One Alum\u2019s Story of Learning to Live a Healthy Life Suzanne started using substances at the age of 12. That\u2019s not the saddest chapter of her story. By the time she had reached her 20\u2019s, she was drinking alcohol and abusing cocaine and had been in and out of several drug treatment facilities. Again, it gets worse. When Suzanne (an alias) left the first facility, she had a husband. A year later she also had a son. Of course, she also had a drug problem, and two years after the birth of her child she was in the hospital again \u2026 a mental hospital \u2026 in a straight jacket \u2026 in the formative stages of a breakdown that had her alternately wishing for another hit or death. Either choice was fine with her. After several months of clinical therapy, she was granted her release from the mental hospital, but not from the grip of her demons. She was mixing wine, cocaine, and prescription drugs again within weeks after leaving the facility. Sometime earlier, when Suzanne was searching for something to get her out of her abyss, she had begun attending a church and had made several friends there. One, in particular, struck her as especially spiritual, and Suzanne stayed in touch, even after she lost touch with the church. One day, desperate and high, Suzanne called her friend and spiritual mentor and asked if they could meet. \u201c\u201cShe told me that I could not see her until I tried a Twelve Step program,\u201d Suzanne says. It would be the first of two blessings imparted by her friend. The second was a recommendation that Suzanne check out Promises Austin \u2013 sooner than later. She did. And then she decided to go there to get well. And she did that, too. \u201cIt made such an impact on my life,\u201d she says. \u201cMy previous stays in treatment facilities never suggested that I had to work on my physical, emotional, and mental health. With the compassion of the counselors and techs, as well as administrative staff, and the materials provided, I had finally found my solution.\u201d Suzanne says the Promises Austin staff taught her how to find a healthy lifestyle first \u2013 and then how to maintain it. Now, she says, she chooses \u201chealthy\u201d \u2013 because of all she learned and experienced at the facility. \u201cI am thankful for all that was offered,\u201d she says. \u201cI have formed wonderful friendships and developed tools that have enabled me to live sober.\u201d For the record, those last three words \u2026 they represent the happiest chapter of Suzanne\u2019s story \u2013 so far, anyway.