Betsy (Bishop) Colgan
In Jan of 1992, I had been at Duffy’s about 9-10 days and had convinced myself that all this “one day at a time” bull was not for me and was ready to leave and continue the insanity. At my afternoon group session I didn’t have anything to say and was just waiting for my one on one with a Duffy counselor so I could check out.
As I walked in to her office the first thing she said, “What’s wrong? Something on your mind?” I said yes and she said, “You been here about 9-10 days” and again I said yes. She then smiled, and I remember that smile, and she said then you’re in the right place. Then we talked I know we went longer than I should have expected, but she was the right person at the right time for me.
I stayed the remaining 28 days and have been sober ever since. Thank you, Duffy counselors, I hope you realize how important you were in my life.
December 20, 2011
I used and abused drugs for the 2nd half of my life. I was functional, relatively successful, but I know I would have achieved much more without the use of drugs. I felt all was under control until one day someone introduced me to speed. I thought I could handle anything because I did coke, ecstasy and other drugs for so long, I thought nothing of it.
Man was I dead wrong. That stuff took getting high to a new level and one I could not handle. After realizing my life was in shambles, I tried to quit a few times on my own but to no avail. My family dragged me out of it, I moved in with my brother across the country and a year later I was back in the same town thinking I was good to go. No rehab involved this time. I lasted for several months (2 years total break) and I finally got into it again in full gear. I think I jumped back in worse off then I was before. My first run was 5 years and my second run was 7 years and I thought, there is no way in hell I’m ever gonna get out of this hell alive or without going to jail, death or serious injury to myself at the least. I knew one or more of the above was inevitable.
Thank God for my loving family who said to me again…we know you are using so please would you go to rehab? We researched our butts off and found this place in Napa called Duffy’s and we think you’d do well there and someone in a friend’s family went there and loved it. I said yes, reluctantly, but I knew at the age of 39 I did not want to be on drugs on my 40th birthday. Somehow, I knew it was time and I had to do something. This was a blessing from above.
So I arrived and slept for a few days since that was something I never did and I felt at home right away. The people were great under the circumstances. The staff was wonderful and they actually seemed like they cared and they did. The schedule was absolutely great because it kept you busy and honest. The facility is clean and the food was good. I think it was too good because it showed. I always thought I would feel imprisoned there but I felt like I was in camp when I was a kid, really I did. I learned a lot, I loved the class activities and time flew by, it was a great experience.
I don’t know what it was about being in Duffy’s that made me want to stop being a drug addict. I just knew I had a second or third chance at life and this was it. I still to this day don’t know what it was that made me know I had to quit. I’m sure I had something to do with it but I really learned a lot there and highly recommend it to anyone who is in need of recovery. No, I’m not being paid to write this but you may think so. I’m just happy to be alive and well and want to share.
I heard 1 out of 10 people recover from speed and I am one of them. I have a very addictive personality and I never ever thought I could stop my abuse and I did. Miracle, luck, whatever, it worked and Duffy’s showed me the strength. I wish I could show people in their addiction a glimpse of my new, clear headed and very happy life and that there is hope. Sleep is my best friend these days among other things and what I love most is I spend a lot of time with my family…the people I always tried to avoid when I was getting high and now I never want to be without them.
December 13, 2011
My Brokenness has been shadowing me recently. Reminding me of where I came from. I believe she will always be watching over me – encouraging me to keep strong and whole.
26 years ago I was on a year-long path of learning how to walk again after a night of drunkenness which led me down Silverado Trail imploding amongst two hundred year old Oak trees and a thirteen foot ravine. Pieces of my car and…my body are still imbedded in those majestic Oaks. My outlook on my life was “I couldn’t live right and I couldn’t die right”. A sad perspective when one considers that I was given a loving family, opportunity galore and a community that embraced me with gentle arms. All of which I bafflingly turned away from as if they were the plague.
25 years ago I was crumbled on the linoleum of the kitchen in my migrant worker’s cottage. I was broken beyond the physical. I had a moment where I realized that I was responsible for what I had become. There wasn’t anyone else to blame.
