Welcome, Wasatch Warrior

Dear Wasatch Crest Graduate,

Congratulations on completing your treatment at Wasatch Crest. These first 30 to 90 days are the hardest, and it is a huge accomplishment to have come this far. That said, the journey is just beginning and the best is yet to come. I personally want to welcome you to our alumni program. You are officially a Wasatch Warrior! So what now?

Just over 13 years ago, my life had become completely unmanageable, and I was in a bad place. My 17-year marriage was failing, my role as a father to seven children was questionable at best, and my life was imploding. My journey to recovery started by asking for help and being willing to go to treatment.

When I first went to treatment, I was concerned that there were people in my treatment program who were not the same as me and struggled with different things than I did. I remember asking myself questions like: “How will I relate to them?” “How will they relate to me?” “And how is this going to help me get better?”

The reality is “those people” were actually “my people.” I quickly developed deep, meaningful relationships with my treatment peers. This is not to say that I enjoyed everyone’s company, nor did everyone enjoy mine. (I was a handful in early recovery….in some ways, I probably still am). The important thing is that I found my tribe and those individuals became some of my closest friends — in fact, the closest, truest friends I had ever known. Some of those people are still my closest friends to this day. Some are no longer with us. Regardless of the outcome, those bonds in early recovery were essential to staying sober. When I was feeling strong, I helped and supported others. And when I was down, they were there to support me. We learned to count on one another and to help each other stay sober.

Treatment was a great start, but it would not have been enough to keep me sober long term. I needed more. I needed that human connection and I needed a program of long-term recovery. For me, that has been Alcoholics Anonymous. For you, it may be something different and that’s okay. It’s not important “which” recovery program you choose as long as you have one that works for you.

Early on, I set a goal to get one year of sobriety — one day at a time of course. I humbled myself and took direction in key areas of my life. The first year was not easy, but I never gave up and kept showing up. I did the work, and guess what? My life got better! Before long, I actually had a life that was worth protecting. This is the experience, strength and hope that I wish to share. Things do get better…but only if you are willing to work for it, and you stay connected with others who are serious about sobriety.

The goal of our alumni program is to create connections, provide ongoing support, and have a lot of fun along the way! Many programs say, “stay in touch,” but don’t really mean it. When we say those words at Wasatch Crest, we mean it, and we are counting on you to help make it happen. We sincerely want to see you, and we want to stay connected with you. During your time at Wasatch, you’ve probably made some solid friends. My hope is that you will continue those relationships, and build new ones, as a Wasatch Warrior.

I’ve now been sober for over 13 years. I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long! Time flies. I have a wonderful marriage and eight children who I love dearly (and I’m pretty sure they love me too!). I run an honest business. I’m a hard worker, a good son to my parents, and a good friend. I try to be of service wherever I can, and my character, integrity and values are not for sale — to anyone, for any price. These are but a few of the blessings of sobriety, without which I would have none of these things.

When we finish treatment, it’s easy to get pulled back into the stresses of life. After all, we have a lot of wreckage and responsibility waiting for us. My experience is that putting sobriety first and allowing everything else to work itself out in time, makes all the difference. Simply put, stay the course. Stay connected. Do the work.

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” I cannot promise you that the journey will be easy, but I can promise you that it will be worth it! You will never have to walk alone. We will be here to walk beside you one step at a time, one day at a time.

Warriors on three……

Jim

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