Alex B, vineyard house resident
"After twelve years of trying to get clean, my fourteen months at Vineyard House helped break that continuous downhill cycle. I now have two years "clean and sober". I owe that, in large part, to this program. I am forever grateful."
Megan H, vineyard house resident
"I wanted you to know how happy I am at the Women' House. I feel like my sobriety has grown by 2 leaps and 3 bounds. I was so happy this morning just thinking about things..... It sure beats the howling tears I was going through. Things won't all be easy I know but I feel Hope, a rare and sparkling thing for me. I am in a place where I can treasure and nurture my sobriety!"
Paul F, vineyard house resident
"I am 46 years old and have been sober, thanks to Vineyard House, for over 2 years, I've had other periods of sobriety but this one is quite different - I wanted it for myself and am following the 12 steps. I've paid all my back taxes and am cleaning up my child support payments. I am feeling like a grown up for the first time in my life. "
At Vineyard House, I have experienced the “Power of Recovery” and the community of support given to me from the volunteers and donors who give so willingly to the resident’s recovery.
Vineyard House is providing me a safe and clean environment, something I never have had before.
Vineyard House gives me the ability to learn how to live on my own, while helping me be accountable to myself and others.
It is never too late. I have found Vineyard House to be the safest place for me to learn who I am again and learn to live a better life. Better than I could have ever imagined. A stepping stone for the journey of a lifetime.
Living in Vineyard House gave me back a chance at being a mother
Lois H. Kanter, JD, Board Member
The Vineyard House Campus has become a center of activity for everyone in the Island recovery community and residents experience a worm sense of inclusivity and support.
Peter Cox, Facilities Committee and Lucy Cox, Board Member
My wife and I were approached by several neighbors over ten years ago who explained to us the need for traditional housing for those islanders in early sobriety that need a safe living environment before reentering vineyard society. It didn’t take much convincing for my wife and I to realize that addiction affects all of us on MV. We have seen families torn apart, businesses lose their workforce and children suffer. Both Lucy and I jumped at the chance to help and have volunteered ever since. On our little island our community is providing services and strategies to combat the raising epidemic . We are forever grateful to all our supporters, without them we are defenseless.
Louise's Story, February 2013
I grew up with two parents who provided every material thing I needed and wanted. My parents put a lot of emphasis on academic achievement. But notwithstanding the advantages I was given, I always felt ...different. I struggled socially and I was ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). When I started drinking at 15, all those feelings went away. I could be the life of the party and I used this combination - drinking and hard work - to propel me through college and law school. I definitely had jackpots along the way, but I talked or charmed my way out of them - or Dad worked them out. My drinking was arrested in law school. I just had to study. I passed the bar and went into the military as a lawyer. Drinking was still working for me. My drinking helped me with colleagues, to be one of the guys. Even though my drinking was progressively worse, I had blackouts all the time, people didn't notice. The major problem was that I was too physically debilitated to show up for work on time. That's a huge part of the military culture: show up on time with your uniform squared away. So I worked twice as hard so they wouldn't notice. I was successful and easy to get along with at work, and then a transfer would come to the next duty station before they caught on and referred me to alcoholic counseling. I kept the wolves at bay by lying and scamming. Then I had a bad relationship breakup. I was a mess. Something had to give and I quit drinking and went to AA for six months. I was transferred to D.C., didn't know anyone and, all these high school feelings came back without alcohol to hide behind. I had tried pot and cocaine before but began using it heavily and barely left the military with an intact record. In 2002, came back to the island where I had always spent summers. I continued to abuse cocaine, got pregnant, stopped using, and then returned to it after my baby was born. I told myself I could be alert with the baby, no problem parenting. I was practicing law and winning cases but spent the next seven years trying to convince my baby and the outside world that I was OK. Thank God for the police and DSS (Massachusetts Division of Social Services).DSS said they would take my child. I had no money and my law license had been pulled. Thank God for the military. I spent four months in treatment at a Veterans Administration facility. Friends on the Island were raising my daughter. But I had no money, no job and no place to live. So thank God for the sober house. I was safe, in proximity to my daughter and able to participate in parenting. I didn't have to risk an unsafe environment. I didn't want to use but knowing I was going to be drug-tested reminded me how precarious my life was at that time. Vineyard House saves a lot of people, including some who don't get sober right away. Over time, it works. I've been sober for more than three years. I found employment and affordable housing and started my own business. I can apply for reinstatement of my law license this year and we'll see how it goes. Today, I definitely have more gratitude. I don't focus on where I should be rather than where I am. The focus is on where I am today compared with where I ended up. I don't feel the other shoe is going to drop and if the other shoe does drop, it’s part of life, not because I am living life as a fraud. I always sort of felt I was building a house of cards that would fall. Now I feel I'm building something solid, thanks to Vineyard House.
