1 Coffee Cup A Newsletter for Valley Hope Alumni and Friends VALLEY HOPE Edition 4 Winter 2012 Inside this Issue: Association News Letters to the Editorial Committee Family Matters Carry The Message Foundation News Friends & Alumni News Reflections Spotlight on 12-Steps Letters from Home You Asked Just for Laughs
2 Association News By: Ken Gregoire, Ph.D. President/CEO A Good Morning I ve had a really good morning. Sometimes it s good for the soul to share. First, I ve been at our Program Director/Business Manager meeting held in Kansas City this week and I ve been thinking about our time together. The team work, comradely, and meaningful and Ken Gregoire spirited discussion were interesting and often inspiring. Our Norton team put together training on the toughest challenges we face. Juanita Gregoire (VHA clinical director) and Dawn Johnson (VHA clinical supervisor) presented on the ways in which our policies, procedures and general practices reflect and integrate with the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). They also helped clarify our responsibilities to our patients under a variety of privacy and confidentiality laws including 42 CFR part 2 and HIPAA. Jolene Nichols (VHA clinical supervisor) presented on best practices for the treatment of opiate addiction. Curt Krebsbach (VHA clinical supervisor) and Dave Ketter (VHA clinical supervisor) led an inspired discussion on how best to help patients prepare for discharge and engage in ongoing recovery activities. Donna Schwartz (team leader for our community relations clinicians) took our leadership audience step by step through how she goes about helping people get into treatment through her daily work. John Leipold (VHA COO) and Tiffney Yeager (VHA clinical supervisor) demonstrated tools for improving the admissions and utilization review processes. We concluded our meetings with an award ceremony for the winning golf team and winning bowling team (yes, we had some fun in Kansas City too). Jack Colmore (Business Manager at Parker) and Dave Ketter seemed to take home the most awards. Dave told us all that he thought he would need to build a larger awards cabinet as a result of his success in Kansas City. This morning as I sit at my desk I m thinking what a great bunch of human beings, and what great work they are doing and how happy and grateful I am to be a part of all of this. Then the telephone rang. Doc Leipold was on the line wanting to speak with me. As most of you know, Doc was Valley Hope s first clinical leader. He established the clinical philosophy we still embrace and trained many of us who do our best to carry the torch. Doc told me that he and Donna Sutton (another name from some time ago and who really is an iconic figure in the treatment community in Lincoln Nebraska) have been speaking with a young person from Lincoln who very much needed treatment. I told Doc that he might as well tell this young person that we would be waiting to help in O Neill Valley Hope. Doc said that Donna would do the driving. Then I called O Neill to make sure that we were ready for our young Lincoln person. Jean Peterson answered the telephone. Jean has also been with us a long time and is a loyal Big Red fan as am I. We commiserated. I gave her the information about our young Lincoln person who would soon be on the way to O Neill. Then Jean said that just yesterday patient number 24 called to talk. Patient number 24 had been in treatment years ago, of course, but has been sober ever since. He sadly shared that patient number 29 had passed away. Patient number 29 had been sober since treatment as well. I like Jean because she is a Big Red fan but I like her more because these kinds of calls really matter to her. And so I m feeling a little nostalgic this morning. Valley Hope has been around for so very long waiting for the next telephone call and the next person to honor us to provide their care. I have known so many absolutely great people during my Valley Hope tenure, many of them true characters, who have enriched my life. And my time in Kansas City with our people from each treatment facility was truly enriching and gives me great optimism that we will be around for quite some time waiting for the next call. What a great morning it has been. Letters to the Editorial Committee Notes, Cards and Letters from our readers: Don t change anything, every issue is wonderful. I came out of Cushing Valley Hope on January 20, I am still sober and still a huge fan, thank you very much. -Tony C. Keep up the good work! Very beneficial. -Scott C. I would like to see more articles by alumni who have some years in the program. I know when I first went to the real world I would ask people with some years in the program about how it works, life and problems. ~John H. I just wanted you to know, I love the Coffee Cup And I am working on my 7 th year birthday in November. Thank you. ~John Hi Amanda, the Coffee Cup looks great as always. Keep up the great work you are doing. Take care. Mickey W. Valley Hope has done so much for me and the Coffee Cup has been a big part of my transformation. Prior to going to Valley Hope my life was so bleak and there was no way out. The gift of hope is a fantastic thing. I now have a life that is full of joy, full of love and full of hope. -Stephen R. I like it a lot, just wish for more stories from Atchison Valley Hope. I wanted to share something with you all. I just celebrated 20 years of clean and sober time and it would not have been possible for me without all your help and support. Thanks. -Jennifer A.
3 Family Matters: Addiction Is A Famiy Issue Donna Schwartz, M.A., CACIII Trying to describe what life is like having a loved one, or being a loved one who is addicted, is too overwhelming to speak out loud for most people! The descriptions from family to family are amazingly similar, with specific details differing in each house-hold. One of the things I have marveled at through the years of working with families of substance abusing people is how much commonality there is and how many people live feeling terminally unique; lonely and afraid not knowing where to turn for support or even realizing they need support. I have compared the addiction in the family to a literal tornado; the impact is very much the same. There is devastation, wreckage, and debris everywhere. The dynamics of a tornado is that of creating havoc; sucking people in and spewing out harmful things. Anyone close to the tornado is pulled in...their lives feel twisted and out of control. Everyone is feeling powerless. Life feels unmanageable and terrifying. Where do you turn for safety? How do you protect and help people in danger? How can you stop the brutal winds from harming you and others you love? What is the answer? If the one you love who is addicted is the tornado, there are some helpful things to know. First of all, you/we cannot stop a tornado! We cannot stop the addicted loved one from using! Before you feel hopeless by this reality, consider this truth... what I CAN do is take care of myself; create safety for myself and children/loved ones impacted by the addicted loved one s behavior. Thinking we can stop a loved one s addiction is about as logical as believing we can stop a tornado. I spent years trying and it wore me out; nearly destroyed ME. Carry The Message Full Circle By: Jay S. I was sitting in my house surrounded by eight cameras, feeling extremely paranoid. I think I did too much meth, so I shot some morphine to come down. I felt helpless against the people coming for me. I had no idea who they were, but I knew they were coming. I called my old NA sponsor and begged him to come save me yet one more time. He happened to be at a Ranger baseball game and left early to come get me and take me to his house to detox. I had never been in treatment and still thought I had it under control. We went to his house and he made me go to two meetings a day for three weeks. During that time I was still riding with an outlaw Motor Cycle Club. I sat in the back of the rooms at the meetings and did not want any hugs or their nonsense. I was sure they (the cops) were still watching me, even at the meetings. Not only that, I thought I could live the same way I had been, but just stay clean and go to meetings for everything to be A okay, I was wrong. I left my sponsor s house after three weeks and went back to doing the same things I had always done, except for getting high. That lasted about a week before I was back to the races on the dope. I did one line and it was all over. I kept thinking this was a bad thing, but it didn t stop me. I had a hard time breathing after a couple of weeks, but that didn t stop me either. How we can help is to get help for ourselves; alanon meetings (which are meetings for loved ones of the addicted for insight and support) and/or seeing a therapist who understands families and addiction. In helping ourselves and learning what we are dealing with, in our addicted loved one and within ourselves, we can intuitively know how to manage situations that used to baffle us, be capable of finding happiness and contentment, whether the addicted person still chooses to use or not. Most people over time of dealing with a loved one s abuse of chemicals will admit, in time, that their best choices to be helpful and loving did not change the loved one s addicted behaviors. That would be an example of powerlessness. Most will also admit that they have had many sleepless nights and some anxiety/sadness attempting to save their loved one from despair and self-destruction. People who live in Recovery, who have found support, help and safety in facing the tornado, (with others who have been through one themselves) have found a peace in the midst of the storm and after the storm. I have personally not met someone who has the quality of life they long for, living in an addicted situation, without the support of recovery group, friends, literature, and meetings. Usually when a loved one stops helping, the addicted person sees how the chemical use is impacting their own life; how consequences they are facing is due to their using vs. blaming everyone else for their problems. Trying to change without support and education is challenging for most of us. If you have questions about ways to step away from the tornado while still caring about the one in the middle of it, please me at Be good to YOU! December 25, 2005 was my last dance with the meth. I was driving home from a friend s house after getting high and I went into respiratory failure. I ended up on the side of the road in a ditch thinking I was going to die. I chose to call my wife on speed dial instead of 911 because I wanted to be on the phone with her when I died, not the police. I told her I didn t really know where I was, but I had done too much dope and she needed to come find me. She did find me and took me to the hospital. They were going to make me wait, so like the good addict I was, I chose to leave and deal with it on my own. Later when we got to the house my wife suggested somewhat forcefully that I might want to go to treatment and check myself in. I said yes and the next two days before I went I did every pill in the house just in case I could never use drugs again. My wife was angry with me for using again, but she really wanted me to get better and be clean. I had been kicked out of my club for doing too much dope, so my choice was either join a more hardcore club, or go to treatment. I checked into Grapevine on the 28 th of December, I don t remember all that much about the first week of treatment, but I do remember that I was angry and fearful and hated the idea of God. The second week of inpatient treatment I was in small group and in that group sat an alumnus named Big (Continued)
