When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. Alumni, let's support one another!
Alumni group meetings are a time to share your experience, strength and hope with fellow alumni of Lakeview Health. We encourage our newest alumni to attend these meetings to meet with other alumni who have put time and effort into their recovery. This is a way to inspire, motivate and support one another in maintaining abstinence. Whatever your sobriety date is, come join fellow alumni as we travel this road of recovery! Sharing our journey in recovery, including the ups and down of living, provides each of us with a different perspective and the hope to keep moving forward as recovering addicts and alcoholics.
We meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Lakeview Health North (in the game room) from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.
The Lakeview Health North address is:
1900 Corporate Square Blvd
Please join us on the following dates:
Wednesday, July 25th**
There is no meeting in August because of our first annual Alumni Friends and Family Social on Wednesday, August 29th
Wednesday, September 26th**
**Starbuck's coffee and sweet treats will be provided
"Spotlight" Featured Alumni
George B, 52
What is your name and how old are you?
My name is George B. and I am 52 years old.
What is your sober/clean date?
I have been clean since August 18, 2010.
What are you recovering from?
I am recovering from opiates and sedatives.
What made you decide to come to LVH for inpatient treatment?
Having gotten into trouble with the state board of nursing in Missouri, I knew I had to do something to show the board I was serious about getting better so I wouldn't lose my license. When looking for treatment centers, I looked at a variety of programs but wanted one that would focus on a certain issue that I have dealt with, being gay. I saw Lakeview had the Freedom Rings tract for recovery. I felt that this would address issues that I have struggled with that could be correlated with my history of addiction. After reading up on the Freedom Rings tract and how high it was rated, I decided to come here.
Did you make the decision to come to treatment on your own or did your family, work, court or church help you with the decision?
I actually made the decision myself. Months earlier, family and friends had tried to intervene after I overdosed, but I wasn't ready to listen to anyone. For me, I could be as stubborn as a mule, and I was. But when the biggest part of me, my career, came crashing down, I knew then deep inside me change was imminent.
What did you learn about yourself and your disease while you were at LVH?
Initially, I thought rehab would give me either methadone or Suboxone for my chronic pain because I needed something to replace the opiates or else I wouldn't be able to function off pain medicine, because I had real pain. I didn't think they understood what kind of physical pain I was in. What I really found out was: Yes, I have chronic pain and it is not going to go away, but narcotics and zoning out weren't the ways to deal with it. I found fear of not knowing what my life was going to be like without the opiates was the driving force behind my addiction. Once I started to address it, I found what a strong emotional component there was with my pain. True, I had physical pain, but the emotional pain I experienced from the loss of my ability to do certain physical things because of my back surgery kept me a prisoner of my disease. I learned to become the victim and have people feel sorry for me. I remember, I would always say, 'I can't do that', but there was also a body image change I had to reconcile with as well.
While in treatment you were introduced to the idea of changing people, places and things. What changes have you had to make on your journey of recovery?
I didn't have to change people because, by the end of my using, I had pretty much turned most of them away, but I did have to change relationships and learn how to develop healthy relationships with people in sobriety, including setting boundaries and not caving into being a people pleaser. One of the joys I have had in recovery is becoming a manager for TLC, a sober living house in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have managed 11 residents, both alcoholics and addicts, for well over 15 months, which brings me to changing places. I was told that I couldn't go back to St Louis after rehab, so Jaime, my therapist said I needed a sober living environment, so I ended up here and am now a permanent California resident after being out here [since] the day I was discharged from Lakeview on 9/28/2010.
How do you maintain your sobriety today?
After leaving Lakeview, when I arrived in San Francisco, I enrolled in the Ohlhoff Recovery Center for 3 months of IOP, Intensive Outpatient Program, and 3 months of aftercare. During these six months, I also had weekly therapy with one of the therapists, Bill, who I am still seeing. I also have a sponsor and am actively working the steps. I am currently on the 8th step. I have done a lot of service. Everything from coffeemaker, secretary, treasurer, GSR and am a continuing member of the 11th Step Spiritual Retreat committee which I have served as secretary and registration coordinator. I also have gone into institutions to share my message of recovery.
What would you say to someone to help them make the decision to go to inpatient treatment?
For me, I needed a very structured program to get me back into mainstream, something that held me accountable plus I really needed a safe place for detox. But, inpatient helps give the foundation to jumpstart the recovery process. It gave me the opportunity to see other people in the same situation and realize that we weren't bad people, the addict was. The counseling was important because of the feedback from the therapist who would call you on your BS as well as other clients there. It was a safe place where the goal was to become healthy again.
Please give an example of a situation you have done differently since achieving recovery.
