"When I first came to the Center For Living, I was a complete mess. I remember my first day vividly – it seems like it was just yesterday. There were a lot of words to describe me when I first started, but I think the one that fits the best (my friend, Andrew, told me this during a meeting) is “delusional.” I was a miserable, suffering alcoholic and drug addict, but I had resigned to the fact that this was my life – and it wasn’t going to change. The Center set me straight. After 2 months of pain, denial, and frustration, I finally could admit to myself that I had a problem and I needed help. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it weren’t for the staff and clients here. They broke down the wall I had been so desperately been trying to put up between me and other people. My primary therapist, Jason, saw right through me. I knew, sitting in his office during our individual sessions, that I had been found out. I was a sick person and I couldn’t hide it anymore.
But no matter how much I love the staff here and how much they helped me, it was the other clients that really saved my life. Sitting in circles and talking honestly about how I felt seemed terrifying at first, but the kids here helped me through that. They would not put up with my excuses and refused to live in my fantasy world. So naturally, I hated them all at first. Later on, I came to realize just how helpful that “tough love” had been, and some of these kids I initially shunned are some of my closest friends today. The Center has become my second home. I actually, though I hate to admit it, look forward to coming here. There is something so unique about the community. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I think the reason why it worked for me is the love I found in this building. The overwhelming care and honesty the staff and clients offered encouraged me to give all of myself and surrender. I now am happy to say I lead a full, happy, sober life. I go to AA meetings daily, have a sponsor, and work the 12 steps. The idea that I would ever be committed to a 12 step program seemed preposterous to me 5 months ago, but now it is second nature. If you had met me earlier this year, you wouldn’t recognize me today. I went from being a sad, scared newcomer at the Center to one of the peer mentors. It is a miracle. I don’t remember laughing as much as I do now, and I certainly don’t remember ever enjoying life like I do. I have been given a second chance thanks to the Center and I am forever grateful."
—Female Client, Age 15
"We are so relieved finally being able to communicate with our son, and to share our experience with other parents."
—Parents involved in the Family Program
"At first, I didn't want to go into treatment. But once I started at the Center, I realized how much it was helping me. Now, I even go when I am not scheduled for group just to be in a safe, supportive place."
—Male Client, Age 17
"I really love the AA meetings at the center. The speakers are young and cool and I found my sponsor here."
—Male Client, age 14