Recovery Stories

Recovery Stories

Voices of Hope

People can and do recover from the disease of addiction. Inspired by National Recovery Month, Valley Hope Alumni are sharing the power of sobriety through a collection of diverse, inspiring recovery stories: Voices of Hope. Voices of Hope celebrates the millions of Americans living in recovery, while offering hope and healing to loved ones and families seeking help.

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Power your recovery with the Voices of Hope playlist on Spotify, curated and inspired by Valley Hope Alumni.

 

Read featured stories and watch videos of Valley Hope alumni below.

#voicesofhope

Impact of Recovery

By shining a light on how recovery has impacted their lives, Valley Hope Alumni are helping people, families and communities find healing.

Explore some of the powerful sobriety stories that demonstrate treatment can work and recovery is possible!

story1

I went to Valley Hope because I'd hit rock bottom.  I had tried rehab before...I felt like I'd tried everything to get sober.  This time was different for me as I finally had the gift of desperation and was willing to hand over my will and my life. Valley Hope gave me the foundation I needed (and a little bit of a buffer between me and alcohol) to get my feet firmly planted in recovery!  I found a sponsor before I left treatment and continued to work the steps after leaving.  I found a home group, went to meetings regularly, and got involved in service immediately!

Last month I celebrated 1 year with my friends in the program and with my family who are so glad to have their wife/mother/sister/daughter back! Every day gets a little better and my list of gratuities grows while my desire for alcohol dissipates!  Among the very long list are thanks to the staff, counselors, and Chaplain who helped me find the path to sobriety!

My cup has a staircase symbolizing the Martin Luther King quote I found inspiring:

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase."

- Andra

man-freedom

I left Valley Hope on Sept 14th and life could not be better! Thank you for all VH has done for my life!

- Craig K.

mom-daughter-outside

My name is Laura T, and I hung my cup at Valley Hope in November of 2005 at the young age of 21. I sort of followed my discharge plan, but not completely. I’d like to say that I maintained sobriety after discharge but that wouldn’t be honest. At that time, I conceded that I was a drug addict, but I couldn’t accept that I was an alcoholic. I did a little more “research” as they say, which included failed attempts to control it and visits to psychiatrists and counselors without the use of the 12-steps.

After about 2.5 years of using these methods followed by an emotional bottom and the termination of a long-term relationship, I went to an AA meeting around the corner from my apartment. This was a popular meeting hall I learned about during my time at Valley Hope. I have stayed sober since attending that meeting. It became my homegroup, and I’m still friends with many people from that meeting hall today. My sobriety date is March 26, 2008.

Since my sobriety birthday there have been a lot of ups and downs, but mostly ups. I have experienced a lot of emotional turmoil, but I learned from these experiences how to cope with life without drugs and alcohol. I’ve made so many lifelong friends, but I’ve also lost some friends to overdoses.

Since I’ve been sober: I bought a condominium and a sports car; I earned a master’s degree and a doctorate; and I gave birth to an exquisite daughter whom has never seen me loaded. Those are just the material things, although I know a lot of people see these as selling points of sobriety, so I do mention them to sponsees.

However more important things I’ve derived from sobriety are that I’ve learned to rely on a higher power. I’ve also learned that sobriety is about taking the good with the bad. It is so empowering to be able to cope with life without drinking and using. I know that I can get through anything with the support of my higher power and my sober comrades. Thank you for letting me share.

teresa-b

I arrived at Valley Hope on June 29, 1989 and my sobriety date is the day before on 6/28/1989. I remember so vividly traveling by plane from Birmingham, AL to Wichita then was met by a Valley Hope employee from that area who drove me to Norton. I had never been to the middle of our country and was amused that the trees leaned. In my detoxing mind, I hypothesized they were so far from the equator they were growing toward the sun. 🙂 I was angry upon arrival at Valley Hope! Actually, now, I know I was scared to death. My only goal was to do what they said and get out of there and home to Alabama before the July 4th holiday so I could go to the beach with my friends, which had been the plan for months, and to also celebrate my 30th birthday on July 5th. That did not happen.

One day in the business office waiting to make arrangements for payment, I picked up a brochure that had these “trick questions” on the back. I answered “yes” to about 12 of the 16 or so questions. Then, it said to flip over the brochure where it stated, “If you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of those questions, you’re probably an alcoholic.” That’s when it hit me, “Yes, I am an alcoholic and I need help.”

I was in the perfect place, for me, with the perfect counselor for me to begin recovery.

When it was announced that Carol was my counselor, there was a “ohhhhhh” sound all fell over the room. I met her after I took the MMPI test. I sat down in front of her and she said, “I can see from your test results that you’re manipulative and self-centered.” To which I replied, “Yes, of course, I am. You see, I’m from The South and we’re all that way but you couldn’t possibly understand because you’re not from there.” Thank God, she helped me to begin to see the error of that thought process.

