We Recover Together
Every September, National Recovery Month is observed. Each year, believable hope is provided to those struggling with the disease of addiction and their loved ones learn that recovery is always possible. At American Addiction Centers, celebrating this month is particularly meaningful because a significant number of our employees are in recovery themselves.
In fact, when converted to days, AAC employees have a combined 443,907 days of recovery and counting!
Often, the clinicians providing treatment at one of our facilities or the navigators helping people get treatment have battled and overcome their own addictions. It’s their intimate knowledge of this disease that drives them to help others seek recovery.
Throughout September, we’ll highlight a few of our employees who have experienced the depths of addiction and are now leading rewarding lives. We’ll also learn what each person’s breaking points was that led them to seek treatment and find out what they consider the best part of being in recovery.
Each day, we will feature someone new – be sure to check back here everyday to learn more about our employees in recovery who are invested in helping others lead new lives.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, American Addiction Centers can help. We are in network with a number of insurance providers, and some, if not most of treatment may be covered, find out now.
- Job title: Admissions Coordinator – Brentwood, TN
- Days in recovery: 1,962
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The breaking point that led me to treatment was realizing that I was at rock bottom. I had lost everything and everyone. The best part of recovery is getting to be a part of my family again and having the opportunity to help others struggling with addiction!
- Job title: Intake Coordinator – AdCare Rhode Island
- Days in recovery: 3,991
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I reached my breaking point when I was homeless and walking the streets of Hartford, CT with no home, family or soul. Now, in recovery, I’m living the life I never thought possible. This year, I was able to meet my birth mother who gave me up for adoption 40 years ago. This was all made possible because I made the choice to stay in recovery and never give up. I have been able to experience the mother and son relationship that I have wanted my entire life. I enjoy working at AdCare Rhode Island because I can be the beacon of hope and light to patients who are still sick and suffering. I try and encourage patients to never give up and remind them that anything is possible and you can achieve a life beyond your wildest dreams.
- Job title: Admissions Navigator – Brentwood, TN
- Days in recovery: 1,910
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point happened when my wife changed the locks on the house that I owned before I met her and said to get out. I didn’t even argue – I had my “last chance” 500 times already. I stayed on a sofa in a garage in Virginia for about two weeks before my wife called me and gave me a choice: I could go to treatment, get better and never drink again or look her in the face and tell her that I choose alcohol over her, my life, my house and my family. I chose to get better. This sounds cliche, but the saying ‘the truth will set you free’ rings so true to me. My favorite part of recovery is not having to lie anymore. Living a double life and hiding every action and every thought is extremely tiresome. The constant threat of getting caught and, at the time, knowing I would eventually get caught broke me down. Now, I am just free to be me, I don’t worry about much at all because I have nothing to hide anymore. Life is so much easier when you are able to just be open, honest and free.
- Job title: Desert Hope Alumni Manager – Las Vegas, NV
- Days in recovery: 5,843
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The breaking point with me was when I was facing either prison time or treatment, and I went to treatment instead. Now, 16 years in recovery, I have peace, laughter, love, life, family, friends and HOPE.
- Job title: Outreach Coordinator – Los Angeles, CA
- Days in recovery: 2122
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? After chasing my dreams for 12 years in NYC, I decided to take the plunge and moved to Los Angeles. Within a year, I threw away my dreams for dope, and before I knew it, I was homeless and hopeless. I left LA and went back home to Mississippi at 38 years old and moved back in with Mom and Dad. Within a month, I was back to using and worse than ever. Then, one day after a long run, I was sitting in my car in a parking lot in Oxford, MS, and I knew I was at the end of my rope. Either I was going to keep using and die or I was going to ask for help. Through grace, I managed to ask for help and I was in treatment days later and I’ve been clean ever since. 10/27/2014. The best part of being in recovery is knowing that I never have to be alone ever again. I have a beautiful relationship with my family, I have the best mean cat in the universe, and I have friends in recovery who will pick up the phone anytime I call whether it’s a crisis of faith or something of my own doing. Thanks to recovery, I have my life. And I never have to use again.
- Job title: Greenhouse Mental Health Evangelist – Grand Prairie, TX
- Days in recovery: 6101
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point wasn’t a singular incident, it was a culmination of things. I was sick of anxiety and the constant chatter in my brain that caused me to continually overindulge in everything I did. Life was never enough. I was in a constant battle with myself; I broke the promises I made to myself, like to keep calm and move with thoughtful deliberation, and I broke promises to others. Broken promises came one after another. I think I was just sick of being me. Now, in recovery, I’m no longer out of control. I’ve learned how to be a genuine friend, a genuine husband, a genuine dad, and a damn decent human being that accepts life on life’s terms. I truly appreciate everything – the simple encounters I have each day, the feelings that I’m now able to feel, but I’m most appreciative that I get to lead a life free of anxiety and I have the ability to help those that cannot help themselves.
Jimmy (JJ) P.
