"TWO YEARS AGO MY LIFE WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHERE I AM AT NOW."
My name is Matthew, and I am in lifelong recovery.
A little over two years ago my life was completely different from where I am at now. I always turned to drugs and alcohol to fix the feelings I had my whole life, and a way to shut my mind off. I wasn’t able to be a son, a boyfriend, or an employee. I came into treatment in the summer of 2016 and knew something had to change. I lost my job in the laborer’s union, and I had a child on the way. That’s when I heard about GateHouse, and it seemed like the thing I needed to make a real change in my life, to be able to be there for myself and everyone in my life.
When I got to GateHouse, I decided to listen and take suggestions, and my life changed. I got a sponsor, developed a fellowship, and threw myself into the work. I found people in the program that helped me find work so I could start saving for my daughter who was on the way. I started helping the other guys in the house and bought into the fact that I had to give it away to keep it. I went through my ups and my downs in the house, and the guys I lived with were always there for me, just like I was there for them.
After my daughter was born, I got my own place with my cousin who is also in recovery and started practicing those things that I learned at GateHouse on the outside, and by result my life is amazing today. I am able to be a father to my daughter, a son to my parents, and a leader in my job back in the union. I am able to help others who are going through the same struggles that I did, and that is one of the greatest gifts I have been given.
Thank you for reading
"GATEHOUSE GAVE ME THE SKILLS TO BE ABLE TO FEEL LOVE AGAIN, DEAL WITH MY EMOTIONS, FIGURE OUT WHO I AM, AND HELP OTHERS."
My name is Kyle, and this is my story.
For the longest time, I spent most of my life feeling alone and not a part of, like I belonged, or that anyone cared about me. I turned to drugs and alcohol to feel better about myself, and that lead to a life full of pain and emptiness. I decided my way of life was too much and I wanted to try to get sober. I decided to move to GateHouse after a month in rehab and knew that it wasn’t enough if I wanted to stay sober. Before I came to the house, I heard someone speak at a meeting, presenting his Dad with his ten-year medallion, and something just made me listen to him because he had this passion about staying sober and working a real, honest program. I saw him when I moved in the first day and knew that I was in the right place. The guys were welcoming and happy without drugs at the house which I didn’t know was possible. The comradery was incredible, and they made me feel a part of and that I finally belonged. While at the sober house I connected with the guys a lot and built friendships which I didn’t think was possible with guys who genuinely wanted to help me.
I moved out after a couple of months, and I wasn’t ready, and I ended up relapsing which lasted for about two years. I only found more pain and suffering, and guilt and shame of relapsing kept me away from Nashua and the idea that I could get sober again. When the pain was high enough, I made the call to come back to GateHouse. I was 24 with no home and no insurance, and those same guys who supported and encouraged me the first time I was at GateHouse got me into detox and scholarshiped me back into GateHouse. When I came back to the house, those same guys welcomed me with open arms. They gave me a bed, opportunities, allowed me to work, and kept me until I was ready to leave. I built even more friendships at the house this time around and started giving back to the community that gave me everything. In sobriety, I went to a recovery concert, which I never thought I would do, and had the most fun I ever had in my life.
GateHouse gave me the skills to be able to feel love again, deal with my emotions, figure out who I am, and help others. They taught me how to be a responsible adult and truly be a man of my word. Today after graduating GateHouse, I am coming up on a year sober, a two-bedroom house, and a real job making good money. My boss can rely on me today, knowing that I am an honest worker, and I am a full member of my family. I have all the blessings in my life, the friendships, and the people I can call all because of the things that GateHouse taught me. December 9 is my year anniversary, and I know I will have all those who helped me around me. I owe everything I have today because of the things that I learned in GateHouse and the structure that allowed me to grow into the man that I am today.
Thank you for reading, ”
"I NEEDED STRUCTURE, SOMEONE TO HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE AND I HAD MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT HOW TO “LIVE LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS.” I FOUND THIS IN GATEHOUSE SOBER LIVING."
“My name is Adam Lee, and I am in active recovery.