I wrote volumes for the 4th step I did there, all on pink paper. After I shared it all with the Chaplain, he said to tear it up and I did. He then said, “throw it in the garbage can,” and I did throw all that torn up pink paper in the empty black garbage can. He said, “make a mental picture of it and remember, when you think about these things, it’s all in the trash.” I can, today, still see that pink paper in the black garbage can and know it’s in the trash. I’ve done many other 4th and 5th steps since then because, thank God, it doesn’t all come back at once!

I believe, to my core, one of the reasons I celebrated 31 years of continuous sobriety this year is because of I was given a firm foundation of recovery at Valley Hope where I was taught to work The Steps of AA. I have learned those same steps can, and has, helped me solve any issue that arises.

To say, “Thank you” to Valley Hope is quite an understatement. You gave me my life back, you helped re-introduce me to a loving God whom I serve today. I am forever grateful for being dropped in the middle of Kansas wheat fields, where I was given the foundation which has led to a lifetime of ups, downs and too many blessings to even count.

Teresa B.

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In June, 2011 alcohol had become a poison I could not find an antidote for. With my wife Scherry’s constant support, I turned to Valley Hope as a place of refuge and recovery. The staff was simply amazing, and my Counselor Beth was exactly the right person at exactly the right time. I learned so many valuable lessons in my 28 days, and I learned that God had not deserted me, He was patiently waiting on me the entire time. Valley Hope is an amazing gift to so many of us who want a chance at recovery from the devastating, debilitating, deadly disease of alcoholism. Valley Hope helped save my life, and gave a grateful, sober man back to his family. I will be forever in their debt. May God continue to Bless Valley Hope, Birds of a Feather, and the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

- Dave E (Former Valley Hope Mayor June/July 2011)

man-beach2

I completed 4 weeks of treatment at Valley Hope in June. Since then, I have successfully completed IOP. Now I am in Continuing care.  The Valley Hope programs are really great. I came into treatment pretty broken; alcohol had made my life miserable. I committed myself to the program of treatment along with the AA meetings and program. As a result of surrendering myself completely I now am living a life worth living. Without the Valley Hope and AA I would not be living the new life. Thanks Valley Hope and all the dedicated staff.

- Gary M.

woman-car

My name is Becky G., and I am 59 years old.  I have been an alcoholic for most of 35 years.  Now I have been sober for just over 27 months.  In that time, I reunited with my ex life partner, have kept the same job, bought a car, and have money in the bank.  No more legal problems, court dates or probation officer.  No more breathalyzer in my car.  No more sickness or despair or hopelessness about my drinking.  My family actually likes being with me, the trust has come back.  I like myself more each day.  I wish everyone struggling with this disease could find recovery.  It's so hard at first, but it gets easier over time!

man-peaceful-sunset

My story of recovery begins the day I was born. I was born September 14, 1977 in Yokosuka Japan. My father was in the Navy and so happens he was stationed there. My mom and dad divorced shortly after my sister was born. My father was an extreme alcoholic and was never around us while we were growing up. My mom remarried twice. I don’t know if I blocked out most of my childhood, but I remember I was never really being happy. I really didn’t start drinking until I went to college. I didn’t drink all the time but when I did, I would make sure I got intoxicated. My alcohol problem started the day my sister was killed in a car accident.

I blamed myself and started drinking every day to mask the pain I was in. I was an extremely angry person for so many years. I couldn’t understand why the good lord could take the greatest person I ever known away from me. My problem came to a head when my house was flooded and I had nowhere to go but live in a house that had no water or electricity. By this time, I didn’t care about anything or anyone especially myself, I had pushed everyone away. I was to the point I was drinking before work during work and after work on the days I actually went to work.

The day I decided that I needed help was when I was in the bathroom and looked in the mirror and asked myself what I’m doing to myself. It was the first time I admitted that I had a problem. I called my mom and told her I needed to go to rehab. It’s when we found Valley Hope. It turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. It was able to find myself for the first time. I realized I had to work through everything instead of bottling everything up and try to drink them away. Being a recovering alcoholic means everything to me because cause if I continued to go down the path I was on I wouldn’t be here to share my story. I’ve been sober for over a year now. It’s not been easy, but I keep reminding myself of the path that I was taking and don’t want to go there again. It’s been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see what comes my way.

- Sean B.

man-gray-skies

Hi, My name is Tim and I am a Recovering Alcoholic. I was Discharged from Valley Hope July 8th, 2019. My drinking started at an early age of 12. And progressed quickly in my Jr and Sr School years. Eventually my drinking led to a long period of Incarceration. I got into AA and a Drug Alcohol Treatment and learned quite a bit about myself and what made me tick. AA worked and Fellowshipping was the key. I was able to stay clean for 22 years after my release of Incarceration, I was doing great. I got involved in Prison Ministry, even was Awarded Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011.