4 ( Full Circle continued) Daddy (who I m sorry to say passed away and I can t thank him for what he did). Anyway, Big Daddy challenged me to go to the chapel and talk to God. We went back and forth about the subject with him saying God is good and me cursing him and God. I finally gave in and went to the chapel to look for a sign I could understand. I actually got a sign and started going to the chapel every day and talking to the new God of my understanding. I realized it didn t have to be the God I grew up with, it could be a God of my own understanding. I liked this idea and I ran with it and my spirituality started to grow. I hit my knees and did a real 3 rd Step and man did that feel good. I talked to my counselor and my chaplain about it and I was ready for the Steps 4 and 5. I did a FEARLESS and thorough 4 th and 5 th and released all the baggage I came in with. I ve since worked the rest of the steps and continue to take an active part in my recovery. I had good and bad times while I was at Grapevine Valley Hope, but I learned a lot from the staff and from my peers. They taught me to be open and honest, and most of all, willing. While I was there, right before I left, I talked to the director and he told me I should go to school to be an LCDC and come back for a job. I thanked him for the kind words and went back to working at the airport. Now these thoughts were in my mind constantly. Do I go to school? Do I stay where I am comfortable? Do I go out on faith and do something for others for a change? The answer was yes, I would go to school. I was a little scared to say the least. My wife went to school while I supported the family in the past and she told me it was my turn. The first couple of classes were kind of difficult for me while I made the transition, but after that it started to be smooth sailing. I was really doing it. I hope to graduate this December with a 3.45 average. I helped start an NA meeting in my town and got involved in service work as the groups General Service Representative (GSR) and Treasurer. I got out of the outlaw motorcycle scene and changed who and what I was and who I hung out with. I now spent my time with people in the program of NA and with my family. I ve made direct amends and living amends to my family and friends and my spiritual life has grown as a result of the new way of life I am living. Valley Hope saved my life. They gave me the tools and the spirit to stay clean. I can t thank them enough for what they gave to my family and me. So when I go in tomorrow as a practicum intern student at Grapevine Valley Hope and I see Beth, Kaye and Michel, I ll be sure to think of something fitting to say. They gave me my life back at Valley Hope and now I want to give back what was given to me. I m well on my way to becoming a counselor. Hostage (don t starve to death) Goodbye my addictions My once undeniable affliction No more hellos, no more holas Now there is only goodbye Cause you ve left me with only bitter memories Holding me hostage with your barrage of weaponry Chaining me down and breaking my will Kicking me in the teeth, drowning me in guilt So goodbye my former lover You said you d love me like no other No more will I fall into your hands of deceit So let your head down and hang in defeat. And the further I crawl through the tunnel As your empire begins to crumble Now the lights are getting near Never again will I have to fear And this song will not be left unsung The bells have rung, my war is won So let me take this final chance To say goodbye and walk away without a second glance -Tayor C. Mirror By: Rosco G. When I take a good look at the man in the mirror A changed person I surely do see Many changes are left to ensure I become Who I once was so destined to be Mistakes I have made and I know I m not done Though I strive to limit their cause The cause being me and the choices I make Which are made better with a pause The focus was self, always me, me, me No thought given to my fellow man Until God knocked on my door, said I ll have this no more And presented a whole brand new plan The struggle began, the walls built were thick But something kept me pushing on Soon a light could be seen and though it be faint A new life, a new day, a new dawn Exposing an ego driven by fear Was a truth to be seen that I so didn t like The only way out was to smash thoughts of self And tell the old me to go take a hike To put others first, I never had done What to expect I could never have known Thoughts followed action by taking some steps And from this a new spirit was grown I try to stay willing and ready to learn With open eyes, ears, mind and heart Just that is a task, but one I can do And really it s only the start In life it is not where we ve been or will be The who, what, when, where or how It s about living each day like the first and the last Staying right here and right now When I look at the one in the mirror I see One that s finally on the right track I see a man that can, who will and who has And I like who I see staring back
5 While I was there I splashed around I found I could not swim Then someone gently pulled me out I realized it was HIM At first I fought and struggled My heart was full of strife Although I did not know it then Recovery saved my life Today my life is wonderful My heart is full of songs I thank GOD every day For making bridges strong I entered Boonville Valley Hope in Aug with a whirlwind of problems and a very hard withdrawal from opiates and alcohol. I left with HOPE. I learned how to work through problems without running and without getting high or drunk. I learned to face life head on. I learned that I am a good person and I dont have to fear what others think about my past. I learned how to work the steps and get on with life. One of the most important things I have today is my relationship with GOD. I go to AA and I am the District 7 Public Information person. I am going to speak to a group of people at a DUI program this Thursday. Who would have thought? I came in to Valley Hope sick, underweight, shaking, sweating, crazy, etc. and today I am doing what people at Valley Hope said was possible if I did what was suggested. I thank GOD for you all. ~Barry P. My Sacred Pilgrimage By: Abby T. Family IOP AC/ESS, Chandler Valley Hope It is a crazy thing to look back on my life, especially my adult years and know that I was just going through the motions, unaware of who I was and what I needed, oblivious that there was another way. I was a shell of a person doing the best I could to just survive, ruled by fear, in constant pain, never feeling worthy. This girl was on a path that just circled over and over again with pain, mistrust, fear. And now I am here. Brought here through the choices I ve made and the people I have in my life. I am here on the edge of having the world opened up to me with serenity, clarity and understanding. It s frustrating to see it and to know it s there and know it will only be revealed to me THROUGH the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is filled with opposites. The realization that I am strong enough, and my spirit and I can weather this storm and the constant burden of rain drops of hatred, fear and pain. I have to go deep within myself and remind myself that I have support. I need to tell myself that I am worthy and I am loveable and I will survive. I will thrive. Then I can open my eyes, feel the calm wind on my face, see the blue skies, hear the birds chirping, notice a bloom on that tree and maybe even smile. I will be a little more prepared for the next storm that is sure to come throughout this pilgrimage, and even wanting the storm to come so I can just get to the part where I see the second bloom on that tree. I am the tree that is Abby, beautiful and mighty. The Night Before Christmas--Big Book Style By: Tami A. Cushing Valley Hope Twas the night before Christmas, we were all in the club, Enjoying a meeting, instead of a pub. The ashtrays were clean, and coffee was made, The Big Books were out, then we all prayed. When out on the lot, there arose such a clatter, We all jumped up to see what was the matter. The Chair with his Big Book, and I with my smokes, Headed outside to find these two blokes. They came inside and sat at the table, And said they d chair, as soon as they were able. To start with, they said, It s more than not drinking: It s doing your best to have God fix your thinking. First Things First! and the slogans we used, Help keep the newcomer from getting confused. We make a decision when we get to Step 3, Step 4 was tough; I think we all can agree. Step 5 is the one where we let it all out, And after 6 and 7, we are left with no doubt. When we got to Step 8, we made our full list; And then with Step 9 we have to persist. After Step 9, more promises ring true; We didn t just make that up, right out of the blue. After that, it s on with the rest; The things we must do, to be our best. They put on their coats and got ready to leave; A very good end, for this Christmas Eve, As to their names, we only could guess; Must have been Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. These two men hopped into a 35 Ford, And as they pulled out, one of them roared. We leave this message, for our sisters and brothers; Trust God, Clean House, and be of service to others. And for all of you people, I just want to say, Have a wonderful holiday, and just don t drink or drug today.