RON K's Story, January 2013
I was 40‐years old and new to the Island, where I had come for yet another fresh start. On a summer Sunday afternoon in 2011, I was sitting on a bench in Vineyard Haven with two recovery friends. I was physically and emotionally spent, nearly catatonic from the effects of drugs and alcohol. I am a suburban kid, raised on Cape Cod and had been wrestling the demons created by drug and alcohol for two‐thirds of my life. Willpower (aka “white‐knuckling”) had created brief periods of sobriety. Inevitably, though, relapse and legal and life problems followed. I grew up in a house where physical and emotional abuse from my Dad was the norm. Looking back I understand that I had no coping skills for difficult or confrontational situations. I’m still not great at handling those situations but now I know enough to remove myself from the situation, the environment. Take some time and think calmly. As a kid though, I learned that drugs and alcohol did that for me – took me away from the danger – and I took that solution into adulthood. I used the excuse I’ve heard so many times in the rooms: “It’s OK to do this. I’m not hurting anyone else.” I was good at my profession and took a lot of what we call “geographicals”‐ moving to a new place with a new job, hoping for a fresh start in places like ski areas, California, and Florida. The result was always the same. Eventually I moved back to the Cape, keeping things sort of in control. I had a good job, the new car, the nice girl, all the stuff. I’d put together a few months of sobriety then something would happen and I’d relapse. Life was getting worse. I was having what I had heard people in sobriety called “yets” ‐ things I’d never done, like sticking a needle in my arm, facing jail time, and getting DUIs. They’re called “yets” because they are the things we thought we’d never do, but in reality‐ they just haven’t happened “yet”. I dusted myself off and was able to avoid the jail time and got a great job managing at one of the top ten hospitality venues in New England. I was sober again but I put the job ahead of recovery. I ended up OD’ing on the job. They insisted I go to rehab. I lost that job and ended up moving to the Vineyard in late 2010. I went to 12‐ step meetings every day, met the recovery community, asked for help, and got a sponsor. But once again I put the job first and “went out” for five or six weeks. This time I lost everything. I don’t mean just material things. I was mentally and spiritually empty, afraid for my well‐being, full of self‐loathing. Fear was overwhelming me. This is the condition in which I found myself, sitting on the bench with two friends on a beautiful summer day. Two days later I found myself in the Vineyard House. I remember crossing the bridge on the way to the house that first day and wanting to jump off it! But what I found at Vineyard House was a safe and supportive environment and people that allowed me to heal up emotionally and spiritually. I cannot say enough about the people and the environment at the Vineyard House. I really centered my life around recovery there. I went to meetings every day, did service work, and I took my house chores seriously. I lived in the Vineyard House about six months, tentatively and thoughtfully returning to my professional life, choosing jobs that allowed me to be successful in my recovery life. I am rediscovering old hobbies and interests that drinking and drugging removed from my life. I enjoy the respect and admiration of my fellows and have begun a new life in a healthy relationship, mentoring my fiancée’s son. It’s awesome that this wonderful little human being wants to hang out with me. When I am confronted by situations that used to baffle me, I take a step back and am able to handle them.