Guiding LIght yellow 95th anniversary logo

“What A Blessing”

The following is a speech by Guiding Light Recovery graduate Jeff S. at his one-year
sobriety celebration.

“First and foremost, I have to thank God and my savior Jesus Christ that I’m up here at this podium, alive and sober today. It is by God’s mercy and my mother’s prayers that I stand here before all of you sober. It has been a goal of mine for over a year now to be part of this celebration, to be a positive influence in the lives of the MEN who sit before me today and to put my name up on that wall. Man, what an honor to be up here with these men.
Here’s a little bit about how I got here: I have 19 years of active drug and alcohol addiction, with moments of short term sobriety spread throughout. I’ve been to rehab and detox 19 times prior to coming to Guiding Light. 4 overdoses and countless hospital stays as a direct result of my drinking and drugging. Nothing seemed to work. The 30 day programs were never enough, you see, the fog would just start to lift a little bit, and I would be right back out into the real world. Left to my own devices, the same man would drink and drug again. Time after time. With an intense desire to escape reality.

This program pushed me, made me uncomfortable & challenged me to be vulnerable, responsible, accountable, honest, and as my life coach here always says, to WAKE UP AND LIVE. I was challenged to do things like write letters to my daughter’s mother, set up child support payments for the first time in 7 years, learn how to reframe my relationship with my biological father who had recently passed away, forgive myself and clear away the wreckage from my past. This is living a different way in this world. This program showed me how to take responsibility for my actions, and no longer continue to live life as a victim.

I’ve made connections and relationships with so many of the guys here, and formed bonds like I’ve formed nowhere else. That goes for staff and the guys who went thru the program along side me. This program has taught me how to have relationships today that are not transactional. I’ve been able to cry when I needed to cry without shame or guilt, I’ve also laughed my ass off more in this last year than I recall in the previous 33 years of my life. What a blessing. This program has also taught me how to have fun in sobriety. It’s giving me back the ability to laugh and love. To show compassion for my self and others. I owe a debt of gratitude to the program of Guiding Light recovery for helping me build the foundation to a life worth living today, and the values to know how to navigate life as a productive & responsible member of society.

When I started on this journey I thought that being sober would fix all my problems. It didn’t. It fixed a lot, but not all. But what it has given me is the ability to actually navigate life on life’s terms, work through things and develop better ways of coping besides drugs and alcohol to just escape.”



Receive a quarterly newsletter by U.S. Mail

Newsletter Mail Signup


Receive our e-mailed bi-monthly stories and updates

Email Signup