The Value of Friendship by Elaine Saulter, Resource Specialist
Wow! what a difference recovery brings! Before the gift of recovery I had no true friendships. The interactions exchanged always had a selfish motive one way or another.
Today there is great pleasure in selfless service even in friendship. Here is but one example; A couple of days ago I was going through some challenges and was able to call some of my lady friends for support. We were able to hang out and talk and I was able to be loved through my fear. As I was going to finish some errands I received a call. It was getting late but I answered the phone any way. On the other end was a friend in need. I was able to meet with her and talk over coffee. That very night I was able to give back what was freely given to me during the day.
Before I was clean I would have been too self absorbed to stay up "a bit late" to listen to someone else's problems. Today I would not let a sister go through it alone! That is not how it works. We have to stick together. Talking it out divides the pain.
It is truly a gift to be trusted with the gift of friendship. It is truly only through recovering eyes do I see its value. My prayer is that you stick around long enough to be blessed with this gift as well.
My Rainbow Recovery by Dionna Suess, Rainbow Recovery Alumni
My name is Dionna and I am a proud and grateful member of the Rainbow Recovery family. My story begins at the young age of 16 when I started using methamphetamines. Without getting into the gory details I barely graduated high school and was pregnant by the age 18 years old. This in no way deterred me from continuing my spree of heavy using and making bad choice after bad choice. I was arrested more than a dozen times for drugs, my son was removed from my care by family members, and life just got progressively worse. When I was arrested for the last time in Santa Clara County I had hit rock bottom and didnít know how to live life in any other matter other than on the streets. I was ďconsumed by a hundred forms of fearĒ as the Big Book says and was tired of being a failure.
Prop 36 required me to get into a residential drug program and I went to Treatment Options in San Jose. There I was able to learn a little bit about myself and a lot about tools to help keep me off drugs. Before leaving they enrolled me into an outpatient program that gave me access to group therapy and that was also very helpful. It was what came next that truly changed my life.
I entered Rainbow in April of 2003 as a client. I had nothing and was grateful just to have a safe and sober place to live, eat and sleep. I was surrounded by other woman who had different backgrounds but all carried the same weight I didÖdrugs had ruined their lives. As a client one of the most important things I learned was how to be responsible for my actions and my life. I had a curfew to follow, I had to cook dinner one night a week, I had a chore, I had to participate in house meetings and make my bed every morning. All these things seemed like such a pain at times but I did them anyways. I did them because as much as it was a pain I didnít want to be anywhere else because any where else would have meant old friends, old places, and eventually the return of old behaviors.
In October of 2003 I applied to be a House Manager for Rainbow. As a client I had come into to contact with two types of H.M. The first didnít make me feel very welcomed. She had a busy life of her own and never took a time out to be supportive. I didnít feel like I could look up to her. The second was the exact opposite. She took the time to talk to the clients and explain why rules and standards were in place and how by following those rules it would make our lives better. She also did not take any bull. I thought about the differences of each H.M. and decided that I could be the one to welcome the new comer and make them feel secure and safe and maybe make a difference as a role model. I wanted to be able to offer support and explain what I had learned in Rainbow and how it had all ready made life at least a little more manageable.
By the grace of my higher power I was hired and began a journey that will forever be irreplaceable. With the help of an extremely supportive upper management I got to experience the true meaning of service. For two years I managed a T.H.U. for women and their children. I got to laugh and cry with those women. I was present for their successes and their failures, gave advice when they asked and encouraged structure by enforcing the house rules.
Without Rainbow I would not be where I am today. I am rebuilding a meaningful relationship with my son. I am a college student working on a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. I am employed full time at NASA Ames Research Center and am living on my own for the first time in my life. Today I have solid foundation to build a solid and plentiful life and for that I am a proud and grateful member of the Rainbow Recovery family.
An Attitude of Gratitude by Heather W., Diel House
Keeping a roof over my familyís head has always been an effort. Not having one has been harder. Iím so grateful for this opportunity to rebuild my life. I wonder; who is paying my bills? It must be the taxpayers. It's enough to make me want to be a taxpaying citizen. In addition to the taxpayers, I'd like to thank the legislators who write laws suggesting
treatment, rather than incarceration. I'd like to hug the detox workers who shine light on our darkness and the counselors who give us vision. I'd like to express gratitude for the women who make sure our Rainbow homes are safe. I'm grateful for the women who struggle along side me who all become my teachers and for the children who inspire us. May God bless you all.
My Story by Nicole B., Hyde Park House
My name is Nicole and I am 40 years young. I turned 40 in a Rainbow Recovery house. Iíve learned to trust women. This is new for me but itís going well. I also put my trust in God every day. On March 13 I will be clean for 8 months. By taking it one day at a time, Iíve been able to stay clean.