At first, Michael thought he was above the men’s residential treatment program and everyone in it. Then his therapist reached out to him on a level that he could trust and understand. His therapist introduced Michael to a part of himself he had long forgotten. “I hadn’t seen that side of me since I started drinking.” Drinking had become Michael’s new norm. It was his escape. Every time he accomplished something, he destroyed it because he was uncomfortable with himself. The MRT program showed him that he didn’t have to destroy anything. The program showed him how to step out of the old cycle and a build anew.
Now every day is a stepping stone for Michael, another notch on the ladder back to wellness and freedom. “As long as you’re willing to work, the program will give back. I had forgotten that people have compassion,” Michael said.
Due to his struggle with addiction, Michael lost his family and his freedom. But he’s getting it all back. Day by day, page by page, he is writing the next chapter of his life. Nestled within those pages is his family but also the person he has now become. “I was never comfortable with myself. Alcohol made me feel numb, which made me feel more comfortable. I’m getting there though. I feel good with me. I like who I am.”
Michael uses honesty as his stepping stone. He stands on it as he moves ahead. He admits that it’s not easy. The stigma, the work, the struggles to replace old habits—they’re all things that Michael is working to overcome. He credits himself and the support he received at ATS to getting through each day. Smiling, he admitted that the days do get easier, eventually. “I want everyone to know that they can do this. With help, they can do this.”