By Lane Rust, Executive Director, Spearhead Lodge
Spearhead– a person, thing, or group that organizes or leads something (such as a movement or attack)
I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be asked to spearhead the operation at BRC’s new young adult, extended care facility, Spearhead Lodge. All of our staff members are extremely excited about starting this new program that is geared towards helping young adults who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. We know that the number of young adults who are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol is on the rise and therefore our hearts were moved in the direction of opening our new facility. Our goal is to help those in need by providing an experiential program that teaches men how to live an honest life with integrity, take care of themselves, care for others, and to learn how to enjoy living life while sober.
When I entered into my first of two treatment centers in 2006 at the age of 21, I became bored and frustrated with recovery and all that it entails within the first ten months of my sobriety. I slowly started to complain about 12 step meetings, stopped calling my sponsor as much, and began judging those involved with any kind of sober lifestyle. I would sit in 12 step meetings and think to myself, “I don’t want to live my life like this. I am 22 years old and cannot see myself hanging out with the older crowd in these meetings on Saturday nights, drinking coffee.” Well, not long after these thoughts started to occur in my mind, I disconnected myself from recovery, put alcohol back into my body, and was using drugs within a few hours of taking my first drink in over ten months. I went on and continued drinking and using for almost three years after that night. I experienced frightening, near death experiences on more than one occasion. I broke the trust of my loving family and abused them in order to continue getting what I wanted. I treated people who had shown me nothing but love like garbage. The poor self-image and low self-esteem that I carried in my heart caused me to project an image that I now know was cocky and arrogant. I was lost and didn’t have any real desire to find my way out of the darkness until I was arrested for drug possession and got the opportunity (as I like to call it today) to sit inside a jail cell and reflect on what had become of my life. I was 25 years old, had dropped out of college twice, been to jail multiple times for drug and alcohol related charges, and had no hope of ever becoming a successful, hardworking member of society whom people could trust. Besides, my mind told me I had already tried the 12 steps and they didn’t work. Thoughts like these kept me in bondage to myself and kept me trapped in my addiction. I didn’t know what I wanted to become in life. I didn’t know how to communicate effectively with other men. I didn’t know how to take care of my personal belongings. I didn’t know how to be a man among men or a family member among family members. I was full of fear and out of ideas. I finally realized that I needed to undergo a drastic change if I was ever going to do anything that I could be proud of in this life, and so my journey in recovery really began and continues today. I was given simple directions on how to cultivate a relationship with the God of my understanding, and that Power is the main reason why I have been able to navigate through life for the past 6 years without finding it necessary to take a drink of alcohol or use any mind-altering substances.
Today, I can say that I am trusted by those who know me. I am happily married to an amazing woman who is also in recovery. My family enjoys spending time with me and are no longer worried if I am going to end up dead or in prison because of addiction. I am trusted around my nieces, whom I absolutely adore. I am a loyal friend. I sponsor men in recovery and am still able to take direction from my sponsor. Just last week my family asked me to lead a prayer before my little sister got married. I suit up and show up in life today! Wow, things have changed, and it all started because of a group of caring individuals who were dedicated to helping others showed me a way out of the misery and darkness that I had been living in for a long time. My goal is to continue spreading hope to other men in recovery and to be a small part in helping them find a life beyond anything they thought was possible. The staff at Spearhead Lodge consists of a team of dedicated individuals whose mission in life is to help those afflicted with addiction find freedom and peace within themselves.