In the days between 1985 and 1986, while healing from the wreck that miraculously didn’t kill me, I was visited daily by a young man named Lambert. He would come on those slow and painful walks with me and quietly talk. He shared a life that started where I found myself to a life of peace, freedom and joy.While on that floor in my kitchen, I felt I had no one to turn to. I had hurt too many people; damaged too many relationships; burned too many bridges. There was one person though that kept coming in my thoughts – Lambert. I called to him for help. He came that night and held my hand and told me there was a way of life to live that would remove my despair. He shared again the path life had taken him and disclosed in depth how he came from the shambles of his youth. He gave me the lifeline of hope. That night, after many cups of coffee and a moment to wash up, I found myself among a group of people sharing a life that was mine but instead of crumbling into the earth, they were walking with their heads held high and a spark of life in their eyes.
That was October 25, 1986.
Until that night, I didn’t know it but I was afflicted with a disease that wanted to take me down fast a furiously – the disease of alcoholism.
Today and for the past 25 years, my life is full of joyous impossibilities had I not been given that moment of Grace. The nightmare of yesterday will not be forgotten but it does not define me today.
Thank you To Eloise, my sponsor who told me to accept the first callback for an interview for employment! Ended up being the best latrine scrubber for Duffy’s ever – ha… meals, meetings and sobriety part of my job description!!!!
October 26, 2011
sober member of AA since October 25, 1986
John F – San Francisco
Love, again, from Texas. Julia T.
Sincerely, Brian J.
Patrick A, Sacramento
I received “my Hummer” with a new look today. I have much to say about Duffy’s. In March of 1971 I “visited” for the first time and twice since that year. Gene D new how to handle a “big shot” like me. He just ignored me for three days. We became great friends. He dined in our home in Lafayette before a speaking commitment in Walnut Creek and once we met for lunch in Copenhagen. Went to the big Round Up in Palm Springs together but all that was not enough. After six years I was cured, moved my family to New Jersey and was nipping for 7 years and still going to meetings. April 10th 1984, I turned my life and my will over to the care of God and gave up and have been truly blessed with a wonderful life ending up in Naples, FL. I go to many meetings here and in Denmark (we are there 4 months in the summer), where there once were few and now many meetings. My initial introduction to AA and Gene’s ass kicking way of getting me going I shall never forget. The “old timers” that took me under their wings was what brought me back to a wonderful sober life. Last year we visited my first sponsor’s wife in Gilroy (I had not seen her in 30 years). Bill Mac passed on some years ago and we just had lunch with her and her new husband while visiting Lafayette over Thanksgiving week. I am living with my ex-wife now for over 12 years (the mother of my sons and my high school sweetheart). She has been a steady member of “the other party” since 1971. We are so lucky, so very lucky. Thanks to AA and all you wonderful people that came in to our lives. God Bless the work you do at Duffy’s. I’m going to stop and say hello when visiting our oldest son in Lafayette one day. Thank you for faithfully sending me the “Hummer”. God bless you and have a very Merry Christmas with the best wishes for the New Year where Duffy’s will bring the message to so many new and lucky folks.
December 20, 2010
Happy Holidays everyone, I have never been a patient of Duffy’s but I have several friends that have gone to Duffy’s and are still sober after 20 year’s…Thank you for being there for the Alcoholics that are ready for a better way of life. If I put one hand in AA and my other hand in my Higher Power, I don’t have a hand to pick up a drink.
December 20, 2010
Steve from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thank you Duffy’s for being the first 28 days of the rest of my life in August 2000. I have spent the last 10 years sober, and have achieved so much as a mother that I could not have achieved on the destructive path I was on. The caring, the counseling, the environment….the wonderful staff….all contributed to the life I began, and the horrid one I left behind. Blessings to you and all in recovery. One day at a time. You saved my life.
November 25, 2010
Susan B., Southern California
I am still amazed at the quality of care that I received at this facility. I realize that I can only take one day at a time and today I am happy and sober because I am actually using the tools that I learned at Duffy’s. I will keep you all in my prayers.