- Job title: Oxford Treatment Center Maintenance and Milieu Coordinator – Oxford, MS
- Days in recovery: 3745
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point happened when I was court ordered to treatment. It was there that I realized that my kids needed their dad back, so I began working on my recovery so I could be a better father. The best part of my life in recovery is that I get to be a dad to my kids and a husband to my wife, and working at Oxford, I get to watch young men and women change and become productive members of society.
- Job title: River Oaks Treatment Advocate – Riverview, FL
- Days in recovery: 8043
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? Right before I went into long-term treatment, I was on the verge of dying. I was malnourished, homeless and didn’t care if I lived or died. Entering a long-term treatment program was the best decision of my life. They worked to bring me back to good health and they taught me that I was worthy of love and respect. Learning this skill and believing in myself has helped me maintain my long-term sobriety, and it’s given me the ability to help others. I’ve been in recovery since Aug. 7, 1998. I am very grateful for the grace of God and the fellowship of AA.
- Job title: Desert Hope Treatment Advocate – Las Vegas, NV
- Days in recovery: 6027
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? In 2004, I was arrested and facing 17 felony charges. I’d been to prison once before, and it didn’t bother me, but I knew that by going in for a second time, I would never change my life. So, instead of that prison sentence, I was court ordered to treatment. The greatest part of recovery is being able to be a part of my family’s life and be there for them during tough times. I’m able to suit up and show up for anyone when needed. I’m now a productive member of society, a good employee, a good friend, and most importantly, a good mom.
- Job title: Admissions Navigator – Brentwood, TN
- Days in recovery: 535
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I finally decided to get sober after totaling my car because of drinking and driving, lost my job because I was unreliable, and it got to a point that I was sick and tired of disappointing everyone that cared about me. I tried over and over again and I failed over and over again. There was one person in my life I hadn’t disappointed and he was the driving force behind my recovery. I didn’t want to face the shame of telling him I’d failed again, so I took each day one at a time. And here I am today, with more than 500 days in recovery. The best part of being in recovery is time. I spent so much time drinking and hungover that I didn’t do anything else. Now I have the time to give back to my community, I spend time with my family and friends, and I even grew a garden, which is remarkable for someone who used to kill cacti. I lost several years of my life at the bottom of a bottle, and while I’ll never get that time back, the time I have left is so much healthier, treasured and better spent.
- Job title: VP of Human Capital – Brentwood, TN
- Days in recovery: 3383
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? Having dealt with addiction for more than 10 years, and having hit rock bottom multiple times, my breaking point wasn’t necessarily at my lowest low, I’d just had enough. I had enough of the daily struggle and I owed it to my wife and family to get my life turned around. The best part of recovery is my faith and also using my addiction and recovery as a means to inspire others.
- Job title: Outreach Associate – NYC/Westchester County
- Days in recovery: 3137
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? Incomprehensible demoralization. Losing things like my car, apartment, family and friends weren’t enough for me. It wasn’t until I could no longer recognize myself in the mirror that I could accept that I needed help. The best part of being in recovery is that lost dreams have been awakened. The dreams of being happy, dependable, having a good relationship with my brother, and the rest of my family, not to mention living in New York have all come true, and it’s only because of recovery.
- Job title: Outreach Coordinator – Oklahoma
- Days in recovery: 2616
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The breaking point for me to take the leap and find recovery was walking into the Oklahoma County Jail booking department for the fourth time in 11 months, and upon walking in, the bailiff said, “Hey Jake! I knew you would be back!” Being on a first-name basis in county jail finally turned on that light bulb. The best part about my recovery today is knowing that I have no more problems in life. I have lessons and I have blessings. I am grateful for the good that happens in life and I learn from the bad, and those combined make me a better man each and every day.
- Job title: Oxford Treatment Center Community Relations Coordinator – Oxford, MS
- Days in recovery: 2178
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point came when I was at the end of my rope on multiple fronts. Externally, I was running out of money, about to lose my house, had a family I didn’t communicate with, was kicked out of a diversion program and I was looking at jail time. Internally, there was a void inside me that could never be filled. I was far from the person I once was, and the person that I wanted to be, and I couldn’t find a way out. The best part of my recovery is that feeling of uselessness and self-pity has disappeared, and my whole attitude and outlook on life has changed. I got involved with communities of like-minded people at work, in the rooms, at school and at church, and I mended the relationship with my family. Each day, I continue to get an opportunity to get it right, and I plan to keep trying.
- Job title: Greenhouse Treatment Center Lead Therapist – Grand Prairie, TX
- Days in recovery: 4255
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point came when I was faced with the destruction of all I held so dear – my family, business, home and myself. The best part of being in recovery is freedom, serenity and the opportunity to give back what was given to me.
- Job title: Sunrise House Treatment Center Alumni Coordinator – Lafayette, N.J.
- Days in recovery: 1482
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The breaking point that led me to treatment was when I didn’t trust myself to keep myself alive. I had just gotten out of the ER. A Psychiatrist recommended I go to treatment but I declined. I was suicidal and in very bad physical condition, shaking, dizzy, and losing hair. I decided after a few days to go to treatment because I knew I was a burden to my family, as they were trying their best to take care of me. The best part about my recovery is that I am able to have longer periods of peace in my life. I am in recovery from mental illness, as well as substances. I went into recovery with the hope that I could be happy again, like I was as a small child! While life has its peaks and valleys I am overjoyed to say that neither my addiction or my mental illness run the show anymore!
