Friends, food, and laughter. Love, compassion, and support. These things were found at the A Forever Recovery Alumni Picnic, which was held at our rehabilitation facility located on tranquil St. Mary’s Lake in Southwest Michigan on August 17, 2014. Dozens of graduates of the program at our recovery center, along with their families and loved ones, were in attendance to share with each other stories of strength and hope in their healthier and more positive lifestyles. This type of function, where our clients find their support networks reinforced and enjoy the comradery of others like them, ties in quite well with the services offered by the extensive aftercare department at AFR. It also provides a tremendous source of encouragement for the clients still working through their programs at our recovery center.
Also in attendance was legendary pro wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts. As a recovered addict himself, Mr. Roberts spoke from his experiences when he took some time to address those at this event. “For 39 years I wrestled, and I made it to the top, and I stayed on top for a long, long time,” he says of his professional sports career. “The only thing that brought me down was me.” In an illuminating review of his past struggles with substance abuse, he tells us about the long career he had of using cocaine as well. After over three decades of addiction, Jake’s close friend, another pro-wrestler by the name of “Diamond” Dallas Page, reached out to him, asking for the opportunity to help him. Now, two years clean and sober, Mr. Roberts is extremely grateful to his friend for caring enough to extend a hand to him, granting him the chance to share his testimony with us.
Jake “The Snake” had a few words of advice for our graduates as well as those still working their way on the path to recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. “Become accountable to yourself and to someone else,” he says. “It’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but it’s one that won’t hurt you.” His words speak about the personal responsibility in recovery that all of the clients at AFR find is an essential part of our program.
At A Forever Recovery, our clients discover a new sense of purpose in life, with a feeling of reconnection with others and a new-found appreciation for the world around them. Successes in life, obstacles overcome, and instances where the tools and skills they discovered during their stay with us came into good use, the communal sharing of these accounts helps to strengthen everyone. Here, they have found that strength.