Ten years have now passed since I first climbed the Gavin’s steps here in South Boston. Like most new residents, I had arrived there feeling hopeless and helpless, beaten, broken and bankrupt. I felt as though I had become that dreadful picture of extreme selfishness, of moral weakness, of an alcoholic man lost in despair. I had tried for many years to control it and several times I briefly was able to put it down. My drinking had long been daily but now it always came with heavy consequences. I personally had lost or given away everything I had gained or loved and I feared that my options and my days were a numbered few. It seemed that everyone around me knew of my problem yet no one had yet come forward with a viable solution. Although alone, befogged and desperate, I did manage to reach out to a family member for help on my fortieth birthday. In that morning phone conversation with Red Collins, my Uncle and then a Director at the Gavin's Cushing House for Adolescents, my spirit was wondrously awakened as he pointed me towards a new avenue of treatment. He promised that if I was truly ready to surrender and follow the specific plan of action exactly as he had done several years before, I would discover the solution I needed to directly address my alcohol problem. And in doing this, he further promised, I would change as a person and the doors of opportunity would then open up for me. A new freedom is the goal he spoke of on that blessed day. Acceptance, discipline and change were required of me, and the men’s structured residential treatment program at the Gavin House in South Boston was the plan he had suggested.
As a resident in the Gavin House I was first shown a design for daily living as it is laid out within the AA literature. I was told that by following this blueprint I would not find it necessary to pick up one drink for one day. I was repeatedly encouraged to attend daily meetings, get a sponsor and always try to do the next right thing. Ultimately, I was shown how to build a personalized, honest program for living that would continue to work for me beyond my recovery.
As was promised, I believe to be a different person today. I will be forever grateful to the Gavin Foundation for all the wonderful resources it provided me at both the Gavin and at the Graduate House. The structure, the staff, the accommodations and the meals were all amazing and they each provided the support I needed in my early recovery. I feel that as a result of the personalized treatment I received, my personal dignity has been restored to me. I am a man whose spirit has been revived and now lives in hope. For today I am free from the crippling grip of my alcoholism. I value my many new and restored relationships with family, friends and my Higher Power. I show up for life today by working my program and I always strive to satisfy my obligations. I am able to respond to problems as they may arise and I always try to help another person. I am free to live the happy, sober and productive life that I choose to live and I am thankful to all who have aided me in acquiring and maintaining this new freedom.
The Gavin Foundation provides a full spectrum of treatment, education and recovery support for Individuals and for their Families. For a detailed look at their various Outpatient and Residential Programs for both Adolescents and Adults, please visit www.gavinfoundation.org.
To submit your donation by mail (without any processing fees), please send your check or money order made payable to:
Gavin Foundation Development Dept.
675 East 4th Street, PO Box E-15
South Boston, MA 02127
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into the Section in the lower left corner of your check)
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The Gavin Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.