Plagued by pain, despair, and hopelessness, when Ann came to Fairbanks’ Supportive Living Program (SLP) she struggled to get out of bed in the mornings. A decade’s long battle with addiction had robbed her of a relationship with her children, a job, a home, and all hope for a future outside that life of chaos and self-destruction. By her own diagnosis, there was no way for her to stay sober if she went back to the neighborhood and community where she had been drinking and using. A supportive living environment felt like her only remaining option.
Ten months later, Ann is clean and sober and happy about it. She credits the accountability of random drug screens, curfew checks, and 12-step meeting requirements for setting her off in the right direction toward long-term sobriety. 24-hour staff support helped Ann feel safe as she became acclimated to a new life in recovery. The SLP community, and especially her roommates, became a central piece of recovery through their care and friendship. As one resident put it, “Even after programming and meetings are done for the day, when I lay down to sleep at night I know there’s someone in the next room I can talk to. We are all facing the same challenges, the same fears, and the same demons. I’m surrounded by people who understand.”
SLP connects residents with opportunities to volunteer and engage in service work in the community and in 12-Step recovery fellowships. Ann has a service position at a 12-Step meeting and says, “Serving a meal at the shelter was the first time I can remember thinking my life could have value again”. The weekend journaling and budgeting workshops helped Ann build skills she’d never had a chance to cultivate. Yoga and meditation provided through SLP gave Ann the chance to work on her mindfulness, happiness, and fitness. Perhaps the most beautiful thing we get to witness is residents experiencing clean and sober fun through the events made available to them here. Many of our clients have never been to a Pacers basketball game or kayaking, nor have they experienced things like bowling and baseball games sober. “I would never have believed I would have more fun at a cookout sober, but the first time SLP put one together I had the time of my life with my family and friends.”
Ann’s story speaks volumes about the success of our residents in continuing their life-long journey as sober adults, long after they’ve completed programming at Fairbanks and left Supportive Living. Surrounded by safety, support, and an abundance of opportunity to integrate service, fellowship and fun into sober life, Ann has built a foundation for long-term sobriety. Ann’s story is just one of the many stories of redemption that SLP has been a part of.