6 Building Hope Valley Hope Association Foundation Megan O Connor, BS ADAC Director of Development Ever wonder how your gifts support our Mission? You ve helped many patients, family members and supported several improvement projects. Our fiscal year ended on June 30, 2012 and here are the numbers important to you - our supporters. Scholarships: $137,303 distributed to assist patients and family members with their cost of treatment. Facility Improvements: $40,925 purchased new outdoor furniture, recreation equipment, fountains, landscaping and more. Patient Immediate Needs: $18,474 provided treatment-related books, emergency dental work, clothing and recovery house down-payments. Valley Hope s Gift Acceptance Policy Valley Hope Association and the Foundation will not accept gifts from a patient in excess of a cumulative $250 amount within the first two years of discharge from any level of care. This amount was determined to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in fund-raisers, golf tournaments, Birthday Club, etc. Our ethical policies guide us to maintain only a therapeutic and professional relationship with patients, for a minimum of two years following discharge. If we begin accepting donations within that two year period, our relationship changes from therapeutic to donor-social. Why Give? Charitable gifts make a difference in the lives of our patients. Our sole mission is to help the chemically dependent and their families. Many of our patients don t have insurance and most are not wealthy. We promise to be good stewards of your donation. How to Give Donate on our website - Contact the Foundation by phone (785) (GIVE) Mail your gift to: VHA Foundation, P.O. Box 59 Norton, KS New Birthday Club Members Earl Murphy (Norton) 42 years Keith D. (Norton) 32 years Fred G. (Grapevine) 3 years Nancy H. (Norton) A total of $170 was received for immediate patient assistance needs! Happy Birthday! 2012 BIRTHDAY CLUB Marlene G. (Norton) 33 years Doug M. (Norton) 11 years Oriana C. (Moundridge) 1 year 33 years Send a dollar or more for each year of your recovery and your gift will provide immediate needs for patients, such as treatment-related books and recovery house down-payments. Recovery Birthday Donation Amount My gift is to help a patient at (location) Valley Hope. Your name Address City ST ZIP Mail to VHA Foundation, PO Box 59, Norton, KS 67654
7 Valley Hope Association Foundation Donations Received from July 1 October 15, 2012 Thank you for supporting Valley Hope s mission to help alcoholics, addicts and their families. NORTON Facility Improvements/Operating Hillcrest Motel New Look Body Shop-Gall Motor Co. Craig Krizek D.D.S. Patient Assistance Sharleen Wurm Norton Alkathon Silent Auction Jim Isaacson Peter Nissen First Security Bank Whitaker s of McCook Nancy Hastings Earl Murphy Ambassadors Class Christian Church Corina W. Keith Dickey Marlene Gakle Bridges Group, Inc. Doug Marsh Please accept this donation in memory of Heather A. I loved her person, hated her disease. I can t think of a better way to celebrate her life. ~Mary L. In Memory of Heather Rutan Albright Mary Leet In Honor of Keith D. Marletta and Jack Wilkens In Memory of Derek Zabokrtsky Julie Siefers Scholarships-Immediate Use Hays Alumni Group North Platte Alumni Group In Honor of Megan O Connor Carolyn Hitchman Unrestricted University of Georgia Stephen Horney Nick Hoffman In Memory of Kathi Sullivan Deborah & Robert Frederick Linda & Arthur Kirschenmann Debra Berning Darlene Ansel Debbie & Steven Stucky Douglas Stebens Jr. Karen & Dennis Zerr Fisher Cattle Company Patricia Miller Patti & Rick Juhl Julie & Anthony Englert Carlee Vieux Robert Beymer Sheila & Jake Juhl Kristi & Shawn Carlson Tom & Darla White Michael Dykstra Helen Batchelder Debra & Michael Fisher For the last 9 years, Kathi has worked the 12 Step Program to win all of our hearts back. And she did just that and more. Valley Hope was her second home. Here are some of the memorials. I know she would have chosen Valley Hope. God Bless you all and keep working the program as she would have. ~Steve Dixie & Gary Beymer Rick & Kim Schmidt Julie & Paul Munson Stacey & Doug Geubelle Mona Crump Terri Swann Victor & Vivian Michel Scott & Nanette Harris Allison & Roy Bushek Deborah & Gary McDaniel Darla Sutor Moore Tamara Riggs Lana & Rodney Bryant Pam & Eric Keller Rita Stockton Phyllis & Max Oyler Tressa & Jim Powers Walter & Fern Waechter Janie & Rick Belt Maylene & Harold Williams Leona Randolph Lyle & Karen Waechter Katherine & David White Patricia Norrell Sharon & Clyde Belt Marilyn & Mick Morgan Bobbie Landon Jean Warden Sharon & Randall Steinle I was a patient at Norton in July 1979 and have had continuous sobriety since I left the facility. I owe a lot to my counselor, Ken Gregoire, who believed in me and stuck by my side during and after treatment Please use this money for the Patient Assistance Fund. ~Marlene G. Marge Hendershot Kris & Monte Carr Frances Bostrom Lakin Booster Planning Comm. John R. Thompson Betty & Forest Pitts Sherry & George Rapp Dennis Leighty Lisa & Leonard Bolmer Tirra & Jordan Carter Debra & Eric Schiffelbein Patricia Yeradi Mary Lou & Norman Clark Mary Lou Williams Dixie & Daniel Senestraro Rosemary & Tom Bachman Michelle & Dustin Thompson Suellen & Alvin Bergkamp Marie Kohlhorst Craig Boomhower Marian Hagemann-Weber Lori Hamblen Kimberly & Sammye Telford Loretta & James Nykodym Martin & Donna Neff Keller & Miller, CPA Davis Motors Kearny County Feeders Carolyn Anderson Tammy & John Meisel Russell Shankle Farms Robin & Ron Loeppke Lee Ann Feeney Judy & Dean Whitehill Laura Dykstra Janet & Bill Rooney Theresa & Bruce Meyer Candy Hale Linda & Darrell Kuhn Randall McVey, D.M.D. Tate Ranch Patricia Daugherty ATCHISON Unrestricted In Memory of Donald Polinskie Sue McCord-Belzer Patricia Wicht Joan and Doug Carlson Lorri and James Dorsch Ed & Rachael Cooper-Zimmerman Odyssey Hospice (employees) Melissa Villanueva Bryan Beatty Scholarships-Immediate Use In Memory of Chad Illgner Ann Illgner In Memory of Christian Cleveland Olive s Good Karma Foundation Patient Assistance Buffy and Eric Woodward My gift is in memory of my brother Christian. Please utilize the enclosed donation for patients with limited finances. Christian would have been 37 on September 1, He lives in my heart and in this gift for recovery. ~Ashley
8 CUSHING Building Renovation Fund Timothy & Kathleen O Toole Scholarships-Immediate Use In Memory of Brian Yocham Zak Yocham Thora Debois Unrestricted In Memory of Eddie J. Bayouth Sr. Greg & Leola Harrison & Family In Memory of Chae Morgan Michael Haverly Charles Atkinson Chris Teague Jan Burkhart Cris Patterson Facility Improvements Steven (Grizz) Burge Al & Susan Roberts Scholarship Fund Toomey Oil Co.,Inc. Chesapeake Operating, Inc. BOONVILLE Unrestricted In Memory of Thaddeus Daly Joanne Coyle John & Katherine Daly Catherine & James Isgrigg Scholarships-Immediate Use Todd and Linda Slanker Herb L. Taylor Realty Robert Wilson Keith Pedigo In Memory of David Smith Steve and Robin Smith O NEILL Unrestricted In Memory of Eric Janke Keogh Electric Tom and Diane Keogh Chad and April Keogh and Family Scholarships-Immediate Use Stuart Olson Wayne Kindt Patient Assistance Golf Tournament Players Golf Tournament Prizes Donated by Great Western Bank Pinnacle Bank Super Foods Torpin s Rodeo Market Enclosed is a check for $400 to be used to assist your participants to get back on their feet. We appreciate all the referrals you send our way and this is a way to give back. We have four ¾ way houses in Omaha and each house donated $50 from their house account and as always we matched that amount. ~Tom Hightower, Exec Dir House Gaughenbaugh Flooring Keystone Treatment Center O Neill Valley Hope Counselors John Schindler Norfolk Auto Kracl Irrigation Co., Inc. Great Western Gas Co. O Neill Tire & Supply Tompkins Insurance & Financial Svcs B G & S Transmissions Breiner Welding & Fabrication Cole Redi-Mix Family Medical Center of Hastings Elms Motel Reiser Insurance, Inc. Plains Equipment Group Reunion Silent Auction & Raffle Anson Insurance Services, Inc. Kratz Heating & A/C, Inc. Special T s and More PayDay Loans Russell Schwartz The 1212 House O Neill Helping Hands In Memory of Steve Emme Gage Stermensky II CHANDLER Scholarships-Immediate Use Douglas Gray Gonzalo Ardavin William Rubin Patient Assistance Anonymous Donor Chandler Alumni Group Unrestricted Jeffrey Marsh In Honor of Kelly Johnson Phillip Johnson TEMPE Scholarships-Immediate Use Harris Brothers Foundation Facility Improvements Harris Brothers Foundation GRAPEVINE Patient Assistance Fred Gentry Scholarships-Immediate Use Monica Moline MOUNDRIDGE Patient Assistance Mike Weigand Oriana Cassidy Moundridge Alumni Group Scholarships-Immediate Use Moundridge VH Change a Life PARKER Patient Assistance Run4Recovery Active Allen Espinoza Facility Improvements Parker Past Advisory Board Michael Tomko In Memory of Mike Mullen Steve & Nancy Mullen ALL FACILITIES Unrestricted April Rodewall & Doug Fout Reid Wilkes Microsoft Matching Gifts Program George Land Sharidan Parr Rickey Dawson Scholarships- WDL Endowment Fund In Memory of Heather Rutan Albright Bob and Rita Speer In Memory of Ermyl (Dolly) Phelps Kerri Ray Dear Donna at Tempe, Thank you for all the great support you have given me. You have a wonderful team of counselors: Rose, Pam, Shay, Hank. Use the money however you see fit. With gratefulness in my heart. ~Paul In-Kind Gifts Received If you are interested in donating an item for a treatment center, please contact the Program Director or Megan O Connor at the Foundation by calling Dustin Gray, Hope Builder Board member created and donated the Harry Gard Coffee Shop signage for Wichita Valley Hope. Dr. Curt Krebsbach donated wall artwork for Tempe Valley Hope center. Just a Stitch Quilt Guild (Fremont, NE) donating a quilt for O Neill patients.
9 Friends & Alumni News Stay in Touch Alumni and Friends Visit our website, and click on Alumni and Friends link and click STAY IN TOUCH to receive s about Renewal Days, special events and participate in the Coffee Cup questions and answers. You ll also be the first to see the new Coffee Cup newsletter online. Renewal Day Calendar Return Renew Rejoice Recovery Medallions, Speakers and Fellowship State Center Nov Dec Jan Feb Day Start Time ARIZONA Chandler Fri 9:00AM COLORADO Parker Fri 9:00AM KANSAS Atchison Fri 9:00AM Mission Fri 6:00PM Norton Fri 9:00AM Moundridge Fri 8:30AM MISSOURI Boonville Fri 8:30AM St. Louis Wed 5:30PM NEBRASKA O Neill Fri 8:50AM Omaha Tue 6:30PM OKLAHOMA Cushing Fri 9:00AM OKC Tue 6:00PM TEXAS Grapevine Fri 8:30AM Valley Hope Holiday Parties Cushing, OK Saturday, December 8 th 1-5 p.m. Speakers, entertainment, and meal Parker, CO Friday, December 21 st Special Renewal Day starting at 9 a.m. Atchison, KS Friday, December 21 st Special Renewal Day starting at 9 a.m. Boonville, MO Friday, December 14, Special Renewal Day-- 5 p.m. holiday meal Norton, KS Friday, December 14 th Special Renewal Day and noon holiday meal. O Neill, NE Friday, December 7 th Special Renewal Day 9 a.m.