November 18, 2010
It has been over six years since I spent time at Duffy’s and I am still sober. Cannot say enough about the staff and the program there. You are all miraculous.
November 8, 2010
Thanks so much, Diane G
I brought my addicted wife to Duffy’s to help her, and never realized it would change my life forever. I was a successful contractor in Silicon Valley and felt that these “addicts” were just weak individuals who couldn’t cope, and that God was just a legend made up for “such people”. I could relate to Duffy as he was a construction person also, so I listened to his stories on Sunday’s when I came to visit the 3 times my wife was there. One weekend I was extremely troubled because the city inspector had refused to allow occupancy (Friday afternoon) of a facility I had just completed. I would be responsible for the lost productivity and wages until the facility could open. Duffy was talking and said that if you got down on your knees and asked God you may be surprised at the coincidence of the results. I went home and asked the Lord to help me, and on Monday morning a new city inspector showed up and approved the facility for occupancy. Who would ever expect that a change in inspectors could take place over a weekend as we know the city doesn’t work on weekends. This became the start of a new beginning for me, and although my wife passed away due to her addiction it has led me to the Lord. I regularly hold meetings in my home and minister to those in need, and am studying how to be a better conduit for HIS healing abilities (stripes). You may not be aware of who is listening and the impact at your meetings, but we all are hurting and your input is felt beyond what you can see. Later on I had to bring my secretary there for help and she is now my wife and soul companion and she is clean and sober for 15 years. Keep up the good work.
November 6, 2010
An old friend and believer, Bob
My sobriety date is July 21, 2008. On that date I drove myself from the Sierra Foothills out to Duffy’s because I was out of answers. My father had attended meetings there in the late 70’s and helped me find the facility. I checked in and got involved. I needed a solution to my alcoholism and I found it at Duffy’s. I got plugged in immediately and hit the ground running. I haven’t stopped since. Today, I am very active in the recovery community in Southern California, I am helping others to get sober, I am back in school full-time and starting my own business. This wouldn’t be possible without the treatment and kindness that I received at your facility. Thank you for my life!!!
November 5, 2010
I knew I needed help but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t realize what I needed was to learn I was lost with nowhere to go. I was a mess and finally hit my all-time low. I accepted death as my only way out. I was to die young, in that I had no doubt I knew giving up wasn’t a smart move. Being worthy of love was something I knew I could prove. With this lesson I’ve learned so many important things about life’s gifts and all the blessings it brings. Thank you for your gift that keeps on giving. I will take your lessons and be thankful for living.
September 6, 2010
Hi there, I just wanted to send a big hello and thanks again to everyone at Duffy’s. I am about to turn 29, and much in part to the help I received during my stay at Duffy’s. I celebrated three years of sobriety on May 15th, 2010. My life is unimaginably different than it was a little over three years ago. I have accomplished a great deal, both personally and professionally, but the most important thing—at least I believe—is being able to wake up every morning… and not wish that I hadn’t. It’s amazing to actually look forward to my life, where every day used to be such a struggle. My family and I send our love and well wishes to the staff and workers. And, to everyone who was a resident in May/June of 2007, I hope you’re still out there… and I hope that you have found peace and happiness. I miss you all and think of you often. If you’re considering a stay at Duffy’s, just go for it. Whatever happens, however scary it may seem, I promise that you will be better for the time that you spend there. Duffy’s, without a doubt, saved my life.
August 26, 2010
Love from Texas, Julia T.
Love reading the comments. Fills me with such nostalgia. I was a guest at Duffy’s in 1986 and have not found it necessary to take a drink since that day. And, for this alcoholic, that is a miracle! I was also blessed with the chance to then give back what was so freely given to me by working at Duffy’s in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I will never be able to truly communicate my gratitude, so I will continue to help those that still suffer and keep Sr. in my heart always.
July 28, 2010
Yours in Sobriety, Irene T.—San Carlos, CA