National Recovery Month is held every September to bring awareness to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and mental health services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as a process of change where individuals improve their overall health, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
Recovery Month celebrates the positive progress brought forth in recovery. This month reinforces the message that treatment is effective, and people do recover. Every individual in recovery has a story of their journey.
One client, Kevin, began his journey with Ascension when we were contacted to facilitate an intervention. Since then, he has worked hard to continue in his recovery and become a source of hope for others. In honor of Recovery Month, Kevin shares his story.
RECOVERY SPOTLIGHT: KEVIN B.
Can you tell us your story about experiencing and recovering from addiction?
“I’ve been trying to get clean since I was 18. In 2017, I was in five different treatment centers. I had an intervention on December 28 through Ascension. It was my family - my mom, my dad, my wife, my brother, my sister-in-law, and the staff of Ascension at their office.
I went into treatment and under their care. They suggested that I stay in treatment longer than the 28 days, so I was in 35 days. They’ve been involved in my life since that intervention, even up to today.
I went to the sober house where they monitored the amount of money I was allowed to have, my work, when I could go home, when I couldn’t go home, just like my daily routine. I had my own business before I got clean this time, and that ended up falling through because of my addiction. I really didn’t know how to budget money, I didn’t know how to take care of myself, and they taught me how to do that again. I was in the sober house for 14 months, and then they gradually transitioned me home, back with my wife and my kids.
I still do therapy once a week with their staff. They’re still involved with my family. They still are intricately involved in my life.”
Who was most supportive throughout your recovery process?
“Minus my family, it would definitely be Dan McCawley, Jon Dower, Joe Mytro, and Doug Leech. I credit everything I have today to them.”
What motivated you to get into recovery?
“Before, life was completely unmanageable, and I was kicked out of my house with my wife when I had to go to Ascension. I was staying in an apartment and just running amuck. I was spending $10,000 a week, and just doing all kinds of crazy things. And to be honest, I didn’t want to be in recovery. When I had the intervention, it wasn’t until about four months after I got clean that I actually decided to go ahead and do something different.
And then that was just because they never gave up on me. They never threw their hands up in the air and walked away, even though I know they’d like to at times. Plus, they just kept persisting that I keep doing this thing. I saw how they were living, and I wanted a piece of that too.”
What recovery treatment(s) did you receive?
“When I started at the sober house, and after they got me into treatment, I met with the recovery coach four times a week. I had the monitoring service, which encompasses pretty much everything they have to offer.
At first, I did not like it. As a testament of what it means to me today like I’d still do it. I’d still use their services, and they’re always just a phone call away which is great for me. Because even with 20-some months now clean, I still need help.”
What was the length of your treatment?
“Since December 28, 2017 to today. But my family started the intervention process probably 20-some days before that.”
What was the most challenging experience you endured throughout your recovery journey?
“Honestly, every aspect of life. Life was totally different today than it was before. I had to learn how to function completely different. Everything I was used to needed to change. So it was just life, really. It’s the truth. This disease runs in my family. I’ve been through family member’s relapse, borderline divorce with my wife drawing up papers, issues with my kids, health issues with my mom, health issues with me, people in recovery passing away and financial issues.”
What was the most rewarding moment you can think of regarding your recovery?
“Getting to go back home and actively being a part of my kid’s life again. That’s extremely rewarding. Going back to work full-time. Having the position I have is rewarding. Just staying clean is rewarding enough. Accumulating days is something I’m really proud of. Just the interchange, like the personality change, and the perspective change that I have on life today.”
What activities and hobbies do you enjoy participating in during your free time?
“I get to do a lot with my kids. I get to go on vacation and stuff with my kids and my wife which is fun. I work a lot, so I don’t do a whole lot. I play golf again, which is nice to be able to do that. I get to go do fun things with people that I’m with all the time like cookouts, conventions, playing softball, just a whole bunch of stuff that the fellowship does.”
Which therapies and/or treatments did you find most helpful for you?
“It was all-encompassing. I really couldn’t pick one. The sober house was a huge asset that they offer because it humbled me to be around people I usually wasn’t around.
And, the recovery coaching. I definitely got more out of it than I have anything else. I would honestly say I meet with my recovery coach twice a week and he’s pretty much my therapist. He knows just about everything about me, but he’s the reason why I’m still clean today. It’s because he forced me to work in the 12-step program. When I didn’t want to do anything, he’s the one who made it happen. He’s a good guy.”
What is your proudest accomplishment?
“Being there for my kids and my wife.”
What is a message of hope you would like to provide others who are going through recovery or thinking of going through recovery?
“You just can’t give up. People didn’t give up on me, so you can’t give up on yourself. It seems daunting at times and extremely hard, but it’s not as hard as the lifestyle you were living when you were getting high. It just isn’t. Life gets better. You can’t give up on life especially since suicide has so much to do with this disease. The thing that I learned is that time heals all wounds. It seems like the more time you’re able to stay away from your substances, the better outlook on life you seem to have.”
RECOVERY SERVICES AT ASCENSION
Ascension Recovery Services is dedicated to all aspects of SUD recovery. Our team is made up of experienced professionals in both the clinical and business side. Ascension is here to help family members and their loved ones suffering from SUD find the best recovery option tailored to their personal needs.
The addiction recovery services we offer at Ascension:
To find out more about the services Ascension offers, or if you or someone you know needs help, call us at 304-241-4585.