10 Alumni & Friends Support Groups Atchison, KS Alumni group meets each month at Atchison Valley Hope on Renewal Day at 9a.m. for a Business meeting and 10 a.m. for Road to Recovery when we answer questions from the patient group. Upcoming dates:, November 16, December 21, January 18, February 15 Where: Atchison Valley Hope Contact: Dave W. Phone: (913) Chandler, AZ Alumni and friends meet in the dining hall of Chandler Valley Hope every Tuesday evening from 7:15 until 9 p.m. for speaker and group discussionwhere: Chandler Valley Hope-Dining Hall Contact: Ray Pena - Phone: (480) Ford / Dodge City, KS Group meets every other month on the 3rd Sunday for breakfast, fellowship and speaker at 9:00 a.m. Upcoming dates: December 16, February 17 Where: Blue Hereford Restaurant, Ford Contact: Damon P. - Phone: (620) Grapevine, TX Alumni meet every Saturday for 12 Step Big Book Study/ Recovery Meetings at 6:00 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. Alumni also meets on the last Friday of every month for Renewal Day. Starting at 9:00 p.m. for an Alumni meeting followed by a free brunch at 10:00 a.m. and at 11:00 a.m. an Alumni led lecture for the current patient group. The Alumni small group at 1:00 p.m. Hays, KS Group meets once per month for breakfast, fellowship and speaker. Join us Sundays at 9:30 a.m. We ll have breakfast at 10 a.m. Upcoming breakfasts: November 18, December 23, January 20, February 17 Where: Professors Steak House, 521 East 11th Contact: Ron S - Phone: (785) North Platte, NE Group meets the third Saturday of every month for an evening potluck fellowship and speaker. Upcoming meetings: November 17, December 15, January 19, February 16 Where: Bethel Church in the loft, 2700 W. Philip Ave Contact person: Ralph O. Norton, KS Alumni group meets every Thursday evening, 7 p.m for a meeting. Come early for coffee and cookies. Where: Norton Valley Hope Dining Hall Contact: Duane S. - Phone: (785) Oklahoma City, OK Join us every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at the for a one hour meeting to renew recovery. Where: 6110 NW 63rd, Oklahoma City Contact: Brian G - Phone: (405) St. Louis, MO Alumni group meets on the 4th Wednesday each month; from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. We ll have a speaker and refreshments. Upcoming dates, November 28, December 26, January 23, February 27 Where: St. Louis Valley Hope Olive Blvd. Phone: (314) Tempe, AZ Wednesdays - Alumni Big Book Study meets every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Where: Tempe Valley Hope, Rio Sureno Med Plaza, 2103 E. Southern Ave. Contact: Donna, Program Director Phone: Thursdays - Alumni group meets every Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at Tempe Valley Hope. There is a speaker, questions/answers and open meeting format. It s a great place to meet a sponsor. Open to patients, alumni, family and friends. Note: 2 nd Thursday of each month a POTLUCK at 5 p.m. Where: Tempe Valley Hope, Rio Sureno Med Plaza 2105 E. Southern Ave. Contact: Rick K. - Phone: (480) Contact: Tempe Valley Hope Phone: (480) Tulsa, OK Every Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Fellowship Church. Join us for a great one hour meeting. Where: 2900 S. Harvard, Tulsa, OK Contact: Peter G. Phone: (918) Contact: Lori G. Phone: (918) You can now read the Coffee Cup online at If you prefer to not receive a hard copy and view it online, please call and we will remove your name from the Coffee Cup mailing list..
11 Reflections: Help Getting through Resentments Ken Davila, M.Div. Chaplain Grapevine Valley Hope The dictionary states that resentment is: The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as injury or insult. It is well known in recovery circles that the number one reasons for relapses are held resentments. Growing up the youngest of five children gave me many reasons and opportunities to have and hold resentments over the years of my life. I used them to help me stay angry with other people and that produced a pretty scary individual by the time I reached my twenties. Can you identify? Today I would like to talk to you about resentments, the role they play in our lives, and how they keep us in a sick enough condition to feed the disease of addiction. It is such a broad subject that the best way I could think of to talk about them is to give examples of some resentments and then some ways to work through them. The names and stories are fictitious, of course, but may sound oddly familiar. The bold words are the tools you are challenged to use. Tony is a young 20 year old who was caught one night on the highway after happy hour. He was arrested and spent the night in jail. He lost his job as a result and strained his relationship with his girlfriend because he had promised he would never do such a thing again. His resentment came out in his fifth step with his sponsor so they talked about it. Tony chose to blame the policeman for all his woes because he could have let him off with a warning. His sponsor asked him WHAT WAS YOUR PART? Dumbfounded with that question Tony asked for clarity so his sponsor repeated the question and asked him what his part was in the resentment. Tony realized that if he had not been drinking and driving none of those circumstances would have happened to him and his resentment started to fade away. OWNERSHIP of our behaviors is a good way to dispel resentments when we have a part in it. Doing some introspection will help us see that more and more. It will open the door for us to clean up our side of the street and make changes with the help of the God of our understanding. Recovery states we cannot change others, only ourselves with God s help. Working my own program will teach me how to start putting those resentments away. What happens when we don t have a part in the resentment? At times we don t have a part, so what then? Alice was the new girl in the neighborhood and moved in after school had started. She was thirteen and very pleasant to be around. But in school, she was new and had to earn her place. She was mistreated by her peers so she grew up resenting them; she resented her parents for moving her away from her friends she knew, and the teachers who seemed powerless about her situation. Alice had no wrong in this circumstance but the resentment was her excuse to drink. She lived in those memories all her life and now at the age of 45 she still remembered and lived in the pain. Alice had definitely become accustomed to the pain and stayed in it well. She became a victim and the more she told the story the worse it got. She shared this with her chaplain in treatment and sat proudly that she can point the finger at others rather than herself. The chaplain asked her, SO WHAT ARE YOU GET- TING OUT OF HOLDING ON TO THAT RESENT- MENT? Taken aback, she looked incredulous at him. She had never considered she was holding onto this resentment for the reason to drink. She was challenged to practice FORGIVE- NESS in this circumstance to unload the burden she had chosen to carry around. He explained she was giving them too much power in her life and by staying angry with them she was making them her higher power. He explained that when she decides to forgive, they lose their power in her life. But as long as she lives in the pain, they will continue to affect her life. Alice realized she cannot live in the anger anymore and placed her friends in the God box and let the anger go to her Higher Power. Mark was raised by very successful parents and extremely gifted siblings. Mark never felt he measured up. His father s attempts to rally him to produce only created a deep felt resentment and the feeling that he does not measure up. His esteem hit rock bottom and he remained in a pit he could not climb out of without the aide of drugs and alcohol. This only aggravated the problem. Mark grew up angry with his father and any authority in his life. He learned to allow others to define him. His accomplishments, although significant, never provided the esteem he was looking for. He was trapped in the endless cycle of perfectionism that continued to show no mercy. When Mark learned that his HIGHER POWER DEFINED HIM he began to feel good about himself. He realized that God s love for him and his value in God s eyes was not based on accomplishments and he began to live in the acceptance his Higher Power had for him. He began to feel good about himself and the need to prove himself to others was like trying to herd a bunch of feral cats. It was impossible. So he stopped trying. Living in the acceptance of God lessened the need to find the illusive acceptance of others, including his father s. As a result, his esteem was lifted and another reason to drink or drug went by the wayside. Melinda grew up in a verbally abusive home. She often heard her siblings torn down by abusive parents and she fell victim to their assaults from time to time. She found herself walking on egg shells at home and did her best to avoid her parents. Melinda had friends she would spend time with daily to get out of the house, but when she was there she saw a difference between their parents and hers. Her resentments grew and grew. As an older adult she never learned how to COMMMUNICATE HER FEELINGS to her mother and even as an adult, the little child in her still suffered the assaults of her parents. She was shown in treatment how to communicate her feelings with her family. She was taught to let her mother know how her words and behaviors made her feel and then to SET A BOUNDARY to protect herself. In session she made a call to her mother and the abuse started. Melinda stated, Mom, your words right now are hurtful and abusive to me and I will not sit here and listen to that. If you don t stop I am going to end the call. She said it with authority, not out of anger but with a need for peace in her life. Melinda s mother fell silent. She realized her words were hurting her daughter and she began to make changes in her own life and communication skills and their relationship became healthy. It was a different story with her father. She went home and he started with the same abusive talk she grew up with. Melinda identified her feelings to him, what his behavior was doing to her but he did not stop. She said she was going to leave if it didn t stop and that is exactly what she did. She felt empowered, protected herself and did not allow her father to continue because she took action. Her anger at her father subsided as she began to PRAY for him instead of dwelling on the abuse. She prayed for him daily for a time as the Big Book way (Continued)