I began drinking again thinking I had it whipped. I did great for quite some time, it seemed. The disease only progressed slowly, daily deceiving me into thinking I was in control (NOT!).  After starting my own Plumbing Business, my daily routine became, work, drink all evening at the desk. It eventually caught up with me. I had plenty of warning signs, only to ignore them.

May 4th, 2019, leaving a Racetrack, I was involved in an accident that was completely my fault. I received a DUI and few other citations. It was not good at all. My Attorney told me the story of his Nanny going into Valley Hope years ago and has been clean for 8 yrs. When he mentioned entering inpatient for 30 days, I said I can't do that, my business will be lost. My Attorney/Friend point blank told me that I was sick and needed help. He told me that this is one time you need to really trust God. I visited Valley Hope to take a tour and I told the young lady that I would be back in 2 weeks to check in to stay. She gave me that look (yeah right). I held my word and checked in 2 weeks later.

While in Valley Hope, I began to get some peace back, get back into a daily routine.

A routine without Alcohol! I learned that my routine in my daily life only involved work and drinking for the most part. One of the crucial changes the counselors said needs to happen is my evenings. So now I can say I hardly ever come home and go to my desk to continue to work. I usually do most desk work now in the early morning or take one day off through the week to get it done. Now my evenings are either working out, walking, Mountain biking, fishing, Dirt track races, or the pool.

Valley Hope was very good for me. The staff from the day I entered had an attitude of compassion. I could tell they really cared about my well-being. And that truly is needed for individuals with addiction. Now one of my favorites is returning for Renewal Day the 3rd Friday of the month. Just a great time.

Thank You Valley Hope!

donette-motorcycle

I celebrated 29 years the 18th of September with my Valley Hope Family.  I put the gratitude where it belongs, with my Higher Power.  It is only Grace that has given me this life.  I can tell you I never dreamed my life would be as full and rich as it is today.  12 Step recovery, therapy, a Church Home, supportive family and friends, a rewarding career, Harleys, and Dogs have all kept me sober and grateful.  Thank you Valley Hope of Boonville for celebrating with me!

- Donette

The Valley Hope Coffee Cup | A Symbol of Recovery

A special part of the Valley Hope experience involves the coffee cup. The “cups” process at Valley Hope uniquely inspires and reflects the recovery journey of our Alumni. At the end of the treatment experience, each patient creates their own cup design that symbolizes their recovery. Before they leave Valley Hope, patients share their cups and the inspiration behind the design to fellow patients, family and friends. The cups are hung along the walls of Valley Hope lecture halls and alumni return after one year of sobriety to claim their cups and share their recovery success stories with patients.

brian-n

Brian N.

My Valley Hope cup has a few lyrics of the song “Destiny” by Zero 7. Every time I hear that song, I am put into a happy place because it takes me back to a time before drugs were in my life. The lyrics I wrote on my cup are, “Old moon fades into the new. At Valley Hope, the old me that used drugs faded away and a new me was born in recovery.

Carol "Tippy" C.

I listed the 5 to Stay Alive on my Valley Hope cup because it’s important to do these things every day:

  1. Pray in the morning.
  2. Pray at night.
  3. Talk to your sponsor.
  4. Go to a meeting.
  5. Read the Big Book.

These things are crucial for recovery as well as family support. I also put a cross on my cup because it represents my spirituality. I created a second cup while attending the Valley Hope intensive outpatient program (IOP). My IOP cup represents where I was at that time, with the phrase "All you need is Love." To me that means self-love as well as genuine love for others.

Today, I am well. Although I had a relapse since I left Valley Hope, yesterday I celebrated 26 months of sobriety. The promises are true. I am in school to be a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor, plus I am working two jobs, but I still make time for the most important things: my relationship with God and my sobriety. Everything else is amazing as long as my focus remains on these things.

carol-c
barton-w

Barton W.

There are two inspirations behind my Valley Hope cup: The Stevie Ray Vaughn song “Life by the Drop” and the promise in the Big Book, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”

Up to that point, I was full of regret and trying my hardest to keep that door shut! No more. That was 21 years ago, and I have remained sober and active in Alcoholics Anonymous since the day I left Valley Hope. Much love.

Joshua W.

My Valley Hope cup represents the things I love the most: my children and family ­– and fishing.

Just yesterday, I took my son Luke fishing on the Ninnescha River, the river of our ancestors. We went without bait, just poles and hope! We caught bait, used that bait to catch bait fish and used bait fish to catch a drum and my son's first measurable catfish!

What an awesome day for us both!

joshua-w
tara-g

Tara G.

