My Gratitude List

Hello to my Family at MARR. Mother’s day this year was a special time in my recovery and I wanted to express my gratitude to ALL the staff there that helped me regain my life in 2004 and that have supported me and my family since.

As I stated, I entered MARR in July of 2004 at a time when I believed all hope was lost. That my addiction had in fact destroyed everything good God had attempted to put in my life. I found myself isolated from my parents and siblings but most devastating was the fact that this disease had totally jeopardized my relationship with my children. I had truly become a puppet and addiction controlled the strings.

Through the programming at MARR but most importantly the genuine love and care of the staff, I was able to reconnect with a glimmer of hope. With MARR’s guidance I entered into a relationship with the 12 steps and a great sponsor which reconnected me with a radiant God of love and compassion. This combination placed me in a position of neutrality and has empowered me to live as a Son to my wonderful parents, a brother to my two supportive sisters, a husband to my amazing wife, a father to my three beautiful children and as a friend to many. For this I will be forever grateful.

What made this Mother’s day special and brought me to the point of writing this is the opportunity I had to be with my entire family and celebrate my mother, my wife and my daughter’s first mother’s day. We also celebrated my beautiful Granddaughter’s 5th month in this world.  So now in 2017 I add to the Gratitude list, Grandfather. I am Pops, Grandfather to the most amazingly beautiful little girl you have ever seen. God is good, all the time!

Thank you for being there when I/we needed you. For opening your lives so I might regain mine. So we might regain ours. Could this have happened without MARR?  I don’t know the answer to that. However, I am forever grateful for the fact it happened with MARR.  Much love family…

God can and will if sought!

Thank you, and God Bless.


How I Found Gratitude

My name is Heather W. and I’m a recovering addict. Before coming to Right Side Up (RSU) my life was being destroyed by my addiction. I only cared about my next high. I had no concern for my amazing boys, Wyatt and Kayden. All they wanted was my love and attention but all I could do was put their life in danger. My Aunt raised me to be a God fearing young woman and that is all she asked of me. Instead I chose to break her heart and steal her piece of mind.

On November 21, 2016 my family and I had had enough.  I lost Kayden to DFACS and I was denied visitation with my 4-year old, Wyatt due to my addiction. So I decided it was time to come to RSU. It was the best decision I ever made. I knew these people were about saving lives as soon as I walked through the door. My counselor encouraged me to dig deeper into my childhood and my past. She helped me address a lot of core issues. The Therapeutic Child Care Coordinator helped me begin to bond with Kayden through brief visits and educated me on setting boundaries with Wyatt and his anger issues.

The counselors helped me to learn to love myself again by empowering me with positive affirmations and spiritual principles. RSU not only provided me with supportive counselors and a beautiful apartment, they also taught me how to be independent not co-dependent. I had not worked in five years and I secured a job when I was six months pregnant with my third child. I have both of my children now and I will return home from the hospital with my baby.

RSU is the best blessing that God could have sent to me. Thank you for raising me all over again to be a strong, sober, courageous, loving mother, daughter and true friend.


Attitude of Gratitude

For better than 25 years of my life, sobriety was not a word in my vocabulary and was so far from my reach that I saw it as an impossibility.  Alcohol had such a firm grasp on my life that I could not ever imagine being without some form of mind or mood altering substance.

I grew up in a very small town in eastern Kentucky.  There were no skateboard parks or movie theaters to occupy your spare time.  There were only cars, drugs and booze.  If alcoholism existed in your family like it was in mine, you were destined to follow in its footsteps. Consequences of my abuse happened infrequently in the beginning, but as the years went by, they drew closer.  Unfortunately, the denial of my addiction was so strong that I was blind to them. My relationships all crumbled and jobs slipped through my fingers.  But I just could not see it.  It was always “their fault”.

I tried outsmarting my disease by attending several colleges, meriting one degree after another.  I thought I could hide my disease behind diplomas.  Maybe if people looked up to me they wouldn’t see my awful hidden secret.  I tried changing my address many times.  But, no matter where I went, there I was.

In January 2010 I gave up and was admitted to MARR.  I kicked and screamed for almost the entire 90 days.  I broke every rule and should have been dismissed, but MARR was able to see something in me that I could not and let me continue.  Maybe MARR knows that great changes are preceded by chaos.  By working with my sponsor, doing my steps and living in a therapeutic community, I was able to grow spiritually and bring God back into my life. I lived at MARR for almost two years, but due to the gratitude I have toward their program which gave me my life back, I will never totally leave and will continue to give back.  I am still recovering one day at a time.


Gratitude is a Gift

Thanks to MARR and my 12-Step recovery network, I now live with an “attitude of gratitude” in sobriety.   Along with hope, gratitude is a gift earned through individual surrender to a life based on spiritual principles.  It is key to sobriety. Once a person surrenders to these principles, these gifts come without too much undue struggle.

My life before coming to MARR was hellish; I lived without hope or gratitude. I knew I was an alcoholic, but I was paralyzed by fear and shame.  On average, I was drinking two bottles of wine per day; sometimes more. That is well over 700 bottles per year!  My relationships with my two daughters and with family members had become almost non-existent.  My days played out in monotonous, terrible sadness: I dragged myself to work, then dragged myself home to sit for hours in front of meaningless TV shows, a slave to alcohol. I had serious legal and financial problems, and my spiritual life was in shambles.  I was alone.  At the end, I was drinking ‘round the clock.

After two attempts at outpatient treatment, several hospitalizations, and an intervention from my daughters, I came to MARR in April of 2013.  I needed the round-the-clock structure and accountability that MARR provides, in order to surrender to a new way of life in 12-Step based on humility, discipline and service.  Living in the therapeutic community was often challenging, but the challenges lead to personal growth.

Spending my entire first year of sobriety at MARR allowed me to build a solid foundation for a new life based on creative possibility.  Life presents challenges in sobriety, but I have new tools to face them and a host of new, sober friends.  I never have to feel alone.  Now in my fifth year of sobriety, I will forever remain grateful to MARR!