July 4, 2012
To whom it may concern:
What do I think of the 11th Step House? I think I could find no place better to start my recovery. My first impression of the house was that it looked more comfortable and homey that any halfway house I could imagined. I knew I could feel at home here.

To start the obvious, being in the 11th Step House puts me at least one step further away from accessing drugs. This has saved me lots of pain and hardship by giving me that protection while I am so young in recovery. In fact, the 11th Step House allows me to become venerable and to allow healing in a safe environment. I don’t know about you but, my conflict resolution and general communication skills were not “top notch” when I left treatment, and they still have a way to go. Mercy and Linda often serve as mentors and teach my house sisters and me how to employ constructive criticism and confrontation. Being in the house, I also had the opportunity to express my needs in an assertive manner without becoming aggressive. I feel more comfortable exploring these skills because I am being guided by caring house mothers with first-hand experience. Mercy and Linda are such mothers. Their first hand knowledge and wisdom dealing with addiction and the challenges that come along with that, has Mercy and Linda can show me how to grow in recovery, because they’ve done it!! I have been given opportunities to practice trustworthiness and honesty as I make meetings and go out without supervision. I get to practice personal responsibility as I find a job, find a sponsor, complete my chores and behave in a manner consistent with recovery. The choices I make here allow me to prepare for making the same choices later in life, in a less structured environment. I am prepared for this by the accountability upheld in the house. If I use or fail to maintain honesty, I may be asked to leave the house immediately. All of this may sound so serious, but recovery offers a whole new and joyous life that is unavailable to us in addiction. As I face challenges and hardships and come out successfully and with more experience coping with life my sisters and I develop top loving and intimate bonds. We become a family in our self’s. We rely on the love of our fellows. Mercy and Linda along with our house sisters, serve that purpose by loving each woman in the house individually and intently. The honest, compassionate, loving care in the house creates the conditions for my healthy growth along spiritual guidance or personal responsibility, and maintenance of a positive perspective on life. I have been working on improving those skills with encouragement from Linda and Mercy. I am given a chance to be trustworthy and honest as I make meetings on my own and go out without supervision. I practice responsibility by completing chores and working hard on the job and in recovery.

Unfortunately part of recovery is dealing with differences of opinion and confrontation. In order to take responsibility for my recovery I must learn to rationally discuss disagreements and come to a compromise acceptable to both parties. I must also learn to deal with confrontations and constructive criticism. Linda and Mercy often serve as mediators, providing examples and tools to deal with conflict! I have improved in asserting my needs without being aggressive. I feel much more prepared to deal with life today than I felt a month ago. Here I’m learning how to live!! In recovery the possibilities are endless, life no longer feels dark and empty. If only we can surrender then we will win!!! I hope to give myself the gift of long term recovery, joy, happiness and life. If no one has said to you today “I love you”, you are worth it!

Elinor Pearce (366) 906-3736

Elin came to The 11th Step House on February 28, 2012 from The Life Center of Galax,
and is still clean and sober today, January 11, 2013.