CLM MONTHLY COLUMN
|Posted on February 8, 2016 at 1:20 PM|
MISSION POSSIBLE / EXTRA MILER: Success Stories at Bliss House
September 12, 2015
By: Carol Dawson, A Bliss House Committee Member and CLM/BH Voluntary Communications Director
A neighbor and friend stopped by my house one day six years ago and asked to sit on the front porch with her to talk. She began telling me about a place called the Bliss House. I had heard of it, but knew little about the non-profit organization.
My friend provided details of the Bliss House mission, which in essence is to bring in local women (of all ages) who are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions and teach them how to live their lives clean and sober. I told her I was just too busy with my company and previous volunteer commitments. However, my friend isn’t a fan of the “no” club. She only knew the Bliss House was in need of dedicated volunteers to guide the Bliss House and ensure their continued success.
She explained the unusually high rate of success the residents have at the Bliss House, the high rate of women who successfully complete the program and stay connected to the current residents (our alumnae), and the continued need for a program like this to exist for women in our area.
I agreed to attend a meeting and was hooked. Soon I was engrained into the fabric of the program and enthralled with the committee women who were duty-bound to create bliss for the women in the home.
While impressed with the professional level of the volunteers, I was most captivated with the alumnae members who sat in each Committee meeting. They attend to discuss their direct support for the residents and to provide guidance and direction. They, after all, have each walked in the shoes of the residents and they understand and empathize with the needs of the women in recovery.
In every case, the alumnae I’ve met have been extremely intelligent, poised, and dedicated to the mission of reaching back and helping others in their journey. They believe in passing on their own experiences of rehabilitation to those who are desperately in need of encouragement and confidence. Simply put, the alumnae women of the Bliss House understand what is transpiring in the program and what is necessary for success.
Many, if not all residents have had multiple experiences in other rehabilitation programs without success. The alumnae understand the fear and anxiety regarding the Bliss House program and the possibility of personal failure. They provide hope and they provide an example of what the residents can become.
Our active alumnae step back into the Bliss House to show our residents that success is a very real possibility for them if they take the program seriously. They illustrate that lives can be reclaimed, children and family/friends can resume reunited lives, and sometimes more importantly, they demonstrate to the Bliss House residents that life can be full of fun and laughter, without the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Often, the women residents have never experienced fun and laughter while sober.
So today, we salute these dedicated and caring women – who not only have worked to rehabilitate their own lives, but who are willing to take time to reach back and pull others up along with them. Thank you, Bliss House alumnae, for demonstrating the face of sincere compassion, empathy, and love. Your lives make a positive difference in our community.