When I think about who I was, who I am today and who I wanted to be growing up I never thought my journey through active addiction and recovery would take me to the places I have gone. I was adopted by two amazing people who today I can call my mother and father without feeling resentment towards them. I had feelings of being abandoned and not “loved” by the people who I wanted to be loved by. I viewed life as a curse and not the gift it has become to be today.
My first drink set off a chain reaction and my addiction progressed, I became a person who I never thought I could or would become. I was a good student a triathlete and had opportunities to go places and do things that I dreamed about when I was a kid. I just wanted to fit in and be noticed and accepted by my peers. There was always a party to go to and I was always looking forward to getting really intoxicated “I loved the way it made me feel”. Somewhere along the line my drinking lead to consequences and run ins with the law. I discovered other substances along the way as well,” I tried them all” I loved the way the drugs made me feel. They soon became my primary focus and concern in life. I couldn’t hold a job, I was unreliable, a liar, a thief and I woke up in a line at a methadone clinic. I hated myself and frankly just wanted to “not exist anymore.” I endured this for many years. I would tell myself I want to stop, and I want to find a meaning or a purpose to my life but the excuses and all the lies I would tell myself kept me from seeing the truth. That I was an addict and I needed help. I could not stop using on my own I had crossed the line or the point of no return.
I am not a religious man but there was a point in my addiction where I was internally broken, mentally, physically and emotionally at my end. I just wanted to stop using. I had had some prior treatment and been to some meetings and met some people who actually seemed happy. So, I prayed and reached out for help. I found “recovery” I knew that a 30-day program was not going to be enough for me. I needed structure, someone to hold me accountable and I had much to learn about how to “live life on life’s terms.” I found this in GateHouse sober living. I had to be responsible and learn how to do the little things in life that build character like making my bed and accepting the answer no when I asked for something I wanted or thought I needed. I got a sponsor, he took me through the 12-steps because I was told that I could and would recover if I followed directions and became open minded and teachable. During this time my mind started to clear I felt healthier and I started to realize all the things I was missing out on in life. I wanted to be a son again, I wanted to go back to school and get an education, become a “productive member of society” yes there were ,mistakes to be made along the way for sure, but all the tools I acquired and the real friends I made in recovery made the journey, the feelings of fear and being alone much easier to cope with.
Today I try to keep my life simple and manageable by continuing to go to meetings, working with my sponsor and helping others. I love to play sports and exercise which is a huge part of my recovery as well. I have been able to go back to school and have found some meaning to my life in my work at GateHouse. Everything I have in my life today is directly related to my sobriety, which is my number one asset. I know without it I have nothing.”
"HAVING HOPE FOR THE FUTURE AND BEING ABLE TO APPRECIATE THIS WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE THAT WE CALL LIFE. AND I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT GATEHOUSE, A PROGRAM, AND THE PEOPLE I'VE MET HERE."
“My Story Of Recovery.
My name is Nate and I am an addict. I didn’t always believe that statement, and if I’m being honest it took me walking down a long, difficult road to finally know the truth of that sentence. I’m not sure who’s going to be reading this but if you’re new to the program, or having doubts about making your way into recovery, let me start off by saying that I now have a life that I could only ever see other people living. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that it was all sunshine and rainbows, you’re never going to hear me say that I’m cured…What I will tell you is how grateful I am to not only still be alive, but living a life beyond my wildest dreams. There is a huge difference between the two. I feel as though in any recovery story, the specifics of all the moments that give strength to our diseases aren’t important. Besides, I’ve found that the thing that ties everyone’s story together is the feelings. As I was growing up, I could never fit in. No matter how hard or what I tried, I always felt like a failure that no one wanted around. I felt like I was different in a bad way. The only thing that seemed to bring me joy was doing things that took me outside of myself, and that was doing things I considered fun. Having fun was the only thing that filled the hole in my heart. It started innocent with childhood games and staying out late, and then transformed into partying and partying hard. The drugs and alcohol brought pleasure into my life I had never experienced before, one where I didn’t care what other people thought, and I could finally enjoy myself around others. I became so obsessed with this feeling that I neglected the things around me and didn’t think to look where I was headed. My purpose for life had become chasing that feeling. The drugs got harder, the actions more severe. I found my rock bottom many times. I can’t tell you why this rock bottom was different from the others, I just know that something changed after this one. I finally decided to give this recovery thing a shot. I went places I didn’t want to go, asked questions that I didn’t want the answers to, and surrounded myself with solid people in the program. I went to the members of A.A. who had years of sobriety and I asked them how they did it. Not only did I ask, but when they offered their suggestions, I listened. If you want what they have, you’ll do what they did. If you ask me what the most important thing to have when it comes to recovery is, its this:The willingness to not only want to get sober, but to stay that way. To recover. I do have moments where the obsession comes by from time to time, but I have no regrets about facing my fears and giving this program an honest try. I went from hiding in my room, getting ripped, waiting to die, to having hope for the future and being able to appreciate this wonderful experience that we call life. And I couldn’t have done it without GateHouse, a program, and the people I’ve met here.