12 ( Reflections continued) suggested and she found her anger left her as God began to work on her father. In the end, ASKING GOD TO REMOVE YOUR RESENT- MENTS may be the most powerful tool in your tool box to use. The miracle that takes place when we allow God to be God is far more powerful than you realize. When you pray for such a thing to happen and then realize that it no longer exists, it is a great Spotlight h Gunny Sacking: A Step 10 Story Jon lived in a small town, long ago. He walked with a limp, and was often teased by other kids. Since he couldn t run to catch them, they d throw stones at him then take off, laughing. Jon would pick up the rock, pull out a pencil and write the name of the person who d thrown it on the rock, then put it in his pocket. When his pockets got full, he found a gunny sack, and kept his rocks in that. As the years went on, Jon s sack got fuller, and heavier. People would joke about how many rocks they had in Jon s bag with their name on it. Jon left for a few years, came back a lawyer, and served as the county prosecutor. When trying a case, in his office, he d pull out his sack and count the rocks in it that had the accused s name on them, and judge their guilt accordingly. After a few years, Jon was appointed county judge, and he would take his sack into the court room. There were no more jokes about Jon s sack. When people came to him for justice, they knew they d have to see the stack of stones on his bench with their names on them, stark testimony to their previous crimes. In fear, no one threw stones at Judge Jon, but in resentment, his neighbors began to leave stones on the doorstep of his home and at the courthouse with HIS name on them. When people came to court, they would silently add their stone to the growing pile by the door. That started Jon remembering just how it felt to be pelted with stones. The bruises hurt, but the feeling of rejection hurt much more. Jon realized that s how his neighbors were feeling about him. Somehow, he d become the one throwing stones. So Jon had his court clerk send a notice to everyone in town who had a stone in his sack with their name on it. He invited them to come to the river bridge at noon at the end of the week. Curious, but also fearful and angry, the people came. Jon met them at the west end of the bridge, wearing his judicial robes and carrying his old, worn sack, bulging with stones. He could see that many folks had their own sacks or loaded pockets. Jon bowed to the crowd then walked to the middle of the bridge. He opened his sack, pulled a stone from it, and announced in a loud voice, I m sick of carrying this grudge. I cast it from me! Then he threw the stone as hard and far as he could, so that it splashed in the river and was lost to sight. He then bent, chose another rock and let it fly. He kept hurling stones until the sack was empty, then he turned to face the crowd. One man stepped forward, shook Jon s hand, then walked to the center of the bridge and began emptying his pockets of stones, throwing them to join Jon s rocks in the water. Others followed, and soon the bridge was lined with folks throwing rocks, but this time not at anyone. This time, the stones all went into the waters, where the resentments and grudges were washed away. Step 10 of AA/NA/Al-Anon states, (We) continued to take way to see God working on your behalf. This is when the promise comes true: God is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Try these ideas in your own life and the others your counselor may give you and see what happens to your life. We can live without resentments to run our lives. We can have that serenity that our resentments rob us of. It has happened too many and it can happen to you. God bless you as you continue to work your spiritual program. on the 12 Steps By: Rev. Drea Walker-Skye, Chaplain, Cushing Valley Hope personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. When I m lecturing on steps, I introduce Step 10 as the first of the maintenance steps. We work it to maintain all we ve gained by working the previous steps, and as a review of steps 4-9. We do a daily inventory to see if we have violated our own morals and values, and to see if we have offended anyone. If so, then we try to do an immediate amend, rather than let our offenses pile up so that we need to do another 5 th step to clean house. Immediate means as soon as we reasonably can, taking into account we just might need to take time to cool off first! It seems, at least for me, that my most often repeated offenses happen because of my temper. I ve got a long fuse, and can usually keep my tongue in check, but like everyone else, I get tired, and I have my off days so I get snappy or irritable. Or I try to be funny about something and the joke goes wrong. I don t mean to step on toes, but they get crunched just the same. In those cases, and in others, I need to make amends, and soon. If it s my temper that s caused the problem, I need to take a personal time out, consider what I ve said, talk things over with a sponsor, trusted colleague, or my husband. I need to make sure that I m not about to go stick my other foot in my mouth! Then I need to go face the one I ve hurt, and make my amends. I was told long ago that an amend is more than an apology: a good apology is an admission of fault with specifics, and an offer to make it up to the offended party. An amend is an apology plus an action to make a change. So to do a good amend, I need to find an action. That s where I have to fit the action to the offense, to turn things around and clean up the mess I made. So amends tend to be specific to the incident that sparked them. They require creativity and humility heavy on the humility. At some point, sometimes first, sometimes last and sometimes multiple times throughout the process, I need to talk to my Higher Power, to keep in touch with the spiritual principles of both my faith, and my recovery. The core principles I find from Al-Anon are honesty, open mindedness, willingness, trust, responsibility and compassion. I have to remember I m still a sick person trying to get well; I m not a failure or a reject because I made a mistake. The God of my understanding doesn t ever condemn people for being sick, but He does reject the sick thinking of minimizing, manipulating, whining and blaming that we too often use to get out of responsibility for our own actions. If I expect God to forgive me, I need to be forgiving to others, and to myself. I need to be sure I m not filling a sack with another stone of resentment. It s just a lot easier, living each day, without a bag of grudges to lug around. Step 10 is the regular maintenance that helps keep me free, sane and at peace. s
13 Letters From Home: A T C H I S O N Holiday Change My Family By: Lacey B. By: Dee Munsen, LAC, Community Service Clinician With the Holiday Season coming up and the leaves on the trees slowly changing into beautiful fall colors, it makes me appreciate Change. Change is to become different, transformed or converted. We watch people of all sorts walk through the doors full of guilt, shame, resentment and fear. During their stay, we get the opportunity to watch the change happen when the leaves turn, when we can see light and sparks of happiness/hope in their eyes. One of the things I love the most during this Holiday time is watching Alumni come back to share their change and hope. Holidays can be hard, especially when we re new in recovery! Reaching out to the newcomer is so important. Welcome Counselor Daryl (from Norton) to the Atchison Valley Hope staff. I m certain the folks in Counselor Daryl Norton miss you but we re glad you are a part of the team in NE Kansas. I applied at Atchison Valley Hope in June of this year and I was lucky enough to be accepted as a new employee of this wonderful facility. Addiction has been a part of my family for a long time. A close family member came to Valley Hope in September of 1997 in search of an Lacey B. answer. I thank God for putting him on the path to sobriety. This program is dear to my heart because it gave us a chance to be a family. Without Valley Hope, I m unsure of who I would be today. His sobriety and determination to stay clean and sober has molded the person I am today. Most people may not realize the impact sobriety has on a family. We are a family because Valley Hope gave him the tools to deal with his addiction, so that we could have the opportunity to become the people we are today. I would not be where I am without his fight to stay clean and sober. He taught me to take one day at a time. He is the strongest person I know and I am so proud of everything he has accomplished. He has achieved so much through recovery. He also taught me an important lesson in giving back. Through all the fight and struggle, if we can give back and make a difference in just one person s life, it was all worth it. I am so blessed and extremely grateful to play a role in giving back to other families what Valley Hope has given to mine. B O O N V I L L E Greetings From Boonville By: Scott Ehrlich, M.Div. Chaplain What an amazing time we have had in doing the work set before us. The first thing I want to do is welcome Lindsay Ward to our counseling staff. Lindsay comes to us from St. Louis and brings not only knowledge of her job, but an energy and kindness that make her a real asset to our team. Scott Ehrlich Our recent Renewal Days have simply been awesome. Last month we celebrated more than 100 years of sobriety as a number of our alums came back for their medallions, and more came back to celebrate multiple years of sobriety. What a joy it was to share in such a celebration. Treatment Works! is more than a slogan for Valley Hope it is proven every time someone comes back to get a cup and medallion. As the weather turns colder and the leaves begin to turn color I am reminded that the holidays are right around the corner! For some of us, these are days of family reunions, gifts given and received and general good times; but for others of us, the holidays are painful reminders of losses suffered and other consequences of our decisions. If you find yourself in that second group, let me encourage you not to go through these times alone. Get into your home group, call your sponsor, surround yourself with those who love you. And please remember that Valley Hope is here for you, too. Come back and spend some of this holiday time with us: Maybe we can be Christmas gifts to each other.. Dirt Road By: Donette Chrisman, Admission Counselor I am a vulnerable warrior. I go for the biggest battles when I am the weakest. I open up when I break down. I discover when I am lost. There is no safety in living fully. There is no comfort in going for what I deserve. It is a dirt road. I get bloody knees. Ragged clothes. Sweat. Defeat. But then, that is when I see it. The light comes. The dirt road takes me outside of my comfort zone with nothing to hold on to. Nothing but action. Nothing but belief in myself, trust in a select few fellow travelers, and moving my feet will get me there. Nothing but love for a life fully lived. Even though some days the dirt road becomes too difficult to walk on, I keep going. Even though I need to lean on your shoulder, I keep going. I keep traveling. I keep being a vulnerable warrior. Because I do believe the light is just ahead. I see it already. And I will get there...