Recovery has given me my life back. I was merely existing on a daily basis. It was difficult to do anything other than watch the clock, so I knew when it was safe to take another round of pain medication. Working was a daily struggle. If I had to drive anywhere, I had to get a ride or plan my driving when I wasn't on pain meds – which only added to my pain level and the urgent feeling I had to take my pain medication.

It has also given me an opportunity to tell my story. I made the choice before I came to Valley Hope to be 100 percent up front and honest with everyone about what was happening and where I was going. By doing this, I opened the doors and made other people more comfortable in talking to me about their own struggles (or a family member) with addiction.

It's given me the ability to see ADDICTION in a different view and a platform to speak about it in our community..

I put the phrase "Stay the Course" on my Valley Hope cup. The phrase was used in the context of a war or battle meaning to "pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism."

I felt this phrase was perfect to serve as a reminder to maintain the same course I set ahead for myself when I left Valley Hope. Each of us face our own battles and roadblocks as we continued on our path to recovery. But if we can remember our desire to "Stay the Course" every day of our lives, we will reach that ultimate goal of living a life free of our addiction.

Up to that point, I was full of regret and trying my hardest to keep that door shut! No more. That was 21 years ago, and I have remained sober and active in Alcoholics Anonymous since the day I left Valley Hope. Much love.

Michelle O.

I walked through the doors of Valley Hope on November 21, 2006. Needless to say, I didn't want to be there and had my guard up against any guidance. So, near the end of treatment, when I was asked to design a cup, I thought it was a dumb idea. I sat looking at this cup not sure what to do, then someone suggested that I “just keep it simple.”

I started painting the inside black because, I felt like I was trying to climb out of a black hole that had become my life and soul. On the outside of my cup I wrote “free” and “one day at a time.” I also drew a couple of doves. Very simple, but very telling. I remember thinking, “I might really be sick.”

After finishing my cup design, I didn't think about it again, until the day I received a box in the mail: My cup.

I was happy and proud that I had made it one year sober. I put my cup on my shelf that day and 12 and a half years later, it is still on that shelf. I look at it every morning and thank God for the journey I have been on.

For something that I originally thought was a dumb idea, is now one of my most precious belongings.

michelle-o
andrea-h

Andrea H.

I vividly remember the inspiration behind my Valley Hope cup. Initially, I only wanted something that I could come back and get at Valley Hope after a year of sobriety - even though that seemed SO far away at the time.

But, as I started getting my craft supplies together, I considered what recovery meant to me. I included the words acceptance, faith, healing, joy, my sobriety date, and most importantly, God. I added daisies and butterflies because they represented my favorite "simple" things in nature and I was desperately seeking simplicity after my life becoming so chaotic in my disease. And, I added a mirror from a makeup compact that just happened to - I don't believe it was a coincidence - fit perfectly into the bottom of my cup. That mirror would remind me to always look inward for what I knew was inside of me, for what had always been inside me. And, I knew I could get back to being that person outside of my addiction to alcohol.

My cup holds all of my monthly medallions from my first year, along with a prayer coin and a worry stone given to me by a special friend I met at an AA meeting. I keep my cup just above my computer at home and look at it daily. Some days I just look at it to admire the pretty colors and the craft I made in treatment, but most days I look at it and remember how much getting my cup back meant to me after my first year in recovery.

Alan H.

Recovery has changed my life by showing me a happier way of life. While I was in my active addiction, I missed so many things with my family. Not loving my wife and children and loving the bottle instead really damaged my relationships and my health. After completing treatment at Valley Hope, I never felt better and my family is healing.

My Valley Hope cup represents my love for volunteer firefighting and my family. While I train to save lives, I entered treatment to save my own.

alan-h
denise-m

Denise M.

I named my Valley Hope cup “One Day at a Time” because it is the most important step each of us in recovery must live by.

My cup starts with the 12 steps coming up and out of the inside of my cup, leaving the devil down inside. I also listed family which has been my rock and major support system during my journey. I also included my counselor, Diane, who helped me overcome hidden traumas that I couldn’t seem to part with. She was such an inspiration and blessing during my treatment experience.

I look at my cup every day, count my blessings and thank my higher power (whom I choose to call God) and thank him for this wonderful journey I’m blessed to be a part of.

Ernest R.

Recovery gave me back my life, love for myself and the hope of a clean and sober life.

ernest-r
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Mickey S.

Recovery has impacted my life in many ways. I have a brighter outlook on life. My relationships with my family have grown dramatically, especially my relationship with my wife. We both knew something had to change, so I went to Valley Hope for treatment. I didn't know what to expect, but after a few days, I knew it was where I needed to be. The people I met had the same problems and we managed to get through them together. They will always have my heart. The year of sobriety has gone by so fast, it was amazing. My health has improved 100% and I will always be grateful for the staff at Valley Hope for saving my life. They gave me direction and guided me through the addiction.

