First Things First

“I was apprehensive and anxious attending my first group, but quickly gained an incredible amount of comfort being in a setting with people in situations similar to mine. Group gave me a chance to speak freely about my situation without feeling judged. Group felt like therapy and I found myself looking forward to attending group and being able to discover habits(e: denial) that I had developed in my life. The counselors were more than welcoming. The feeling of shame I have felt frequently is subsiding and I am learning and truly beginning to believe that this experience happened for a reason. Recognizing defense mechanisms, learning methods to say no and abstain, as well as learning to forgive myself have been some of the greatest lesions I will take away from treatment. I will quit beating myself up about my mistakes and learn to accept my mistakes and move forward instead of dwelling on the past. My favorite saying is “ this too shall pass” and never before have I believed it more than after my experience in treatment and group. As much as I hope to never need treatment again, I will truly miss group.”
“Two years ago was a very low and unstable time in my life. Pain, confusion, lost, alone, and further pain. Day in and day out, I attempted to drown the truth of what my life had become with alcohol and sex. Afraid to face the challenge of turning it around, I dug myself into a deep and dark hole, secluded from reality. I gained my second DWI during this time period. Fast forward two years, I found out I had forgotten about my alcohol assessment required for the reinstatement of my license. At this point, I have over a year and a half of sobriety from alcohol. I was very frustrated starting this group because of this. But I have enjoyed our group setting and have felt that it has benefited my mentality.”
“Coming into group at First Step I didn’t know what to expect although I had the idea that it was just going to be a lot of watching videos and listening to the counselor talk; it was the complete opposite. The group was very interactive and having other people in the group to share my experience with and getting positive feedback and having similar experiences gave me a sense of not feeling alone with my circumstances or other aspects of my life. Also being able to share my own personal struggles and past and seeing how not dealing with them were triggers for my drinking. I can now see that pushing things like that talking about them or dealing with them will help in maintaining my sobriety. The group counselor was very positive and genuinely cared about my feelings and opinions; she always made sure that everyone got the most out of each group session. This whole experience has given me new ways to deal with things that may happen in my life as I move forward with my sobriety.”
“The counselors and the whole group gave me a very open honest feeling. That allowed most group members to speak out problems, fears, and thoughts. There was never a judgment given during any of our sessions. This allowed an open and honest session. The counselors were very good at asking questions to invoke thought and allow the member a way of speaking out about their personal issue. The education of coping with an atmosphere that has many opportunities for drug and alcohol abuse. The education I received helped me understand my personal issues that I thought I didn’t need. I would like to thank the staff at First Step for their thoughtfulness and caring. I learned a lot about myself.”
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