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How Promises Austin Changed the Way I Make Choices

One Alum’s Story of Learning to Live a Healthy Life

Suzanne started using substances at the age of 12. That’s not the saddest chapter of her story.

By the time she had reached her 20’s, 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 … a mental hospital … in a straight jacket … 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. ““She told me that I could not see her until I tried a Twelve Step program,” 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 – sooner than later. She did. And then she decided to go there to get well. And she did that, too.

“It made such an impact on my life,” she says. “My 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.”

Suzanne says the Promises Austin staff taught her how to find a healthy lifestyle first – and then how to maintain it. Now, she says, she chooses “healthy” – because of all she learned and experienced at the facility.

“I am thankful for all that was offered,” she says. “I have formed wonderful friendships and developed tools that have enabled me to live sober.”

For the record, those last three words … they represent the happiest chapter of Suzanne’s story – so far, anyway.

Posted on June 15, 2013 and modified on May 19, 2019

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