I put the phrase "Stay the Course" on my Valley Hope cup. The phrase was used in the context of a war or battle meaning to "pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism." My cup represents all the hard work we all had to go through to achieve one year of sobriety.

My cup is the center piece of my life.

Dave T.

Recovery has given me life. Valley Hope cup is inspired by the song lyric “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Every day that I stay clean and sober gives me the opportunity to have brighter days.

dave-t
carla-a

Carla A.

The Valley Hope cup I painted in 1984 shows all the turbulence and violence of a storm at sea, changing into full sunlight with God’s help. Inside the cup, I expressed a lot of feelings like anger and depression that were a part of my addiction.

Treatment changed my life and saved my life. Returning a year later to pick up my cup at Valley Hope was so wonderful. I have been sober 35 years now. It has been an interesting journey of self-discovery. I am much more comfortable in my own skin now which I didn’t think would ever be possible.

Blake R.

The pivotal point in my Valley Hope treatment experience happened when my Dad opened up about my addiction and what was going on with him. My Dad has always been a huge role model in my life, so when that happened, I became willing to do whatever it took to stay sober.

About a week before I was discharged from treatment, I picked up a blank Valley Hope cup from the front desk. I noticed some fellow patients working hard on their cups, using all sorts of different colors and designs, building relationships. I decided that I would get involved.

I enjoyed the full “cup” experience. There was a man in my small group that was artistic and the night before I discharged, I saw him working on his cup by himself, so I grabbed my cup and sat down next to him. We had a great conversation and he helped me edit my simple cup design. I’m grateful for that experience and the meaning behind my cup. It’s what recovery is all about!

My Dad and I have one thing that ALWAYS comes up in our conversations: Kansas Jayhawks’ basketball. My Valley Hope cup really had nothing to do with basketball, except for the big “KU” on the side.

After I discharged from Valley Hope, I moved to a sober living home in Kansas City. I didn’t know anybody in the area. I went to a Twelve Step meeting every day, but I still felt pretty lonely during the first couple of weeks. Luckily, it was the beginning of basketball season. For the first time in a long time, I got to watch and enjoy the Jayhawks’ basketball games. But most of all, I got to talk to my dad on the phone after the games. Our relationship has grown stronger in sobriety and he was a friend when I felt like I didn’t have any. The positive momentum of our relationship has translated to other friendships in the program of AA and even beyond that. I don’t feel so lonely anymore...

blake-r
aaron-c

Aaron C.

My Valley Hope cup is covered with jigsaw puzzle stickers that fit together. Because in recovery, my life was being put back together like a puzzle. I also worked on a very elaborate puzzle of the story of Noah and the Flood while at Valley Hope. God used Valley Hope of Booneville and the people there (staff and other patients) to save me from myself. I am now into my 13th year of sobriety. Praise God!

Carlton G.

When I arrived at Valley Hope for treatment at 52 years old, I was a complete train wreck, with more than 40 years of active addiction. I had reached what I can only say was hopefully my last of so many rock bottoms. I remember thinking that I would never make it alone. However, I finally accepted that everybody at Valley Hope wanted to help me.

The day I discharged from treatment, I hung my patient cup in the lecture hall. As I walked up in front of my fellow alumni, all my fears about being myself lifted. I felt in my heart that they were on my side. I had met my new family, I was walking up a hill and out of a cave into the light of a brand new dawn. As I placed my cup on the wall, with my extended family watching I never felt such a sense of accomplishment, connection and gratitude.

Now, instead of being unsure and fearful, I walk forward one step and one day at a time with hope and confidence.

carlton-g
mike-l

Mike L.

Night and day. I had given up on any thought of sobriety. I was resigned to dying drunk. Through my stay at Valley Hope, I learned that I did have self-worth and gained some tools to live a wonderful life one day at a time.

The back side of my Valley Hope cup is shaded black. That was my life while using. I grew up in the 1960s, so I included a peace sign on the front of my cup.

Life can be peaceful and great – one day at a time.

Amy H.

Recovery has given me a new outlook on life and all the things in it. When I was drinking, absolutely nothing mattered except that next drink. I stole money to buy alcohol, I used all the change I could find, and I always made sure that I had more alcohol hidden somewhere. I found myself trying to hide from anyone and everyone. I didn’t go to work so that I could drink. Life was not good. I got tired of lying and looking for new places to hide during the day when I was supposed to be working.

Today in recovery, I have made many new friends that I can talk to for support. I can spend more time with my kids, grandkids, family and have enough energy and patience to enjoy them. I have gained back self-confidence. I can share my experiences with others now and hope to help them in their journey as well. I can socialize with others when before I didn’t want to go anywhere unless I could drink. I have lost a lot of weight and no longer some medications that I don’t need anymore. I am human again.

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bill-k

Bill K.