With that, I’ll share the time.”
" I HAVE BUILT A NEW LIFE FROM THE GROUND UP AT GATEHOUSE."
“My name is Joe K and this is my story.
When I left the safe place that I had made my home and the friends I had come to know as family, I must admit I was a bit fearful. I had built this new life from the ground up at GateHouse. How could I ever make it out there in the real world?
The answer was actually very simple. Do what I had been taught over the last year. Ask for help and run things by people in my life that I trusted. I was shown that I never have to do anything alone. I had good people in my corner who pointed me in the right direction and gave me good advice. I thought that getting an apartment was a longshot, but I applied for one and was approved. I was extremely apprehensive about how to get a U-haul and get all my stuff and bring it to that new place. My friends from the program stepped up without hesitation and we got it done in record time. I was missing so much furniture that I wanted so how could I ever afford it. People stepped up and help me figure that out as well. Typical alcoholic that I am, I always expect that things will go so tragically wrong.
Since leaving the house my life just really keeps getting better. I have all of my family back in my life and they invite me to all sorts of functions today. The guys I met while living there are still a big part of my sobriety and my inner circle. I feel the guys you got sober with form a special bond with each other and I think it is important to keep them close. I went on to sponsor a few guys in the community and made excuses to just get over to the houses. A few months ago, I was given an extraordinary option to quit my job in flooring and go work for GateHouse. It was an easy decision for me, but I still had to run it by everyone in my life and make a pros and cons list just to be sure. Today I am so fortunate to be able to give back what I learned while living there and to be part of something that I am passionate about and truly believe in. Life after the house is amazing provided I take all the same suggestions I followed while living there. For me, it will always be a big part of my sobriety and that’s why I chose to work there and stay connected with all of my fellows.”
GateHouse Alumnus & Current Employee
"TODAY, APPROACHING FOUR YEARS SOBER, I LOOK BACK ON GATEHOUSE AS SOME OF THE BEST TIMES I EVER HAD. EVER."
“My name is John G., and this is my story.
My first evening at GateHouse in Nashua, I was killing time on the front porch, waiting to check in and talking with a few of the guys. One of them asked me if I was a dad. I said yeah, three times over. He looked at me expectantly, then looked around. Then I realized he was looking for my son, who he thought was the one checking in. (OK, I’m a bit older.) No, I said. I’m here for me. Better later than never, right?
In my six months at GateHouse, I lived with an English teacher, an insurance agent, a cook, a builder, a landscaper … and more than a few guys still figuring it out. Men of all ages and races and backgrounds. Fundamentally, though, we knew and appreciated the fact that as alcoholics or drug addicts or both, we were much more alike than different.
I’d come to GateHouse after a lifetime of heavy drinking, and then about two years of severe, 24/7 drinking. This was my first attempt at sobriety, after detox and a 28-day program. I had no intention of living in a sober house – “Animal House,” minus the fun. But my family and my sponsor didn’t agree; they knew, better than I, that learning to live a sober life takes time, and practice, and unending support from people who know the pitfalls of early sobriety.
