As an alcoholic, a former Welcome House resident and a former “lay counselor” in the Welcome House recovery program, I understand the need for Welcome House all too well. At about 40 years of age, I found my way to Welcome House with a backpack and ten dollars to my name. I had finally hit the (my) elusive “bottom” that I’d heard other people describe. A lifetime of drinking and drug use had finally taken everything there was to take. It was either figure out how to get sober, get locked up or die. Thankfully for me, there was a place called Welcome House.
Although I had no money, no job, no credit and nothing of value to contribute, I was immediately accepted into the Welcome House program and I began the slow process of starting over. I learned that sobriety and recovery happens one day at a time, and that if I’d do the following five things, I’d have a pretty good chance of recovery: 1) no matter what, don’t drink or use drugs, 2) go to meetings, 3) get a sponsor, 4) get a job, and 5) pay rent. Such a simple program but one that I was utterly incapable of working on my own.
The disease of addiction is not governed by race or ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, education or the lack there of, or intelligence. It is an equal opportunity destroyer and impacts the lives of individuals and families from all walks of life. The challenges for the addict or alcoholic in finding recovery are significant, and range from access and the availability of treatment to poverty, public stigma, perception and ignorance. The only consistency is that without help, sobriety or recovery for the alcoholic or addict is virtually impossible.
The Welcome House program provides a “safe” place, support (with a focus on personal accountability and responsibility) and the direction necessary to build a foundation in recovery. It is because of the Welcome House that I am sober today. It worked for me, it can work for any alcoholic or addict, and it’s “where miracles happen everyday”.