Recovery has made a significant impact in my life in many wonderful ways.  It really all started with the day I was admitted to Valley Hope. My life became the life I used to have before this horrible disease took control of everything in my life.

I am a farmer in Nebraska. I look forward to going to work every day, it makes me feel productive again. I am the best possible farmer I can be. I am a granddad to my grandchildren. I would never have been allowed to spend that time with them, if it had not been for my recovery. I am so blessed that I did not miss out on being a part of their lives. I have lots of friends in AA and they are also my family. I feel as if my life has purpose now, helping others who are now where I used to be.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would go back and get my Valley Hope cup after that first year of sobriety. Yet, after I left Atchison, I would drive down every third Friday for Renewal day from Nebraska City. I could see other one-year alumni receiving their cups and how happy and proud they were. On my one-year anniversary of sobriety, I wanted to feel that way too. I remember thinking what a blessing it was to receive my cup.  My cup represents the many blessings I have received since being in recovery.

brian-n

Brian N.

My Valley Hope cup has a few lyrics of the song “Destiny” by Zero 7. Every time I hear that song, I am put into a happy place because it takes me back to a time before drugs were in my life. The lyrics I wrote on my cup are, “Old moon fades into the new. At Valley Hope, the old me that used drugs faded away and a new me was born in recovery.

carol-c

Carol "Tippy" C.

I listed the 5 to Stay Alive on my Valley Hope cup because it’s important to do these things every day:

  1. Pray in the morning.
  2. Pray at night.
  3. Talk to your sponsor.
  4. Go to a meeting.
  5. Read the Big Book.

These things are crucial for recovery as well as family support. I also put a cross on my cup because it represents my spirituality. I created a second cup while attending the Valley Hope intensive outpatient program (IOP). My IOP cup represents where I was at that time, with the phrase "All you need is Love." To me that means self-love as well as genuine love for others.

Today, I am well. Although I had a relapse since I left Valley Hope, yesterday I celebrated 26 months of sobriety. The promises are true. I am in school to be a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor, plus I am working two jobs, but I still make time for the most important things: my relationship with God and my sobriety. Everything else is amazing as long as my focus remains on these things.

barton-w

Barton W.

There are two inspirations behind my Valley Hope cup: The Stevie Ray Vaughn song “Life by the Drop” and the promise in the Big Book, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”

Up to that point, I was full of regret and trying my hardest to keep that door shut! No more. That was 21 years ago, and I have remained sober and active in Alcoholics Anonymous since the day I left Valley Hope. Much love.

joshua-w

Joshua W.

My Valley Hope cup represents the things I love the most: my children and family ­– and fishing.

Just yesterday, I took my son Luke fishing on the Ninnescha River, the river of our ancestors. We went without bait, just poles and hope! We caught bait, used that bait to catch bait fish and used bait fish to catch a drum and my son's first measurable catfish!

What an awesome day for us both!

tara-g

Tara G.

Recovery has given me my life back. I was merely existing on a daily basis. It was difficult to do anything other than watch the clock, so I knew when it was safe to take another round of pain medication. Working was a daily struggle. If I had to drive anywhere, I had to get a ride or plan my driving when I wasn't on pain meds – which only added to my pain level and the urgent feeling I had to take my pain medication.

It has also given me an opportunity to tell my story. I made the choice before I came to Valley Hope to be 100 percent up front and honest with everyone about what was happening and where I was going. By doing this, I opened the doors and made other people more comfortable in talking to me about their own struggles (or a family member) with addiction.

It's given me the ability to see ADDICTION in a different view and a platform to speak about it in our community..

I put the phrase "Stay the Course" on my Valley Hope cup. The phrase was used in the context of a war or battle meaning to "pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism."

I felt this phrase was perfect to serve as a reminder to maintain the same course I set ahead for myself when I left Valley Hope. Each of us face our own battles and roadblocks as we continued on our path to recovery. But if we can remember our desire to "Stay the Course" every day of our lives, we will reach that ultimate goal of living a life free of our addiction.

Up to that point, I was full of regret and trying my hardest to keep that door shut! No more. That was 21 years ago, and I have remained sober and active in Alcoholics Anonymous since the day I left Valley Hope. Much love.

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Michelle O.

I walked through the doors of Valley Hope on November 21, 2006. Needless to say, I didn't want to be there and had my guard up against any guidance. So, near the end of treatment, when I was asked to design a cup, I thought it was a dumb idea. I sat looking at this cup not sure what to do, then someone suggested that I “just keep it simple.”

I started painting the inside black because, I felt like I was trying to climb out of a black hole that had become my life and soul. On the outside of my cup I wrote “free” and “one day at a time.” I also drew a couple of doves. Very simple, but very telling. I remember thinking, “I might really be sick.”

