I came in to Dovesnest in December of 2014; essentially out of options with nowhere to go. After several attempts at recovery followed by a period of relapse which brought me to a terrible emotional bottom, I was referred to Dovesnest and it quickly became my home. Years of alcoholism had made me into a dysfunctional person with a mentality a decade younger than my actual age. I was overwhelmed by the issues that had piled up on me and tasks which were the basic daily function of “normal” people felt to me an insurmountable obstacle. I was at a dead end, and the only option seemed to be a step off the proverbial cliff or to let others lead me down a better path.
I was quickly introduced to a slew of caring people. My housemates were understanding, helpful and accommodating, and though I was withdrawn from the world they helped to bring me out of my shell and were willing to show me how things worked. The owner of the houses afforded me the opportunity to keep my job and gave me a structured and serene environment where I could begin to focus on myself and my recovery. I had to re-learn the basic functions of daily life, and had the helping hands to succeed. I found a wonderful structure here which allowed me to feel secure and taught me new ways to function in life and recovery. Though I liked to think of myself as a free-spirit, the rules and schedules gave me a source of stability that was much needed and I began to flourish both in my personal life and my journey of recovery. Though I did not always care for the rules, they were well founded and created an environment that allowed me to focus on many things other than my living situation.
I learned again how to become responsible, how to clean up after myself, how to help others, manage finances and hold myself accountable to the expectations clearly set forth from the moment I walked in the door. Once I had reached the end of my commitment there, I was allowed to stay longer and manage one of the houses, again giving me increased accountability and responsibility in the environment I had grown fond of. Growing as a person, I also grew in my recovery and found myself on a path to physical, mental and emotional improvement. I got promoted at work, finished the steps and after staying for over a year I finally found myself established enough to move on to the next chapter of my life.
I now find myself out in the “real world” and still carry the principles and common sense I learned at the Dovesnest. From the principles of recovery, to fiscal responsibility, to cleaning the fan blades/baseboards and behind the sink I have found the tools I was given in my time at the Dovesnest have translated into my personal development and successes on my own. I am now sober, more organized, emotionally mature and carrying the message of hope to those still suffering. I will be getting married, having a baby and continue to grow and develop into the person that my stay at the Dovesnest helped me realize I could be.
While all of this may sound entirely scripted, know that I am not a paid endorser and truly grateful for the people that I encountered in my time at the houses. I am especially thankful for the management and specifically the owner who proved himself time and again to be someone who genuinely cared and was interested in my wellbeing rather than someone who just wanted a rent check from me every week. I would not be where I am today without my time there and everything I learned from all the people involved. I hope that sharing these things will encourage those trepidatious about taking this step in their journey will allow them the courage to move forward and do something that will bring them back to life.