Family Intervention Recovery

Service commitment leads to lasting friendship
Two females smiling
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"I didn't realize this service work would help me as much as it did the newcomer."

Nanette C.

As I sit here on my anniversary, I reflect upon the last 11 years in recovery. January 9, 2006, is my sobriety date. I began my road to recovery through a family intervention. I was not sure I was an alcoholic, nor did I ever try to stop drinking. I was sure the problem was that my life had become unmanageable!

I spent the next 28 days in Center City, Minnesota, learning about addiction, recovery and the choices that were in front of me. I surrendered around day five and started admitting to myself and others that I was an "alcoholic." By the 25th day, I was asking if I could stay longer! The answer was "no—you are ready to go home." I just couldn't imagine how I could return home and not be tempted to drink again. It was suggested I attend a full-time outpatient program at a local hospital, and I started the day after I arrived home.

I never drank again. I went to Twelve Step meetings, got involved in service work and followed all the suggestions I was given at Hazelden and in the meetings. About a year into sobriety, I returned to the outpatient program as a hospital volunteer, telling my story to the group twice a month.

Around the same time, I received a call from Hazelden asking if I would be interested in being an alumni contact person, helping others who were leaving treatment and returning to my area. I was excited to be asked. I didn't realize that this service work would help me as much as it did the newcomer.

I receive calls three or four times a year. Recently, some alumni called as soon as they got home from residential treatment, just wanting to speak on the phone, and a few actually met with me in person. I brought them to meetings, and one has become a sponsee. When she was sober about a year, she received a call from Hazelden and agreed to be a contact person. In turn, she helped another woman out, by meeting her and bringing her to meetings. Now, all of us are Hazelden alumni contacts.

The reason I tell this part of my story is that the three of us, all Hazelden alumnae, share not only the beginning of our journey but a wonderful friendship as well. We attend the same weekly meetings, go to social events together and have traveled to many beautiful places together. We are "the sisterhood of the traveling alcoholics"! We have so much more fun sober and are truly grateful for Hazelden putting us all together.

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