I don't act on my first impulse. One thing I have learned in recovery is the definition of insanity is acting on your first impulse and repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Before, I was very impulsive, never thinking of the consequence that would occur if I would do whatever. Now, I think it through, almost like playing the tape. Rewind, review and then decide what is the most appropriate thing to do.
Overall, how would you say your experience at inpatient treatment helped you to transition into the real world as a sober productive adult, free from alcohol and drugs? Would you recommend inpatient treatment?
My experience, although at first I truly hated it, actually I am so grateful for doing. It saved my life. It opened up doors to things I had hidden for so long and gave me the time and place to be able to finally start to let go of the baggage I wouldn't give up for so long. The detox part was not fun and I won't forget that, but once my mind started to clear then things started to happen and I began to learn things about myself and process them and then assimilate them into better behaviors. I would truly recommend inpatient for all these reasons.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
- Wayne Gretzky
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself"
- George Bernard Shaw
"We don't see things the way they are. We see them the way we are."
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
- Lao Tzu
Living the experience: Anonymous quotes taken from AA Meetings
-It doesn't matter what I think; what matters is what I do.
-I am truly grateful to be able to be grateful today.
-Through continued personal inventory, we become caring and loving people.
-If you want to feel good, stop doing what makes you feel bad.
-I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.
My decision to come to work at Lakeview Health Systems was based on the Program Administrator, Lynn Powell's, honesty, which impressed me. I welcomed the opportunity to help patients and to gain insight about chemical dependency and associated disorders.
The challenges are prioritizing the needs of patients, families, outside providers and the team. Each day is a learning experience to establish the trusting relationship that patients need in this difficult and frightening time in their lives.
The rewards far outweigh the challenges because I assist patients and loved ones in their recovery process and see the patients' motivation for change. The ultimate reward is the "thank you" and hug I get when they say goodbye after completing treatment. Each day, I look forward to working with other caring professionals and I love what I do.
Help Yourself by Helping Others
If a family member or friend is in need of help, call an Admissions Coordinator for advice. They can get you a copy of our Intervention Guide, a "how to kit" for guiding a loved one into treatment. Call 1-800-884-1727.
Life After Alcohol & Substance Abuse
by Patti Tompkins
Drinking and drugging has taken us places we never imagined; places we never want to return. The days of alcohol and substance abuse are behind us but not a minute goes by when we are not reminded of what once was. The road to recovery can be long and bumpy but we must proceed forward.
It's time for the next chapter of life to begin. Now that you are willing to live a healthy lifestyle, your new life will involve meetings every day, working with a sponsor, finding a home group and helping others. It's time to get a job and start handling the demands of everyday life such as paying bills and spending time with family and loved ones.
Using the tools learned in treatment along with the 12-Step Program, you have now built a foundation to begin your journey. It won't be easy and there could be setbacks. However, no matter how tough things get, always remember what picking up and using led to.
In time, as long as you maintain these changes, you will slowly start to see your life take shape and develop into a life to be proud of. Both physical health and mental health will begin to improve and you will begin to enjoy simple, everyday activities with a clear mind and a peaceful heart. No one said this would be easy, but it is possible.
Be a Part of Our Alumni Outreach Program
As we continue to grow, we need our alumni to help spread the word about what we offer-a place for people looking to recover from drugs and alcohol. This is a great opportunity to give back and help another find recovery while strengthening all your own.
Keeping treatment options available benefits ourselves, our families, our friends and the larger community. Finding a way to live a calm, productive, fulfilling life is needed now more than ever. Times may be troubled, but that does not mean we should give up on ourselves or others. Doing service builds self-esteem and may help save a life. Reach out and spread the word!
If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can help spread the word of recovery, please contact Patti Tompkins at 1-800-833-9057 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keys to a Successful Recovery
Here are some things to remember that will help reinforce your sobriety on a daily basis:
Attend 90 meetings in 90 days to create a healthy habit of meeting attendance.
Read the suggested literature of the program.
Listen to learn and learn to listen.
Find a sponsor that you can call daily and begin the process of forming a healthy relationship or friendship.
Complete step work to propel your recovery forward, release the secret guilt you carry and provide a road map for daily living. For many years, people have used the steps to maintain sobriety and continue personal growth.
This program is designed to connect newly discharged patients with recovering alumni. The buddy system will help those just out of treatment stay focused while building their local support group. If you are interested in becoming a buddy volunteer, you must have at least one year clean and sober, attend meetings and work the 12-step program.
If you are interested, please contact Patti Tompkins at 1-800-833-9057 or email her at email@example.com.
Your participation will help you and others stay clean and sober. "You have to give it away to keep it!"
Alumni Support Services Help Line
Help support long-term recovery and refer others to Lakeview Health Systems for treatment. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Alumni Support Services helpline at 1-800-833-9057. There are resources available.