My name is Laura and I checked into your treatment center for alcoholism on September 20, 2004. I’ve been wanting to write you for some time to express my gratitude for providing the place that was so instrumental in my sobriety.
I know you’re really bad with names so, to refresh your memory, I am 44 years old and shortly before I left Oasis, My son Austin checked in. A month later my son Derek checked in. They both suffer from meth addiction and Austin also is an alcoholic. Derek probably is an alcoholic too but I don’t think he’s faced that yet. My sons are still practicing and although it breaks my heart, I’m happy to say I am still sober. In fact, I am 347 days sober today. Not only did my sons get help at The Oasis, my husband Chuck faced his addiction to alcohol and he is now 321 days sober. We are living a wonderful life in sobriety as husband and wife. In fact, we are going to the 44th annual convention for friends of Bill W., which is being held in Hawaii in October! Wow, what a blessing!
I learned so much during my stay at The Oasis and it truly is the foundation of my new life. I’ve never known such happiness and I finally have a relationship with my God who has been waiting patiently for me and who is so happy that I’ve opened the door and let him in. It is through him number one that I am able to stay sober and of course, through then wonderful program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve become involved with this program and attend five (5) meetings a week. I’m very close to my sponsor (Janine) and I’m getting involved with Alanon as I really need help with my codependency problems.
Jim, one of the main reasons I wanted to write you is to thank you for giving us a discount when Derek checked in. Also, you offered to scholarship him in structured living, an offer that he unfortunately turned down. I can’t apologize for him or thank you for him but I can tell you Chuck and I truly appreciate your kindness. It meant a lot to us that you were willing to do that to help our son. If it’s in God’s plan, maybe Derek and/or Austin will be making a stop there again at some point in their lives. I’m just doing my best to turn my will, my life and my children over to the care of God. I’m also doing my best to practice acceptance.
Well, I’m looking forward to getting my 1 year chip at Fireside. This is truly a miracle!! Jim I’m so thankful to you that you got sober so you were able to open The Oasis and help so many people by your hard work. Please thank Kathy for me as well.
It’s been about two weeks since I came down to visit my son at Oasis, and met you, David, Paxton, and the rest of your incredible team of loving people. It was an experience I will never forget. You’ve probably heard such things before, but after I returned home, I slept every day for about 12 hours. Eight, ten years of anguish and worry were taking their leave of me, and it wore me out.
What you are doing for my son is far more then I could ever adequately thank you for. But I do thank you, from my whole heart. If there is ever anything I can do for you, or for Oasis, please call on me.
You’ve given my beautiful son back to me, but more importantly, you’ve given him back to himself. And you do it so lovingly and so gently. And with so much forthright, no-nonsense, let’s call everything by it’s real name, honesty. All these years I’ve suffered so much shame and guilt for my bad behavior towards my son when he was little. You are the first one ever to make me realize that my belief that I wouldn’t survive 5 minutes if he killed himself came from that guilt. Forgive me, I don’t remember now who said, it, you or David – I think it was you – but someone said to my son and me,”Okay, you’re even.” That made me smile, and my son smile, and we smiled about it again the next day at lunch. I thought about it again last night, and I realized that the most important way that “we’re even” is that my son feels guilty that he wasn’t the “perfect” son, and I feel guilty that I wasn’t the “perfect” mom. We forgave each other that day with you, and I think we’re both on the way to forgiving ourselves. This is the work you do – it’s incredible, it’s amazing. And you get to the point so fast! Which makes allot of sense: after years of pain and shame and abuse and addiction, what’s the point of pretending? That’s so powerful.
I’m living with open eyes. I know that anything can happen, my son can have setbacks, I can have my fears and obsessions. But I know that we both have some of the most important tools on the planet for dealing with these things: Communication, trust, hope – and you, your experience, your faith, and your generosity of spirit.
Thank you so very much.