Client Success Stories That Make Us Proud
HOW A PERSON HAD THE STRENGTH TO START, AND STAY ON, THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Gary V came in to see me for a client interview, and no sooner had he sat down than I suspected he was under the influence of some drug. He tried to discuss the circumstances of his arrest, but his slurred speech made it almost impossible to understand him. I finally told him to leave and only come back if he was sober, and wanted my help in staying that way.
Two weeks later, Gary returned sober, and with his father. Through tears, he expressed his strong desire to become drug free. What he described was typical for people who have lost control of their lives to drugs: Relationships in jeopardy, job at risk, health deteriorating. He was also facing prison for felony crimes. He agreed to attend an AA meeting a day until he enrolled in a probation-approved, state-licensed residential treatment program.
HOW ONE CLIENT’S SUCCESS ENCOURAGED OTHERS ON THEIR OWN JOURNEY TO RECOVERY
A few months ago, I was asked to speak with four women, all heroin addicts newly entered into rehab, and encourage them in their recovery. We met at a restaurant near their treatment facility, along with two counselors from their program, one of my drug abuse experts, and a former client now clean and sober.
Seated at the table, we discussed the steps to recovery and the commitment required to succeed. As I was speaking, my attention was drawn to a man several tables away who looked familiar. He was staring at me, and suddenly got up from his table and walked directly toward me. As he approached he held out his hand. I shook it, and he said, “I love you, Mr. Freeberg. You saved my life.”
THE CRASH THAT SAVED A LIFE
Sam R got himself into big trouble nearly at the expense of an innocent person’s life. While driving a motor vehicle on the freeway with a very high blood alcohol level, he sideswiped another vehicle causing it to go out of control, and off the freeway down an embankment where it hit a tree. The resulting collision injured the other driver, but it was his passenger who suffered the most. Despite wearing a seat belt, the injuries from the impact left her paralyzed.
Arrested and charged with a DUI causing serious bodily injury, he did two things after bailing out of custody: he hired a lawyer, and he began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a daily basis. Unfortunately, when he told his lawyer that he was attending meetings and felt he should be in a treatment program, the lawyer told him to stop. He reasoned that if the prosecutor became aware he was attending AA or in a program, that that it would be looked at as an admission of guilt for which he would do a significant amount of jail time. Nevertheless, Sam continued in the meetings, got a sponsor, and began working the twelve steps of AA. Eventually in disagreement with his lawyer, he came to our office.
A MOMENT OF CLARITY FROM INSIDE
When David B came in for his initial interview, his story was not uncommon. Arrested for his third DUI with a very high blood alcohol level, he was looking for a quick answer that would keep him in bars, but not behind them. In describing his life situation, it became apparent he was on a vicious downward cycle fueled by alcohol. Going through his second divorce, estranged from his father, his plumbing business failing, he was nevertheless not interested in treatment. When I bluntly pointed out that the only relationship in his life not in jeopardy was the one he had with alcohol, he was unmoved.
I described in some detail that entering into an approved treatment program would give him the opportunity to become sober, and reverse the damage he was doing in and to his life. Additionally, his participation in such a program might qualify as jail credits. Thus, I explained, he would “kill two birds with one stone”: get sober, and get out of jail.
His response? “You’re wasting your time, I’m not doing any program, if that’s what you mean!” he sneered back at me. “Just wrap it up as best as you can”.