Get help for your addiction now, before it gets worse or it’s too late!

Here’s blog John wrote on the importance of people getting help for their addictions before it’s too late.

Thanksgiving In Treatment: A Major Holiday Away From Family

Nearly one year ago, John graduated from our Texas campus, The Treehouse. This is his first-hand account of spending Thanksgiving at The Treehouse – away from family for the holiday.


Thanksgiving In Treatment: A Major Holiday Away From Family

This time last year, I was receiving treatment at The Treehouse, Addiction Campuses’ facility in Texas – hundreds of miles from my Tennessee home. Being in treatment on Thanksgiving, away from my wife and three kids, was a terrifying thought. But the thought of continuing to spiral out of control in my disease of addiction was equally terrifying.

I have found through personal experience, the absolute best time to go to treatment is right now – whenever ‘now’ is. I learned this through a very painful loss: Several years ago, when my brother was struggling with his own addiction, he didn’t go to treatment ‘right now’. My brother died from addiction on December 6. He did not make it to Christmas that year.

 

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John (right) and his brother, Matt (left).

   “My brother died from addiction on December 6. He did not make it to Christmas that year.”

You may be thinking you will just get through the holidays and get help when things calm down. If you are considering going or sending a loved one to treatment soon, keep reading. This blog could save someone’s life.

For me, when I’m not actively working a recovery program, just the thought of the holidays causes enough angst to want to start using again. When I’m in active addiction during the holidays, I mentally check out and any hope of actually being present around the people I love the most is smashed. I either justify the stress as an excuse to use or I rationalize the celebration and festivities as an excuse to use. Either way, I add chaos to my life and the lives of everyone around me. It is a miserable place to exist. It is lonely, depressing and potentially fatal.

Thankfully, I was not given the choice to stay home for Thanksgiving last year. If it were up to me, I probably would have rationalized that I was not that bad and made excuses not to get the help I desperately needed. My family knew it was a life or death situation and bravely made the decision to put me on a plane to The Treehouse as soon as they saw I needed help. They didn’t want me to die, end up back in the hospital or in any other way ruin the holiday for everyone else. Of course, I was angry about getting sent away. But what I discovered later was that I was really angry at myself and the detrimental choices I made that lead up that point. I could not blame them for only wanting the best for me.

I made some great progress at The Treehouse. But, as Thanksgiving Day approached I hit a low point in my treatment. All of the great memories of holidays past came flooding back. I had countless memories of home cooked meals at my grandparents’ house, playing and watching football with relatives and looking through old photo albums with my cousins. My addictive mind has a great ability to forget all the horrible things I have done and only remembers the good stuff. Conversely, my family primarily recalls the chaos I created in the past and is less apt to remember the positive memories. While at The Treehouse, I was faced with feelings of guilt, shame and remorse. However, I vividly remember the staff telling me and all the clients that the Thanksgiving spread they had planned for us was going to be a memorable one. I figured it was just something they were saying to keep us all from feeling depressed that we were in treatment for such a big holiday. I was not looking forward to it. But sure enough, the loving staff and cooks came through in a huge way.

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Chef Christian Gonzalez features his Thanksgiving spread.

“Being surrounded by others going through the same struggles as me, I felt a part of God’s great plan for my life.”

It wasn’t just the amount of food that was so impressive; it was the quality and care that went into preparing and presenting the meal. It felt like I was diving into a buffet at a country club. Like my family and I would do back home, we prayed over the meal, went back for seconds and thirds, threw the football around outside and watched football on TV. I was able to call home to talk to my wife, kids and parents. I fought back tears after getting off the phone with them, but at least I knew they were safe and everything was okay at home. In fact, things were going more smoothly than if I was there.

In retrospect, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be with a genuinely caring group of people last Thanksgiving. There have been times at family gatherings where I felt alone and separated when in active addiction. Last year, being surrounded by others going through the same struggles as me, I felt a part of God’s great plan for my life. For being away from my home and family on such a big day of the year, I couldn’t have been in a better place. It was nice to see how much care and precision went into every detail of that day for all of us. The staff at Addiction Campuses definitely exceeded my expectations.

“Recovery is the best gift I’ve ever given and received.”

If you or someone you love is considering putting treatment off until after the holidays, I encourage you to get help while you can. My brother did not get the help he needed several years ago and passed away between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We would give anything to have him with us today. Do not keep putting treatment off. This year, give yourself and your family the gift of sobriety. Recovery is the best gift I’ve ever given and received.

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John and his wife and their three children.

