Letter to Rehab Donors


The following is a letter I wrote for a newsletter at the sober living house I’m where I am residing…

To whom it may concern:

My life until this point has been an endless procession of traumatic events. From a childhood chronicled by the mishappenings of an addicted, suicidal mother through a fifteen-year abusive relationship to recovery, relapse, and homelessness, I have never lived in a stable, nurturing environment.

I started drinking and smoking at age twelve under the watchful eye of my mother. The theory was that I was going to do it anyway so her best move as a parental figure was to supervise the intake of substances that would one day destroy any hope of a joyful life. I never learned how to cope with stressful events, or established a structured lifestyle. We weren’t allowed to discuss the deeper matters in life so my outlook on relationships lacked the substance necessary to choose my companions wisely.

I found myself living with an abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend at age sixteen. Our relationship lasted through fifteen years of pure torment. We started out as a house full of dysfunctional teenagers. As time went on I realized that the more I grew and matured, I was increasingly abused for rejecting the immature lifestyle I had unwittingly accepted as my fate. By the end of the relationship, I was stripped of my identity, self-worth, and any glimmering clue of how to survive in the world beyond my living hell.

Fast forward through ten months of sobriety, relapse, homelessness, and a year-long stay with a heroin-addicted roommate, my father finally convinced me that I needed long-term care to help find a new strategy for living. My first stop was the hospital where I stayed for two weeks. For the first time in my life, the noisy mire of the Matrix was quieted to a level where I could perceive coherent thought.

Next stop was the sobering center. At this point, I had nothing but the clothes on my back, an outfit I received from donations, and some art projects I created at the hospital. My roommates were kind enough to give me clothes, underwear, and socks. And to my utter relief, somebody donated a brand new pair of sneakers just my size. I was overjoyed to receive this donation because due to sketchy circumstances I entered the hospital with snow boots during the end of Spring.

The sobering center referred me to a thirty-day rehab. I spent the first two weeks of rehab in a mental fog. At the end of the second week, I adjusted to my medication and became more focused and energetic. After months of not being able to hold a steady thought, I was finally able to channel my energy into my most cherished activity, writing. I wrote over twenty poems and journal entries, and read the entire New Testament and Psalms.

I stayed for two weeks at a respite house. While I enjoyed a greater sense of freedom, I was nervous about the next step in my recovery. I expected to receive help with examining the programs to decide which one was right for me. Rather I was told that I have two weeks to find somewhere to go, and I was on my own after that. Luckily, my friend was referred to a sober living house that advertised everything I desired for my recovery.

As soon as I entered the sober living house’s office I felt at home.  The staff was friendly and the office had a very zen feel to it. I was immediately offered water and a snack. During the intake, I was referred to other services that have proven to be helpful in establishing a new life. I was given a cute bag full of toiletries and a teddy bear. The house where I am residing is immaculately kept, and the women are surprisingly easy to live with.

I’ve been at the sober living house for a week and I am excited about everything the program has to offer. We have lunch and learns, yoga, socials, 12 step meetings, and a staff that truly cares. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the support I received along the way, and I hope to one day pay it forward to the next addict in need.

Eternal love,



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