14 Letter From Home, St. Louis All of us at St. Louis Valley Hope encourage Valley Hope patients in the area to attend our monthly Alumni Group held on the 4 th Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. The group offers food, fellowship and the opportunity to get to know the newest members of the Valley Hope community. Sometimes we spotlight a speaker, and at other times there are several alumni participating in a panel discussion. Lately there has been some discussion about possible activities for our alumni last year we planned a Halloween party and a picnic. There can be big events or smaller events like designating a date and time for alumni to meet at a local restaurant for a meal together, at a park for a walk or some wiffle ball, or a bowling alley or museum for some fellowship. What are your ideas? What is your idea for an alumni event? Big or small, if you call or come to the Alumni Group and share it we ll do all we can to help make it happen. The alumni returning each month to hang cups, pick up their medallions, or lend support to newer patients are such a valuable asset for St. Louis Valley Hope. Congratulations to Jessica R, Daisha W, Jeff C, Amanda H, Stephen C for hanging their cups at Alumni Group to mark the completion of their Intensive Outpatient Program, G R A P E V I N E Greetings From Grapevine Michelle Autrey Receptionist We d like to welcome Henry Wiggers to our kitchen staff. He came to us all the way from New York and his cooking is fantastic. We welcome to the housekeeping staff, Sue Hennessey. We have a new counselor, Dave Bryant. Harold Willis (not new to us) is our new Community Service Clinician. Welcome to you all. Congratulations and best wishes to our Director of Nursing, Chad Jennings, on his nuptials to Shannon Robb. Our annual Octsoberfest held October 6 th was a great success and a lot of fun. The sudden cold weather kept some people away, but it was a lot of fun. Dallas Uhrich came back to be one of our key note speakers. Susan Wertenberger, one of our nurses, won the grand prize in a raffle, a huge flat screen TV! Congrats Susan. We had a staff vs. alumni volleyball game and even through our team gave it a great try, the alumni won. Look out next year alumni; we are eating our Wheaties for the next challenge! Our biggest news from Octsoberfest is Suzanne W., she was the recipient of the prestigious award, The Golden Heart. She worked tirelessly on getting the Grapevine Alumni Association where it is today. It has grown to 60 plus members. Even though it was cold and damp and she was feeling bad and walking with a cane, she was still here for Octsoberfest working hard selling T-shirts and hats. Thank you Suzanne from all of your hard work and sincere dedication. You are very special to us. Ashley Ragland, Brendan Farrell, Bob Maxwell, Stacey Johnson and Doug White By: Janet Worthy, CRADC, Outpatient Program Director If you have recently reached or are approaching your first sobriety birthday, give us a call at (314) so that we can make arrangements for you to come to Alumni Group. We want to recognize you and award you a Valley Hope One-Year Medallion. Alumni recently offered their congratulations to John M, who celebrated his first year of sobriety with us. Honoring the first year of recovery is one of the most rewarding experiences for everyone at St. Louis Valley Hope. Valley Hope Alumni are so generous to take time out of their busy lives to share their experience strength and hope as speakers during alumni group some of our many alumni members who have spoken: Ken K, Kevin D, Bryan S, Bob W, Greg H, Polly S, Tom K, Ryan F, Blair H, Janice W, Kevin L, Katelyn H, Joe S, Brendan C, Jamie C, Ryan P, Tom D, Margie B, Brent R, and John D. Dan D was a guest speaker for the group, too. We appreciate all of our alumni members so much the speakers and the listeners! If you haven t attended one of our St. Louis Area Alumni Groups, put the 4 th Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on your calendar and join us! We ll Miss You Kaye! Kaye Degel and Dallas Uhrich By Andrew Koss Administrative Assistant We said goodbye this month to one of our most cherished employees at Grapevine Valley Hope, Kaye Nona Degel. Kaye started work at Grapevine Valley Hope as a counselor during She came to be known around here as a resource for newer counselors to learn from. She has a wonderful personality that has brightened up my day many a time. In 2007, Kaye became our Community Relations Specialist and has remained in that position ever since. I am going to miss her terribly. Over the years I have had many heartfelt conversations with Kaye. While she might not know it, I have taken to heart the wisdom she has imparted to me on several occasions and continued to use it in my everyday life. I have quoted her to others more than once in my life. We have shared so many laughs. I will never forget the trips out for lunch with her and the other counselors. These outings, early on in my time with Grapevine Valley Hope, helped me to feel like a member of the family. Within one week of writing this article, Kaye will be getting married. Two weeks later, she will be starting her new job. It takes a lot of courage to take on so much change all at once, but I have faith that Kaye will adjust to these changes with grace. She always does, because she knows that God is in control. When our patients retrieve their coffee cups after a year s sobriety, they are also given a Valley Hope medallion. A small piece of the medallion is missing, signifying the piece of that individual that is left behind at Valley Hope. It feels the same when a member of our staff leaves. Kaye, you will be leaving a piece of yourself behind here that will always be a part of Grapevine Valley Hope. You will also be taking a part of Valley Hope with you when you leave and we will never be quite the same without you. Take that as a positive statement because it shows what a tremendous impact you have had on us all. We love you and you will always be a part of our family. Best wishes to you in your future endeavors.
15 (Grapevine continued) To My Friend and Foe: At the beginning of our relationship you were but an acquaintance. We enjoyed an occasional date--casual--no strings attached. I was quite comfortable with this arrangement as you were easy-going and required nothing of me. Our status remained quo for many years. I was happy and healthy then. When I first found myself in a deep funk, unsure of how to get out of it, you told me, Don t worry, I will take care of everything. Just follow me. I took your concern for me to heart and agreed to your conditions. Little did I know what you had in store for me. It was as if we had stepped onto an elevator, beginning on the top floor. You pressed the down button marked Relief. When we stepped off the elevator it was dark. I was hesitant but you assured me that you knew that you were doing, so I followed. As it turned out, that floor wasnt so bad. I felt better. The next time I found myself in an even more troubling depression I turned to you for assistance. We steped back onto an elevator. I assumed we were headed for the same floor. Instead you pushed the down button marked Numb. Despite my trepidation, I followed you. There was nothing on this floor and I felt nothing. I liked this floor. On our next elevator ride you pushed the button marked Pain. Growing concerned over what might await us there, I said, Please, I have enough of that. I dont want to go there. Again you reassured me that you knew what you were doing and to just follow your lead. So I followed. It was awful. I could not find one corner of solace! I begged of you, Take me back to the Numb floor! You replied, We only go down from here. The last time we stepped onto that elevator I was very frightened of where we might land so I made sure to stand where I could see the panel. You pushed a button that was not marked, causing me to be even more fearful than ever before. As the elevator stopped, the button lit up. It was marked Hell. I pleaded with you, Please, I can t go there! You ignored me. When the doors opened you did not lead me out as before. Instead you shoved me from behind forcing me off the elevator with such force that I lost all balance and fell onto the floor. I stood, turned back toward the elevator; you were waving good-bye to me, smiling the same beguiling smile I had seen so many times before. The doors closed. I was enveloped in complete and utter darkness-alone. When I came to, I began to pray with a desperation I had never known before. God, help me please! I don t want to be alone! I don t wish to die! Just tell me what to do! The elevator doors re-opened. I dove inside towards the light and scrambled to the panel. All the buttons were marked Up. I pushed them and continued to pray. As the elevator ascended I began to feel differently, somehow lighter. I never stopped praying. When the elevator stopped I stepped in front of the doors in anticipation of what was on the other side. No one was there to greet me, to lead me, not even my old friend. I thought I was still alone. Then I caught a glimpse of something white on the ground just outside the elevator. It was a single sheet of paper. I hurriedly picked it up with the hope that it would provide me with a clue, anything, of what to do next. These are the words that were written there. You are a child of the King and He loves you. Now follow Him. ~Laurie Prairie Miracles, The History of the Valley Hope Association Western Kansas is a land of wide vistas and sweeping landscape. You can see to the horizon and you just can t ignore what you see. But a group of people alcoholics had been ignored for years. They were thought to be a bunch of drunks who didn t want help. Besides, no treatment would make a difference. A Great Gift Idea Lynn Colip, a physician from Norton, Kansas, and Bob Adams, a Methodist minister in Jennings changed that. Long conversations at the Norton bowling alley where they played and talked and talked some more, resulted in the idea that alcoholics could be treated, that they could recover and that Northwest Kansas needed its own program. This book will take you inside the facilities of Valley Hope Association, revealing the dreams of those such as Colip, Adams, and the many others who followed in their footsteps as they charted treatment By: Jan Pogue waters never before attempted in Kansas. Prairie Miracles also traces the hopes of the individuals whose lives had often sunk so low as to be thought unsalvageable and, just as importantly, their families who suffered in the wake of their loved ones destructive paths. All names used in this story are used with permission in hopes that their story of recovery will help others turn their own lives around. Prairie Miracles, The History of The Valley Hope Association is available for $14.95 at Valley Hope residential centers or on our website, For each book sold, $5.00 is being donated to the Valley Hope Association Foundation to benefit patients who otherwise could not afford treatment. Valley Hope and the Foundation are not-for-profit organizations and your gifts help support our mission.
16 C H A N D L E R Home: Mine, Ours and Yours By: David Moerman, RN, Director of Nursing These past several months have been incredibly busy at Chandler Valley Hope with numerous construction projects coming to an end. A new fence/wall has been constructed around our facility to make the grounds more secure. Security was also improved with the addition of surveillance cameras. Two new parking lots were installed including a basketball court. The horseshoe pit was revamped and the existing parking was repaved. In addition, two gazebos were built, many plants were added, a large walkway was covered with pavers and additional sand was added to our volleyball court. We want our facility to be warm and welcoming while this is our patient s home for their stay Alumni come to Chandler Valley Hope for meetings on a regular basis and the following have recently come back to pick up their cups: Russ E., Romas K., Marcial R., Barry J., William D., Paul P., Cindi M., Gary A., Kelly M., Ryan D., Bryan R., Bryan r., David D., Gary B., Karin P., Christopher L. and Nicholas C. Congratulations to you all. September 29th marked the annual Roundup at Chandler Valley Hope. We witnessed the best turn out that we have had in many years with over 500 in attendance! The weather ws beautiful warm and sunny and some great BBQ was served up for lunch. A stage had been set up with seating and a band played music to be Scenes From Round-up enjoyed throughout the day. Activities for children included face painting, a bouncing house, piñatas, animals, and much more. Several employees volunteered for the dunk tank enjoyed by adults and children alike. Guest speakers Terry M. and Jessica R. were warmly welcomed by the attentive crowd. A silent auction was very successful and its proceeds went to patient scholarships. The main reason we came to celebrate 23 medallions that proves that sobriety is possible with a start at Valley Hope. Special thanks go out to all of you that were able to make to this year s Roundup and we appreciate the chance serving you and enjoy celebrating your continuing sobriety. We look forward to seeing all of you next year. God has blessed me by leading me to Chandler Valley Hope and I am grateful for this opportunity to serve in this capacity. Throughout my nursing career, patients have often touched my heart but in this current position I m meeting a great number of truly wonderful souls that I will remember for the rest of my life! Just today I was witness to a couple patients hanging their cups and their thankfulness of our nursing staff was worth more to me than any paycheck. To all of you that have passed through the doors of Valley Hope facilities--we are honored to having had the opportunity to serve you. And to all of you that will visit us for the first time--we look forward to meeting you, getting to know you. and helping you you create a long and fulfilling life of sobriety. It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. Alison and Donna at Roundup Dani Turner, Peggy Sullivan, Jessica Martnez, Juana Torres and Don Baudan Tempe Valley Hope Open House By Donna Turner MS, LPC, LISAC Outpatient Program Director On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, we celebrated the opening of our new addition at Tempe Valley Hope. We now have Building 2115 and Building Building 2103 includes offices, lecture hall, and a beautiful internet café. Our program is also extending treatment options with Intensive Outpatient Plus, which combines the best of AC/ESS services and on-ground treatment. This program allows patients to have daily online group contact and their on-ground group three times per week. The internet café has a spacious patio and beautiful Arizona weather where patients, alumni, and friends can meet for relaxation, 12 Step fellowship, and Kevin O Grady dunked at Roundup Happy Holidays! Hope Builder Board Members online access with Wi-Fi and computer terminals. There is great coffee and a big screen TV. We had out of town guests, who were very generous in making time to join us, including Dr. Ken Gregoire, CEO and Kerri Ray, AC/ESS Business Administrator. Fellow treatment providers and finally, we have been a able to have more alumni involvement with Alumni Group/ potluck, a Big Book Study, a Pills Anonymous meeting, and a Young Peoples CA meeting. We greatly appreciate Valley Hope Tempe internet café Association and the Board of Directors for our new beautiful space.