After finishing my cup design, I didn't think about it again, until the day I received a box in the mail: My cup.

I was happy and proud that I had made it one year sober. I put my cup on my shelf that day and 12 and a half years later, it is still on that shelf. I look at it every morning and thank God for the journey I have been on.

For something that I originally thought was a dumb idea, is now one of my most precious belongings.

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Andrea H.

I vividly remember the inspiration behind my Valley Hope cup. Initially, I only wanted something that I could come back and get at Valley Hope after a year of sobriety - even though that seemed SO far away at the time.

But, as I started getting my craft supplies together, I considered what recovery meant to me. I included the words acceptance, faith, healing, joy, my sobriety date, and most importantly, God. I added daisies and butterflies because they represented my favorite "simple" things in nature and I was desperately seeking simplicity after my life becoming so chaotic in my disease. And, I added a mirror from a makeup compact that just happened to - I don't believe it was a coincidence - fit perfectly into the bottom of my cup. That mirror would remind me to always look inward for what I knew was inside of me, for what had always been inside me. And, I knew I could get back to being that person outside of my addiction to alcohol.

My cup holds all of my monthly medallions from my first year, along with a prayer coin and a worry stone given to me by a special friend I met at an AA meeting. I keep my cup just above my computer at home and look at it daily. Some days I just look at it to admire the pretty colors and the craft I made in treatment, but most days I look at it and remember how much getting my cup back meant to me after my first year in recovery.

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Alan H.

Recovery has changed my life by showing me a happier way of life. While I was in my active addiction, I missed so many things with my family. Not loving my wife and children and loving the bottle instead really damaged my relationships and my health. After completing treatment at Valley Hope, I never felt better and my family is healing.

My Valley Hope cup represents my love for volunteer firefighting and my family. While I train to save lives, I entered treatment to save my own.

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Denise M.

I named my Valley Hope cup “One Day at a Time” because it is the most important step each of us in recovery must live by.

My cup starts with the 12 steps coming up and out of the inside of my cup, leaving the devil down inside. I also listed family which has been my rock and major support system during my journey. I also included my counselor, Diane, who helped me overcome hidden traumas that I couldn’t seem to part with. She was such an inspiration and blessing during my treatment experience.

I look at my cup every day, count my blessings and thank my higher power (whom I choose to call God) and thank him for this wonderful journey I’m blessed to be a part of.

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Ernest R.

Recovery gave me back my life, love for myself and the hope of a clean and sober life.

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Mickey S.

Recovery has impacted my life in many ways. I have a brighter outlook on life. My relationships with my family have grown dramatically, especially my relationship with my wife. We both knew something had to change, so I went to Valley Hope for treatment. I didn't know what to expect, but after a few days, I knew it was where I needed to be. The people I met had the same problems and we managed to get through them together. They will always have my heart. The year of sobriety has gone by so fast, it was amazing. My health has improved 100% and I will always be grateful for the staff at Valley Hope for saving my life. They gave me direction and guided me through the addiction.

I put the phrase "Stay the Course" on my Valley Hope cup. The phrase was used in the context of a war or battle meaning to "pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism." My cup represents all the hard work we all had to go through to achieve one year of sobriety.

My cup is the center piece of my life.

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Dave T.

Recovery has given me life. Valley Hope cup is inspired by the song lyric “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Every day that I stay clean and sober gives me the opportunity to have brighter days.

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Carla A.

The Valley Hope cup I painted in 1984 shows all the turbulence and violence of a storm at sea, changing into full sunlight with God’s help. Inside the cup, I expressed a lot of feelings like anger and depression that were a part of my addiction.

Treatment changed my life and saved my life. Returning a year later to pick up my cup at Valley Hope was so wonderful. I have been sober 35 years now. It has been an interesting journey of self-discovery. I am much more comfortable in my own skin now which I didn’t think would ever be possible.

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Blake R.

The pivotal point in my Valley Hope treatment experience happened when my Dad opened up about my addiction and what was going on with him. My Dad has always been a huge role model in my life, so when that happened, I became willing to do whatever it took to stay sober.

About a week before I was discharged from treatment, I picked up a blank Valley Hope cup from the front desk. I noticed some fellow patients working hard on their cups, using all sorts of different colors and designs, building relationships. I decided that I would get involved.

I enjoyed the full “cup” experience. There was a man in my small group that was artistic and the night before I discharged, I saw him working on his cup by himself, so I grabbed my cup and sat down next to him. We had a great conversation and he helped me edit my simple cup design. I’m grateful for that experience and the meaning behind my cup. It’s what recovery is all about!

My Dad and I have one thing that ALWAYS comes up in our conversations: Kansas Jayhawks’ basketball. My Valley Hope cup really had nothing to do with basketball, except for the big “KU” on the side.

