"My story is kind of strange because the longest run of using i ever had was probably about a year and a half. Every other time I would just go to treatment, get out and I’d use for two or three months but then I wouldn’t be able to pay bills make it out there any longer. I’d run out of options real quick and then go back to treatment or the psych ward. So the longest stretch I had I was living in Little Rock and I started waiting tables and was living with a girl who took care of most of the rent so that’s what allowed me to go so long. I could wait tables, make 100 a day or so, go get loaded and then just wake up the next day and do the same thing. It all eventually came crashing down and I didn’t have anywhere to go so I moved back home with my parents. And what followed was my last run, which lasted about 3 or 4 months. And that’s when the computer duster came in. The duster thing was crazy because it kept getting me in the psych ward and the same thing happened at least 5 times. I would go steal air duster from like Walmart or Target and would head home to do it but wouldn’t even make it there because i’d stop somewhere, huff some and then wake up on the side of the street or out by the dumpster at Walmart and other different weird places. The cops would come and would generally just feel so bad for me. They would just look at me and be like, ‘What are you doing? You’re a young kid, you’re not homeless yet and here you are laying next to a dumpster’. So they would take me to the psych ward. And I always felt really bad for being in there because I had everything going for me- supportive family, potential and all that but there I was taking a bed that someone with serious mental problems might have needed. And yet at some point I started to realize that I was essentially one of those people. Because I was truly insane. And during that stretch it was 4 or 5 days out and then i'd right back at it again. That’s insanity."
"To go back a little bit, the first time I ever went to treatment, the guy with the eye patch taught us step 1, and yet I was so far from being able to see that I was the real deal. Or even care that I was the real deal. It made sense that when I’d drink I’d lose control and that when I tried to stop drinking I couldn’t stay stopped. But i just couldn’t completely grasp it. After that treatment stay i end up at other places where people were telling me different stuff besides working the steps to have a spiritual experience. Simply choosing not to drink or relying just on the meetings. None of that made sense though because if I was there because I couldn’t quit drinking and using then why would the answer be to just not drink or use? So I had a real bad taste in my mouth about recovery as a whole. Anyway, the last time I was in the psych ward my Dad hooked me up with this guy who put me in touch with Ben Patterson. I called him and he told me he could help and to just get there so some friends I had met in the psych ward took me over to Ben’s house and that’s how I met him and finally started to get plugged in. And everything these guys were talking about was like a breath of fresh air. The things I hated about recovery, they were the opposite of that. They were active, having fun, I could relate to them and they were talking more about the spiritual approach that the eye patch guy had talked about. That’s when I got a real solution presented to me. I ended up drinking one more time but after that realized this has got to be my priority. This has to be everything. And it started happening for me."
"There’s a lot of treatment centers that might offer different clinical and medical services and fancier amenities than we do but I truly do feel like we are the best place for a guy like me to go. A guy who can’t stay sober and who has been to a lot of treatment centers. And I think that’s because we have this incredible team where everybody from our maintenance guy to our kitchen staff to the counselors to the RA’s, we’re all active and engaged in recovery and we are all seeking God on a daily basis. And that carries over. There’s not just this one special thing that we do or a magical formula… we’ve just naturally had a group of people come together who are really doing the deal. And so because we are living this way, it’s authentic when we teach this way to our clients. We’re excited about recovery and I think seeing that helps our clients leave here on fire. That’s why we’ve been successful. And I think people and other communities see our guys get out of here and immediately wanting to help others, picking up chairs after meetings, carrying the message and realizing that we’re onto something here."
"There are two different extremes I’ve seen in treatment centers. One extreme is ‘we’re gonna get in your face and do what we tell you no matter what’. A kind of forced submission that can be pretty intense. And there’s definitely a place for that. Then the other side is that ‘everything’s gonna be okay and we’re gonna pat you on the back and not make you do anything you don’t want to do’. What we’ve done here is to both let the guys know we love them and will do anything possible to help them get sober and stay sober. But then we also tell them the truth. If they’re being selfish and hurting the people around them and being delusional, we’ll tell them that. But either way, everything we do is with intention. So we aren’t just yelling at them because we had a bad morning. We’re telling them the truth because we love them. So that’s when the push can come in and actually help... and then they can begin to hear what we have to say to them."