 

We’re featured on a cool new site

Recently the great people at My Trending Stories approached us about contributing some of our unique content – with our honest, quirky and unconventional approach to life – to their growing readership. Our posts have already accumulated far more traffic than any of us expected. Click below to follow us on My Trending Stories.

My Trending Stories Profile

Diamonds in the Rough

A friend of mine posted this saying on her Facebook page today…
“TODAY is a GREAT day to have a GREAT DAY!”

How simple and accurate is this quote?!? It’s not too late in the day to choose happiness and joy.


This morning my family went on a treasure hunt at what I consider to be my “happy” place in Sawyer, Michigan.

  It was just our family as we walked quietly along the wide open beaches. The sun was not shining and mist filled the air but the atmosphere was just as beautiful as it always proves to be…according to me! ☺️


We scanned hundreds of thousands of wet dark rocks in hopes to find a few shimmering ‘diamonds’ in the rough…a.k.a. beach glass. Please understand, beach glass is as precious as diamonds up here in Michigan. We filled our pockets full of loot and filled our hearts with joy in the middle of overcast gloomy weather.


Today turned out to be a great day to have a great day!
HOPE is being able to see the light despite all of the darkness.


#seekjoy #happiness #hope #followthelight #greatlakesgreattimes #treasure #nature

The Effects Of Addiction Within A Marriage And Family

I saw this poem and wanted to share to help people who aren’t familiar with addiction understand it better. It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life threatening disease.We fought the addiction battle silently for years. I had trouble with accepting addiction as a disease at first but the more I was around it I made terms with the disease concept. My thought is that if my husband had another disease everyone from my church, neighborhood, and friend circles would be standing right by my side and helping us during this battle (which they have been fabulous at doing!). So, I decided to treat Addiction like any other disease and be vocal about it. It has been very healing for me and I pray that it is reaching others in similar situations that are fighting a battle silently. Today wasn’t the easiest day for me but I am focusing on my blessings to see me through it. I have a very good life when I put things in perspective. I am choosing to see my cup half full.

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ADDICTION POEM…

“I destroy homes, tear families apart – take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold – the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found.
I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome – try me you’ll see.
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie.
You’ll do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms, will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad.
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised.
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God, and separate from friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything – your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and I’ll take, till you have nothing more to give.
When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned this is no game.
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed.
The voices you’ll hear from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see.
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do.
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen.
Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away.
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you will be my slave.
I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not?
Its all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.”
Signed
DRUGS/ALCOHOL

Mabry Family Featured in Magazine

The amazingly beautiful neighborhood that we are fortunate to live in chose to feature our family for the cover story for this month’s edition of Ladd Park Living. It might be the most personal, intimate family interview the magazine has all year. There’s not an online version of it so here are photos of the actual article that many of you were asking about.

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Sweet home, Alabama…oops!

The car was packed, the kids were strapped in, and all was good to go as we backed out of the garage to start our mini spring break road trip to Chattanooga.  We got on the interstate and John made a business call while I attempted to keep the kids quiet.  Sawyer kept throwing her bottle, Austin’s earphones kept falling out, and Larson was already ready for a snack.  It was only 8:30 a.m.  I spent majority of the first 30 minutes of our road trip facing backward in the front passenger seat trying to meet all the kids’ needs.

 

I put one of Sawyer’s headbands on Austin to help make his earphones stay in his ears.

 

John finished his phone call and I finally faced forward and started to enjoy the quietness in the car.  I dug through my purse, full of all the last minute miscellaneous items that were thrown in on the way out the door, and found my new People magazine with the newest Bachelor couple on the front page.

As I turned to the first page, John pointed out the new rocket ship that was built on the side of the interstate.  I agreed that it must be new because I had never seen it before on our previous trips to Chattanooga.  I continued to glance at my magazine when it occurred to me!  I remember seeing a sign about fifteen minutes earlier that said, “Welcome to Alabama!”  Considering we live in Nashville, Alabama was not part of our route.

We made it all the way to Huntsville, Alabama before we could re-route our way back up to Chattanooga where our hotel waited for our arrival.  It truly is amazing what multitasking and lack of concentration can do to your brain!  The bright side of this story is that our kids can now say they have been to the great State of Alabama even if it was only for a few hours.  Plus, they got an extension to their road trip time- meaning they got to watch more movies!

…and most importantly we made it to Chattanooga just in time for the Baylor  Game.  Sic Em Bears!

Mabry multitasking at its greatest

Don’t have time in the evening to workout AND quiz your kids on their spelling words? Try this, where we do both. It’s all about making learning fun. What creative ways do you use to engage your kids in fun learning?