called to get enrolled in First Step's intensive outpatient (IOP) group therapy. I found the www.fmmeetinglist.org website and began my 90 AA meetings in 90 days adventure. I was all in and feeling better than I had in a decade.
My family and friends rallied around me with support. The recovery community in Fargo-Moorhead was amazing, and I continued through the First Step groups, ending my relapse prevention work on January 1, 2016. The First Step Alumni Group was just beginning to form more formally and this opportunity to help myself, help my new friends in recovery, and help First Step seemed like a logical continuation. The alumni work continues today, and we focus on raising funds for the Family Program at First Step, which allows families to heal at no cost!
To this day my recovery continues and I am forever grateful that I learned so much in such a short time. I have an inner peace today that I never knew existed in this world. I will continue to count my blessings, do the next right thing, and pray daily to “be relieved from the bondage of self.” First Step Recovery has taught me that all of the pain is in the resistance, and I won’t look back!
The counselors, nurses, staff, and entire organization of First Step Recovery has helped me improve my life. My boys are healthy and I am helping them daily to live up to their potential. My career and finances are in a place that I never dreamed of a short time ago. I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for their patience, knowledge, and ability to show me a better way of living. Thank you, Village!
If you are seeking a better way of living, take the First Step. Call 701-451-4900 or request an appointment online.