- Job title: Outreach Associate – Jackson, MS
- Days in recovery: 8478
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The breaking point was the day I saw a vision of myself committing suicide. I had lost too many friends to overdoses and suicide and I felt like I wasn’t far behind. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! Now, I have my family back and I can help other addicts get the help they need because I have been in their shoes. I believe it helps to talk to an addict/alcoholic when you have been through it.
- Job title: Senior Regional Outreach Coordinator – Florida
- Days in recovery: 2869
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point was when I realized there were people in my life who cared if I lived or died more than I cared about myself. I was fully convinced I would be dead by 25 and was honestly okay with that. However, I was given another shot at recovery and decided to give it my all this time. The best part of recovery has been creating a life for myself clean and sober. A life I never thought I would live to see. Today, I am a husband to my beautiful wife, a father to my amazing children, a dedicated employee, and a friend. Recovery has absolutely given me a life beyond what I ever envisioned for myself.
- Job title: Sunrise House Treatment Advocate Supervisor – Lafayette, N.J.
- Days in recovery: 8536
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I simply got to a point where I couldn’t live the way I was living anymore. The best part of being in recovery is now helping others live a happy and sober life.
- Job title: Admissions Manager – Brentwood, TN
- Days in recovery: 2685
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I reached my breaking point when I got into a lot of legal trouble and was almost sent to prison. The courts gave me a suspended prison sentence and three years of formal probation. It was the fear of going to prison that led to the first step of admitting I had a problem with drugs and the courage to ask for help. The best part of recovery is being able to be a part of my family’s lives; it’s being able to share my experience, strength and hope with other addicts; it’s working for a company that lets me be a part of changing people’s lives; and it’s the ability for me to be a daughter, friend and mentor to others.
- Job title: Greenhouse Treatment Center Alumni Coordinator – Grand Prairie, TX
- Days in recovery: 1931
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I actually reached my breaking point in treatment. I managed to get high and told one of my peers and he just said in the most unamused tone, ‘cool, man.’ It was then that I realized that it really wasn’t col and I needed to change something about my life. The best part of recovery is being able to really experience life. Life while using was consistent and unvarying – no matter what was happening, the same things were going on and I felt the same about them. Nothing was ever horrible and nothing was ever great. In recovery, I get to experience all of the worst things that can happen in life and feel all of the emotions that make us human. I also get to actively participate in all the amazing things that go on around us. My thing in recovery is that I get to collect hobbies. There is almost never a dull moment, whereas before, I wouldn’t have ever dared to waver from the norm of getting high and just sitting around.
- Job title: Chief Operating Officer, Oxford Treatment Center – Oxford, MS
- Days in recovery: 6796
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? The consequences of living like I was had become so painful that the drugs were no longer helping. Everywhere I looked, my life was hurting the people I loved. I prayed to God, who I was convinced couldn’t love me, and asked for his help. Obviously He did love me and I was in treatment not long after that. The best part of recovery was coming to the realization that my life is valuable and I’m not worthless drug-addicted garbage like my addiction tried to convince me I was. I’m open to give and receive love from/to others now.
- Job title: Outreach Coordinator – Louisiana
- Days in recovery: 2402
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? My breaking point was on April 24, 2014. I was parked behind an abandoned post office with a loaded gun and was writing my goodbye letters when my niece called me. She asked me where I was and asked me to please get help. I was in treatment by the end of the day. The best part of being in recovery is being of service to others and to my family. I have the ability to experience true happiness in my life today and everyday.
- Job title: Outreach Associate – Jacksonville, FL
- Days in recovery: 2241
- What was your breaking point that led you to treatment and what is the best part of recovery? I was just so tired of the lifestyle. Every morning, my first thought after opening my eyes was, ‘What do I need to do today to get what I need?’ I was so tired of the lying, the dangerous environments and not being present for my daughter. The exhaustion caught up with me. I couldn’t imagine continuing life the way it was but I could not imagine being sober either. It was the loneliest and darkest place I’ve ever been in. I started praying for help and over time, those prayers made my situation even more real. Eventually, the fear of getting sober was less than the fear of staying high or drunk. This gave me courage to finally ask for help. The best part of recovery is by far the community of support that has been established over the years. I still attend a 12 Step meeting almost every day and the friendships that have developed are indescribable. I never have to walk through anything that life throws at me alone. I am supported, I am loved and I am welcomed. The sense of belonging that I have today is what I’ve craved my entire life. I also feel a great sense of purpose in helping others stay sober. I’ve used the darkest moments of my life to help others heal from theirs – nothing was wasted! Last, but certainly far from least, I am emotionally present in my daughter’s life. I never dreamed that I could be a full-time single mom and be able to belly laugh with her while sober.
Are you Looking to Change your Life?
Are you struggling with addiction and are looking to change your life? We have relationships with a number of insurance providers, and have a simple 3-step tool to find out if your insurance covers some if not most of treatment.