Today, approaching four years sober, I look back on GateHouse as some of the best times I ever had. Ever. Sure, there are rules and chores and mandatory meetings. There’s also an incredible camaraderie that comes with living with a group of men united in their determination to overcome their fears, live meaningful, productive lives, and help others on the journey. I’m grateful every day for the friends I made there.”
"GATEHOUSE TAUGHT ME HOW TO MANAGE MY LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS"
“My name is Cory, and I am a recovered drug addict.
My upbringing was everything anyone could ever ask for as a child. My family was very loving, supportive and very involved. I was my own worst enemy. I had very low self-esteem and was always thinking about myself negatively, and instead of asking for help I resorted to alcohol and drugs. Soon after my dad’s passing, the guilt and shame inside of me were screaming loud. I finally had my breaking point when I didn’t want to live the lifestyle I had created, and I was angry, irritable and suicidal. Desperate for change, I finally reached out and asked for help. Next thing I knew I was on a plane headed towards New Hampshire.
GateHouse taught me how to manage my life on life’s terms. Today, I don’t have to live with the fear, doubt, and all the insecurities that used to control me. I was given the tools to find true internal happiness as a client at GateHouse. By working and living the 12-steps, I was able to get rid of all the negative energy and turn it into something positive. I am so grateful to the GateHouse Sober Community for not only helping me with my substance abuse problem, but for helping me deal with myself. My life today is still a work in progress, but at least the dark days are behind me, and the future is bright as ever as long as I stay in the right here right now.”
"MY FRIENDS AT GATEHOUSE HELD ME UP AND LOVED ME WHEN I COULDN’T LOVE MYSELF"
“My name is Nick, and I am a recovered drug addict.
I played sports and was raised with strong family traditions, morals and values, given all opportunities to be a successful and respectable man. I got high for the first time when I was 15 after my aunt passed away, and from then on, I had found a solution for life, and never looked back. I never even thought I had a problem, I couldn’t see the apple on my own head. When I came to GateHouse, I hit the lowest point of my life. I was homeless, living in the back of my pick-up truck, just gave up custody of my daughter, not eating for days on end, and almost freezing to death at night in the winter time. I lost my job, my family, my self-respect. I was a shell of a human being when I came through the doors of GateHouse. My friends at GateHouse held me up and loved me when I couldn’t love myself.
Today, after 5-and-half years of sobriety, I have my family and my daughter back in my life. I have my job back, where people can rely on me today. I am a man of my word today, and I can confidently say that today I am the man that I have always wanted to be. One of the most significant gifts that was given to me by the 12 steps, was the ability to help another addict or alcoholic, and I’m grateful that by helping them, I get to stay sober for another day. I will forever be grateful.”
"WHEN THE PAIN BECAME GREAT ENOUGH, I REACHED OUT TO GATEHOUSE TREATMENT FOR HELP."
“I started drinking when I was about 14 years old, and from that point on I had to drink to feel normal. As I got older, my drinking got worse and worse until I couldn’t function unless I was drinking. I ended up in the hospital the first time after I had seizures and was in a 5-day coma and I woke up in the hospital not knowing where or who I was. That incident didn’t stop me from being a regular at hospitals, detoxes, and rehabs from then on. I was the type of alcoholic that would stash a bottle in my truck for when I was discharged from the hospital. I tried everything to quit but simply could not. When the pain became great enough, I reached out to GateHouse Treatment for help. It turned out to be the single decision I have ever made in my life, and it truly saved my life.
I attended meetings, got a sponsor, worked steps, and most importantly, I became willing to change myself. It all paid off well. Today I am a National Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park. Every time someone asks me how I became I Ranger in Yellowstone the immediate response I have is “I quit drinking, I got help, and worked a program.”. I have now lived in Wyoming as a Ranger, Montana as a dog musher, Washington at a tree nursery, and California at the San Diego Zoo as a horticulturist. The program allowed me to do all these things and more and I know that if I were to pick up a drink or a drug again, it would all go away. Thankfully, the foundation I built at GateHouse and the AA fellowship will always be with me, wherever I go.”