17 C U S H I N G Letter From Home Tami Anderson, Community Relations Clinician This is my favorite time of year. There are many places in Oklahoma where the fall leaves look like they have been painted on a canvas with their vivid colors and splendor. Fall also tells us that the holidays are just around the corner. This year Cushing will be having our Annual Alumni Christmas Celebration on December 8 th, from 1 to 5. We have a few changes and new faces of staff members. Come by and meet everyone, we would love to see you, and also hope you will be able to join us at the Christmas Celebration. This time of year can be a great celebration of our sobriety, and a time that can be stressful as well. I have passed these five things along to many patients, families and friends during the holidays, and hope they will help you too. Also remember, alumni are welcome to come backand visit any Valley Hope at any time. Business Office: Pam Music, Teresa Vickers, Kelli Makaron and Jana Bradley Five Tips to HelpWith Sobriety Over The Holidays Staying sober can be challenging under the most normal circumstances, but when routines are interrupted and stress levels are increased, avoiding alcohol and drugs can be exponentially more difficult. The following are five common-sense tips that can help you remain alcohol and drug-free throughout the holiday season. 1. PLAN FOR SUCCESS Staying sober requires a one-step-at-a-time mindset, but that doesn t mean you shouldn t be looking down the road to prepare for the obstacles that may await you. From Thanksgiving to New Year s Day, those obstacles may be particularly daunting, but with proper preparation they can definitely be overcome. Inviting a dependable friend or a member of your 12- step group to accompany you to a gathering where you know alcohol will be present can provide you with the support you need to stay sober. Plan to attend more 12-step meetings than you normally do. Also, make sure that you continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly. 2. IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS Regardless of how long you ve been sober, you need to remain vigilant for situations or events that may prompt to you take a drink. The holiday season is rife with triggers such as financial pressure, family conflicts, and large gatherings where alcohol is served, so your success plan needs to include strategies for overcoming these enticements. If your family members traditionally follow Thanksgiving dinner with a football game and a few beers, you need to prepare for this ahead of time by either making other afterdinner plans or enlisting your family s assistance to get you through those potentially tempting hours. If the stress and arguments that accompany your family s get-togethers threaten to push you back toward the bottle, you may have to make the difficult (but ultimately healthy) decision to skip these events or limit your attendance to just an hour or two until you have a firmer grip on your sobriety. Regardless of what shape your particular triggers take, don t put your health at risk by exposing yourself unnecessarily or without proper preparation. 3. CREATE NEW TRADITIONS Holiday traditions are designed to encourage a spirit of togetherness and continuity. But if these activities put your health at risk (and, if you are a recovering alcoholic/ addict, taking even one drink does just that), then you need to create a new method for celebrating. A great tradition to start this season is writing a letter to at least one person who has touched your life in a particularly meaningful way during the previous year. In addition to giving this person the wonderful gift of knowing that they have made a positive difference in your life, writing a letter like this will also benefit you in two distinct and important ways: by strengthening your connection with an important source of support, and by reminding you how far you have progressed in your recovery. 4. ASK FOR HELP When you were mired in the depths of addiction, you may have felt as though you were alone in your misery. But as you began to walk the path of recovery, you found that there were many others who understood what you were going through and were more than willing to lend whatever support they could to help you regain control over your life. During the holiday season, make an extra effort to connect with the members of your support network. 5. REACH OUT TO OTHERS Volunteering to serve others is a fantastic way to take your mind off your own worries and problems, to give back to the community, and to remind yourself how valuable you can be (and how rewarding life can be) every day Dedication Ceremony By: Jim DeSilver On April 20 of this year, it was a pleasure for my wife, Ruth, and me to attend the dedication ceremonies for Cushing Valley Hope s new Living Center. I have intended to write about what a wonderful experience it was to return and find the visual and practical improvements provided by the new building highly complimenting the spirit and love that always makes walking on to the grounds and into the buildings a spiritual encounter. When my wife and I entered the new building, it was obvious the same feelings I always possessed walking into the main building were in the new one, too. I m sure you ve experienced it. It s a deep feeling of peace, joy, and expectation. Miracles happen here. Verbal welcomes showered us. Randall boomed out Hi, folks. I looked up and there were the Norton folks. Ken and John welcomed us with hugs and thanks for coming. Tom, from Norton, and I visited about OU-Kansas basketball circa Of course I had been back many times, since retiring 10 years ago, but there was a special, special feeling about this gathering, filled with peace, joy and expectation. (Continued)
18 ( Dedication Ceremony continued) There were so many smiling and familiar faces. The Ponca City delegation was there. You can always count on them. Former co-workers greeted us, making us feel very much at home. It was good to see you all. There were many highlights of the program. A presentation honored Al & Susan Roberts, who were unable to attend because of illness. The same presentation honored Carl Renfro and his late wife, Carolyn. Both Ken and John mentioned some of the Cushing staff had helped tremendously with the planning and building of the Eddie And Millie By: Al & Susan Roberts (Former Program Dir. and Business Mgr.; Cushing Valley Hope) Phone call Caller: Hi Al, the Alumni Group is meeting in Tulsa this month, right? Al: That s right, at the Trade Winds motel, Saturday the 16 th. Caller: Are Eddie and Millie going to be there? Al: You bet, they already have a double room booked and Eddie got a Al Roberts & Eddie Bayouth brand new domino set he is dying to try out. Caller: Great, can t wait to see them and all the rest of the gang, too. Another call, another year. Caller: Hey, Al, it s Bill, alumni group meeting in Woodward, right? Al: That s right, Bill, meet at the Wayfair motel Friday night and the covered dish and speaker is at the Pioneer Room downtown. Caller: Oh, great, I bet Eddie and Millie will be bringing her Green Bean & Chicken-Rice dish and a big tray of Lebanese Baklava. Al: You know they will, Bill, see you there. Another time, Caller: Hi Al, this is Gladys, we are staying at Eddie and Millie s place and will be at the Alumni gathering in Cushing on Saturday. Al: Great, see you there. Gladys: We are having a great time, Eddie and Millie are having some of their AA friends over tonight and we will eat and be merry. Al: I know you will, Gladys, tell Eddie to not forget the Advisory Board meeting before the dinner and speakers. Eddie B. passed away this summer. Millie had gone on before new center. Their words were much appreciated, I m sure. Ruth and I also want to thank Mike Miller for taking time to give us a ride on the new elevator and showing us more of the new addition. Perhaps, my procrastination in writing this has robbed me of some of the details I should also mention. All in all, it was just a great day filled with love and friendship. Hopefully, I have made my point. Changes come and go. There is one constant, however. Cushing Valley Hope, as well as the entire Valley Hope Association, continues to change countless lives in a positive way by providing what its name assures: HOPE, my friends, HOPE! him several years ago. Susan and I miss them very much. Our experience at Cushing Valley Hope from 1974 until 1998 was one of knowing literally thousands of people, both patients and staff that were collectively striving to find sobriety and happiness. Eddie and Millie B. represented the epitome of that collective effort. They had a wonderful, supporting family and a huge and always growing extended family. They were social beings, they loved people, they loved having people to their home, they loved meeting their friends at Valley Hope alumni gatherings, and they sponsored dozens, maybe hundreds, of recovering individuals both officially and unofficially. Eddie served on our Cushing Advisory Board for years. Millie cooked enough wonderfully delicious food for an army over and over again at our alumni gatherings and at unofficial trips. For several years, we would travel to Hot Springs, Ark. to attend the horse races. Eddie and others would book the top floor of a motel about 2 blocks from the track, we would set up a table (or two) in the hall for food and Eddie would set up a domino game in his room. The golfers would go play a round in the morning, some of the girls went shopping and we would all go to the races in the afternoon, then back to the food tables. Almost everything I have written about was initiated by or encouraged or led by Eddie and Millie B. Bless their hearts what wonderful sobriety they had and they shared every bit of it with friends, neighbors and strangers. What a great lesson for all of us. Be proud of your sobriety, share your new life with others, reach out to others, and love what you do. Eddie and Millie, we love you, we miss you, and you will grace Heaven s meetings. With love, Susan and Al Letter from Home, OKC By: Zachary F., LAC, Outpatient Program Director My name is Zac and I am an alcoholic and an addict. I worked as the Outpatient Program Director at Wichita Valley Hope and now I am currently in Oklahoma City. Working for Valley Hope has been such a blessing in so many ways. Another place that I can find this kind of acceptance and love is in the meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. After completing inpatient treatment at Norton Valley Hope in 2005, my goal was to stay clean and sober and do what had been suggested to me in inpatient treatment go to meetings, sober living, obtain a sponsor. Some of these I did easily and willingly. The help always materialized for me to get the support I needed to take that next step in my recovery, as long as I stayed clean and sober, and willing. There are blessings in from staying clean and sober and working the steps and they come from your Higher Power. We don t always know when or how but they do materialize if we work for them. My wife, Lori, and I recently experienced the joy of the birth of our firstborn son, Noah. Being a husband and a father was always something I had wanted to experience but was not possible while in active addiction. Today I can say without a doubt that this would not have happened, much less me being alive, without Valley Hope introducing me to the 12 Steps. My wife and I are very excited to be in Oklahoma City with our son and I am ecstatic to be a part of the team at Oklahoma City Valley Hope! There is such a wonderful staff and facility here as well as great leadership and support from the Association and Cushing Valley Hope. I know we will continue to assist those in need and their families find recovery. We currently provide physician services to meet our opiate addicted patients needs with extended Subxoxone along with our new Intensive Outpatient Plus program. As always, we encourage you to stop by for our alumni group every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and the first Tuesday of every month is Renewal night where we have pot-luck dinner at 6:30 and a speaker at 7 p.m. I look forward to meeting you!
