Nothing speaks better than those who have gone before us. Here are some of their words.
I remember walking into Turning Point for the first time and just crying my eyes out. I was very scared and just didn’t know if I could do it. Well, I did, and now have 12 ½ years sober. Turning Point changed my life. I have to admit, though—living with 19 other women was challenging for me. I was the type of drunk that really needed structure to help me get and stay sober. That is what Turning Point gave me. When I was in the house, Judy Bernard worked there, and she was an angel sent from God to me. She really straightened me out. The house is a wonderful place to get sober. There is so much love and kindness there. I was taught to make my bed every day, and I even had to cook for 20 women. I became a civil human being while I lived at Turning Point. I will end in saying that I think Turning Point is one of the best women’s rehabilitation homes that I know of. I would not have the life that I have today without it. Thanks, Turning Point, from the bottom of my heart!
Turning Point Saved Me
I was floundering. Sober a few weeks, spending every day at the North Shores Alano Club in Pacific Beach, San Diego, but feeling frantic all the time, like body and soul were on the verge of blowing apart into a zillion pieces. I thought when I stopped drinking my life would get better. But it felt like when I gave up alcohol, I lost my mind and my ability to handle my life which was already reduced to doing odd job work and avoiding looking at my mail, most of which was late notices and collection letters.
Then a Higher Power (that I didn’t believe in) stepped in. A 20-something woman (who later became my roommate and one of my best friends) shared at a meeting that she was living in a recovery home. “What’s a recovery home?” I asked my new sponsor. “Great idea!” said she to my extreme dismay. And, for the first time in my life I turned my will over to whatever Higher Power appeared to be working for everyone else in AA. I just knew that my way wasn’t working. So I interviewed and got on the waiting list at three women’s recovery homes in the San Diego area, Crossroads, Serenity House, and Turning Point. I vowed to go wherever a bed opened first. When I interviewed at The Turning Point, I was told that I should go to the “7-Day Treatment Program” at Volunteers of America, connected to Detox in the skid row area of San Diego (now it’s a 10-day program). “Who me?!?” “I’m an educated, successful (well I had been at one time) woman; I don’t belong down there with those kind of people!” “You mean alcoholics?” “Oh…Yeah.”
So, away I went. The day before I was to exit the 7-day program. The Turning Point called with a bed available as soon as I was released; my new life at The Turning Point began. I remember my first few days at Turning Point feeling safe for the first time in eons. I was about 3 weeks sober by then and still physically detoxing. (I’d had what a doctor called early onset-DT’s, meaning no seizures but severe shaking and alcoholic hallucination nightmares.) I felt like I was in the process of exploding. I felt mentally, physically and emotionally broken. I had horrible pain in my bones. I was actually relieved to have someone tell me what time to get up, what chores to do, what meetings to attend, what time to go to bed. I couldn’t do much else, but I could follow those simple instructions. I’d shared a house with roommates for a number of years before, so living in a group home (20 women, YIKE!” was not that hard for me. It felt more like a huge family. I cried a lot my first six months at Turning Point. And over time, my heart and mind and soul began to heal. The wonderful women at Turning Point literally loved me back to health. And I will never, ever be able to say thank you enough. Today I’m still actively involved with The Turning Point helping with fund raisers and other activities. Its part of how I give back some small part of what I was so freely given. God bless The Turning Point for saving me and so many other lucky women.
Synchronicity Brought Me to Turning Point and Recovery
Synchronicity is a funny thing; often you don’t see it until you look back at a series of amazing coincidences and suddenly see all of the puzzle pieces fitting together to bring you to where you are now. For me, my journey to recovery started with a glass (a large snifter actually) of brandy and the Handbook to Higher Consciousness. In retrospect, I see that that minimal effort while seriously drunk, was enough to set in motion a series of events which led, in relatively short order, to recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. It started with a conversation over drinks (how else?) that included my sad tale of woe about an abusive relationship and loss of career. In response, my friend surprised me by asking if I’d grown up in an alcoholic family. He said my story was pretty typical of adult children of alcoholics. (You mean I’m not unique?!?) Actually it was a relief to find there was a place where I could fit in and people would understand the depression, fear, anxiety, and crazy thoughts that lived in my head. I was delighted to have finally found the answer to the emotional pain that had plagued me for years….I was an Adult Child of Alcoholic parents and a grandmother (or does everyone’s grandma keep a plastic cup of bourbon in her underwear drawer?) There were ACA meetings where people much like me shared their experience, strength and hope of recovering from the emotional scars of having grown up in the insanity of family alcoholism. My friend Michelle and I would leave our ACA meeting and go out drinking and talking about how amazing ACA meetings were!
Then more synchronicity. An attractive, successful-looking 30-something woman (like me….or at least how I aspired to be) shared at my ACA meeting that she was also an alcoholic and realized it when she saw that she “could not control and enjoy her drinking.” I’d been out of control for a long time, but I always thought I could quit if I wanted, I just never wanted to…how would I numb the pain? Well, the next time I drank, I just kept drinking, and every time I decided I should stop I couldn’t seem to stop. And I knew then that I was one too. At the end of a three day round-the-clock binge I virtually fell into recovery like Alice down the rabbit hole. I called AA who sent me to an Alano Club, where I met someone in a recovery home, who gave me the courage to interview, resulting in my residency at The Turning Point Home. And there my new life began. Home at last. Safe at last. At Turning Point I was helped back to physical, mental and emotional health. I grew up in Turning Point. I learned to take on daily responsibilities (chores) and to be accountable if for no other reason than to avoid getting a “consequence” (usually consisting of doing dishes or doing pet patrol.) I learned to plan meals and to cook (for 20…dinner for two is still a bit of a struggle.) I got the courage to go back to school to investigate changing careers. I got my first job in recovery, (light typing that I was barely able to do, my mind having been so pickled by alcohol.) Eventually, with the support and encouragement of Turning Point staff, Cortez ‘Corky’ Carpenter and Judy B., I was able to return to my profession in the law. Since I was still living at Turning Point I still had to leave work in time to go home and do dishes but that helped motivate me to move out after over a year. That was some 20 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t look back with deep gratitude for the amazing chain of events that led me into recovery and this fabulous life of sobriety. I thank Turning Point for giving me a safe, loving home where I could heal and grow into a healthy, functioning, contributing member of society.
Thank you Turning Point!