If you are reading this note you or a loved one may be considering living at The Gatehouse Sober Living Community in Nashua New Hampshire. I lived 4 hours away in the mountains of The Adirondacks in Upstate New York, , but I moved there for their program because it was my last chance. I wish I had tried it sooner!
My name is David D. would like to share with you some of my experiences and lessons I learned as a former resident of The Gatehouse Sober Living Community.
I was sober for 23 years from the age of 25 to the age of 48 with the help of AA and surrendering to my disease. After 23 years, I stopped living by the principles of AA, harbored resentments, stopped being grateful, and I began drinking and using again. I was able to hold onto my job teaching and my family of 4 children and a wonderful wife through a series of relapses, but the last relapse really took me away from everything I loved and cherished. My wife and children were gone, my job was gone, my self-respect was gone, and most importantly, my sobriety was gone.
My drinking and the depression that accompanies it led me to “abandon” everything, even considering suicide. On the verge of homelessness, hopelessness, and joblessness I ran into a sober friend. I was honest with him about my situation and he recommended that I contact Nathan and Ed at the Gatehouse in Nashua New Hampshire. I was told that they ran a recovery home and he recommended it above any others. After a few days a bed became available. So I left my hometown in upstate New York and moved into one of the Gatehouse homes.
That was a huge relief. I was able to work through my depression. After a short time of going through the Big Book with Nathan and Ed I was eager to change for the better. I tried to do all the things that are suggested in AA and required as a member of Gatehouse. I attended as many meetings as I could. I found a “sponsor” to guide me through the twelve steps and to see me through the daily ups and downs. Opening up to a sponsor was really beneficial for me. Living with others that were seeking recovery was great. Guys I didn’t know became brothers in a short time. Months after leaving the Gatehouse I am still in daily contact with my recovery brothers.
As I write this letter I have a great sense of gratitude. I am moving back to my home a little bit at a time; staying in an apartment and spending some nights in my home with my wife and children. I have gotten my teaching job back, and I have transferred all the growth and learning I gained in New Hampshire back to my home in New York. I am going to mention a few things that I have learned From Nathan and Ed that help me to stay sober. First and foremost alcohol and drugs was my master. In order to stay away from them I need help. I get help from AA meetings, my sponsor, and my friends and from trusting God. I learned that my thinking is not always healthy and it’s a good idea to talk to people when something is bothering me. There is ae recovered in the Big Book and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. By reading these books with an open mind my faulty thinking gets a little better. I have a favorite slogan that I first heard in AA and it states that, “If nothing changes nothing changes”. So when I catch myself thinking or acting like in the past I try to picture a better way. I throw up a quick prayer then go for it. I have to be willing to move out of my comfort zone if I am to grow.
I was told by my wife that I was no longer welcome in our home, with our children, or even around them. I am welcome now, but it all started when I surrendered and asked for help from the Gatehouse Sober Living Community.
I will be going to an AA meeting tomorrow night. I promise I will be sticking my hand out saying “my name is David… what’s yours?” just the way Nathan made me do for the first few weeks in Nashua. Reaching out asking for help…
I hope you or your loved one is able to find recovery. The Gatehouse and working the steps with their guidance is how I got here.
Like anything else the more I put into it the more I get out of it.
Good luck and God Bless,