19 N O R T O N Changes At Norton Larry Black, MS LCAC, Program Director Holy Cow (in the words of Harry Carey) it s Coffee Cup time again. It seems the older I get the quicker time flies. That is not a good combination. If you haven t been to the Norton facility for a while, stop by. Changes are happening every day. We are in the middle of a renovation project. The sad news for some is that the patient kitchen has been removed, but it will be replaced by a brand new (mostly) state of the art patient laundry with stackable washers and dryers, folding table, cup painting area and storage. Since it will be just off the patient living area, it will be far more convenient for the patients and will look much nicer. The old patient laundry has definitely seen its better days. The old patient laundry and a storage room will be removed to make way for two new recovery rooms. The addition of 6 recovery room beds will make it much easier to provide help to people when they need it. We are fortunate to be able to treat more people at Norton Valley Hope than we have at times in the past and we are hopeful that this addition will help us better serve those who need our help. I would also like to welcome Jeff Elliott as the Program Director in Training at Norton Valley Hope. Jeff brings a wealth of experience and a caring heart for alcoholics and addicts to our center. It is great to have him on the team. After a scorching hot summer, Coming Home By Megan O Connor, BS ADAC Director of Development Archie N., was Valley Hope s patient #385, admitted in He passed away in October 2008, with nearly 40 years sobriety. Marjorie (Archie s wife of nearly 60 years) and daughter Carol, made a special trip to Norton recently. I had the pleasure of showing them around the Counseling staff at Alkathon Majorie and daughter, Carol center after many years. The Welcome Home banner stood proudly in the driveway to greet them. Carol recalled being a young daughter visiting her father in treatment. The center had just moved from the grounds of the State Mental Hospital to the Hwy 36 motel. Meals were still provided at the mental hospital, and patients were transported 3 times a day to a dining hall several miles east of the city limits. Marjorie shared some memories of the treatment center, including the early 1970 s all night Alkathon held each year at the local National Guard Armory building. Archie had a good life and we ve always been grateful. Norton will always feel like home. Many gifts were received in memory of Archie. Contributions were used to purchase two beautiful Valley Hope park benches for Norton. Archie s name and patient number can be seen on each bench. Marjorie was pleased to see current patients relaxing and visiting on the benches. Archie s probably talking to them right now. the fall weather is a relief, but always an adjustment. The 45 th annual Valley Hope Alkathon was a smash hit. Over 200 people attended. The speakers were riveting and the food was delicious as always. It was great to see so many old friends. Ray. S who is a dyed in the wool Husker fan and Larry B. who bleeds Wildcat purple have a little friendly wager on next year s donation to the patient fund from the North Platte alumni group. There were an awful lot of people at this year s Alkathon who have already donated to the fund, so I m forcing myself to imagine how I m going to look in red next year. We had another huge renewal day in September. Celebrating a 1 year birthday was James M. Celebrating 3 year birthdays were Butch and Shirley and Jesse H. Celebrating 5 year birthdays were Jon T, Bob K, Steve R. and Jim. Celebrating 8 years was Eddie P. And our own Steve H. celebrated 21 years. Congratulations to you all. I guess that s it for now. Stop by or give us a call and let us know how you are doing in your recovery. We love renewing acquaintances with our Valley Hope family. All our best from Norton. Jim S. receives Golden Heart Award from Larry Jalyn helps celebrate Steven G. and Laura H. 1 year sober-alkathon Proud to Join the Team By: Jeff Elliot, MS, Program Director in Training After several years in Valley Hope s Corporate Utilization Review department (that s the fancy term for working with managed care companies), I decided to return to clinical work. The Norton Program Director in Training position was advertised and I jumped at the opportunity. It s been wonderful to resume clinical duties and I am blessed to work with great patients and top-notch staff. Everyone here is very welcoming and is also demonstrating great patience while I learn the ropes. Before coming to Norton for the Utilization Review work, I was a counselor at both the Chandler andtempe Valley Hope locations in Arizona and I also helped out in Chandler s Admissions Department. I began working in behavioral health in 1995 and earned my Master s Degree in counseling in At Norton s recent September Renewal Day, I told a group of alumni that I don t see myself working for anyone other than Valley Hope. I m in the company of such great folks and practicing the philosophy of loving people into recovery. Who would want to be anywhere else? vvvvvvvvvvvvvv
20 O N E I L L Thank You By: Debra Ludemann, BS, LADC, Community Service Clinician As the holiday season looms in the near distance, we want to take a chance to thank those who were a big part of our summer event our 35 th Annual Reunion and our golf tournament. It was great seeing you! The raffle/auction was a great success, as was the golf tournament, with both events raising funds for patient care. Thanks to all those who gave so generously, to Crystal Matthews, who spent countless hours preparing for the auction, and to all our golfers. Speaker Mike T. did an awesome job sharing about himself and about AA. Sandy Bauer and some of her family members may have taken first prize in the golf tourna- ment on Sunday, but the enthusiasm indicated it was a winning day in fun for many. Looking ahead, next year s reunion will again be 4 th Saturday in August, please note this is not the last Saturday, which would be Labor Day weekend. It will be held at our new Community Center, so plenty of room for activities, please mark your calendar and plan ahead to join us. Looking ahead and tying the past season with the upcoming, what comes to mind is the importance of others in our lives. Whether that be friends we do summer fun things with or friends and family at holiday season, what a gift sobriety is. So many patients have expressed regrets for holidays past when their addiction got in the way of spending time with those close to them. May this upcoming holiday season bring blessings to you and yours. Auctioneer Monte We are in the midst of a project to acquire enough hand-made quilts and blankets so that each patient can be assigned one for their use while in treatment. We only need a few more so if you would like to help, let us know!! ~Sandy Director of Nursing Jim s Story By Megan O Connor, BS ADAC Director of Development In October 1977, Jim F. drove his wife to O Neill Valley Hope. She was the one with the problem. The treatment center was brand new, barely open with a small handful of patients and minimal supplies, but full of hope. Jim was over six feet tall and weighed 130 pounds. He and his wife were young parents. Their addiction to speed and opiates had progressed to nightly bar brawls with gang members and serious legal problems, mostly for theft. O Neill admission and nursing staff encouraged Jim to admit himself as a patient, rather than a spouse. They were the first couple admitted and assigned patient numbers 7 and 8. Furniture had yet to arrive and all the rooms were empty. Jim and his wife slept on the floor until beds arrived a few days later. They were happy to be receiving some help and hope, so sleeping on the floor was great. Jim s counselor (Ray the Bear), encouraged him to place his jeans under the bed for 30 days. While you re pulling your clothes out in the morning and down on your knees, I want you to pray. Jim said adamantly, I won t mean it. Ray fired back, Do it anyway. That was the beginning of Jim s spirituality journey. Jim was fearful to leave treatment. I understand now, fear was a good thing. He has remained sober and clean since After a divorce, he raised his two children and remarried. We just celebrated 20 years. Jim has stayed in touch with Valley Hope all these years. He s been an active member of the 12-Step community in his hometown. He s taken meetings to jails, hospitals and attended the same Friday night home group for 35 years. In May 2011, at the age of 60, Jim was getting ready for work and blacked out. He woke up in the hospital and was diagnosed with brain cancer. The hospital staff was amazed at the record-setting number of visitors (more than 200) who came to see him. He is now busy with home visits from hospice nurses and resting. Jim s favorite slogans are the Serenity Prayer and Let Go and Let God. Omaha, Letter From Home We have had a lot of changes in our Omaha facility the past few months. Our previous Outpatient Program Director, Joe Chavis III, took a position with The Nebraska Safety Council in July. We wish him well on his new endeavor. Counselor Sally Stephens was promoted to fill the Outpatient Program Director position and is excited about the new counseling staff! Terry Smith is on board and we are awaiting the start date of Ben Harris and Tim Luedke. We continue to enjoy our Renewal Night activities on the first Tuesday of each month. Alumni speakers are inspirational in telling their stories of recovery, while all present enjoy the potluck dinners afterwards. Alumni from the Omaha Metro area are encouraged to attend to broaden their sober support system and offer inspiration to those new to recovery. Omaha Valley Hope staff is also encouraging alumni in the area to submit their names for a first contact with patients who are leaving treatment and need guidance in early sobriety. Please contact our wonderful Administrative Assistant, Michelle Romero to be on our list! Coffee Cup Volume 44 Edition 4 Editorial Committee: Megan O Connor and Amanda Rawson If your address needs to be updated or if you wish to be removed from the subscription list, please call us at or The Valley Hope Coffee Cup newsletter is published quarterly by the Valley Hope Association Editorial Committee P.O. Box 510 Norton, KS 67654