After I discharged from Valley Hope, I moved to a sober living home in Kansas City. I didn’t know anybody in the area. I went to a Twelve Step meeting every day, but I still felt pretty lonely during the first couple of weeks. Luckily, it was the beginning of basketball season. For the first time in a long time, I got to watch and enjoy the Jayhawks’ basketball games. But most of all, I got to talk to my dad on the phone after the games. Our relationship has grown stronger in sobriety and he was a friend when I felt like I didn’t have any. The positive momentum of our relationship has translated to other friendships in the program of AA and even beyond that. I don’t feel so lonely anymore...

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Aaron C.

My Valley Hope cup is covered with jigsaw puzzle stickers that fit together. Because in recovery, my life was being put back together like a puzzle. I also worked on a very elaborate puzzle of the story of Noah and the Flood while at Valley Hope. God used Valley Hope of Booneville and the people there (staff and other patients) to save me from myself. I am now into my 13th year of sobriety. Praise God!

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Carlton G.

When I arrived at Valley Hope for treatment at 52 years old, I was a complete train wreck, with more than 40 years of active addiction. I had reached what I can only say was hopefully my last of so many rock bottoms. I remember thinking that I would never make it alone. However, I finally accepted that everybody at Valley Hope wanted to help me.

The day I discharged from treatment, I hung my patient cup in the lecture hall. As I walked up in front of my fellow alumni, all my fears about being myself lifted. I felt in my heart that they were on my side. I had met my new family, I was walking up a hill and out of a cave into the light of a brand new dawn. As I placed my cup on the wall, with my extended family watching I never felt such a sense of accomplishment, connection and gratitude.

Now, instead of being unsure and fearful, I walk forward one step and one day at a time with hope and confidence.

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Mike L.

Night and day. I had given up on any thought of sobriety. I was resigned to dying drunk. Through my stay at Valley Hope, I learned that I did have self-worth and gained some tools to live a wonderful life one day at a time.

The back side of my Valley Hope cup is shaded black. That was my life while using. I grew up in the 1960s, so I included a peace sign on the front of my cup.

Life can be peaceful and great – one day at a time.

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Amy H.

Recovery has given me a new outlook on life and all the things in it. When I was drinking, absolutely nothing mattered except that next drink. I stole money to buy alcohol, I used all the change I could find, and I always made sure that I had more alcohol hidden somewhere. I found myself trying to hide from anyone and everyone. I didn’t go to work so that I could drink. Life was not good. I got tired of lying and looking for new places to hide during the day when I was supposed to be working.

Today in recovery, I have made many new friends that I can talk to for support. I can spend more time with my kids, grandkids, family and have enough energy and patience to enjoy them. I have gained back self-confidence. I can share my experiences with others now and hope to help them in their journey as well. I can socialize with others when before I didn’t want to go anywhere unless I could drink. I have lost a lot of weight and no longer some medications that I don’t need anymore. I am human again.

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Bill K.

Recovery has made a significant impact in my life in many wonderful ways.  It really all started with the day I was admitted to Valley Hope. My life became the life I used to have before this horrible disease took control of everything in my life.

I am a farmer in Nebraska. I look forward to going to work every day, it makes me feel productive again. I am the best possible farmer I can be. I am a granddad to my grandchildren. I would never have been allowed to spend that time with them, if it had not been for my recovery. I am so blessed that I did not miss out on being a part of their lives. I have lots of friends in AA and they are also my family. I feel as if my life has purpose now, helping others who are now where I used to be.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would go back and get my Valley Hope cup after that first year of sobriety. Yet, after I left Atchison, I would drive down every third Friday for Renewal day from Nebraska City. I could see other one-year alumni receiving their cups and how happy and proud they were. On my one-year anniversary of sobriety, I wanted to feel that way too. I remember thinking what a blessing it was to receive my cup.  My cup represents the many blessings I have received since being in recovery.

Valley Hope Videos

About Us

Graphic of Valley Hope stacked logo

About Valley Hope

Since 1967, Valley Hope has provided hope and healing to people and families impacted by substance use disorder. With residential and outpatient addiction treatment services at 16 locations nationwide, Valley Hope has helped more than 310,000 individuals overcome addiction and lead successful lives in recovery. Learn more at valleyhope.org or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For help, call (800) 544-5101.

About National Recovery Month

Voices of Hope National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.

Graphic of National Recovery Month 2019
Graphic of Valley Hope stacked logo

About Valley Hope

Since 1967, Valley Hope has provided hope and healing to people and families impacted by substance use disorder. With residential and outpatient addiction treatment services at 16 locations nationwide, Valley Hope has helped more than 310,000 individuals overcome addiction and lead successful lives in recovery. Learn more at valleyhope.org or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For help, call (800) 544-5101.

Graphic of National Recovery Month 2019

About National Recovery Month

Voices of Hope National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.