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“I am so proud of [Ryan]! He seems to be thriving there this time.  The community there is the only place he feels able to do it at and I believe he wants to stay there after he is finished so he is surrounded by a sober community he is established with and also so he can help others. It is so nice for him to be there surrounded with others who are dealing with the same things he is.”

- A grateful Aunt of a Phase II Resident

This Issue

Family Mailbag

Resident Profile

Unsung Hero


Alumni Life

Recent Anniversaries

Resident ProfileResident picture

Stephanie M. was born in Long Island, New York to a very loving and supportive family.

She grew up dancing and excelling in school. She describes herself as a curious person, a trait that lends itself to being intelligent and intuitive.

Stephanie started smoking marijuana in high school, but remained an excellent student and kept up with her grades and obligations. She also maintained a great relationship with her family through her high school years. Outwardly, her life appeared to be in great order. But, the seed was planted and when Stephanie went off to college her curious nature led her to further experimentation. Substances quickly became more significant in Stephanie’s life. “I never thought I would have the gene to become addicted,” said Stephanie. “I always thought I would outsmart it.”

She began using stimulants and opiates in college, but she held onto the idea that as long as she maintained her grades in school she felt she could continue using. “I was always being more productive than the people around me who were doing what I was doing,” said Stephanie “‘So, I am fine. I’m okay,’ I would tell myself.” After Stephanie graduated she told herself that she would stop, that it was time, but as she stated “the addiction had already started and it was stronger than I was, and I couldn’t outsmart it.”

She was working for an engineering firm and it was a great job, but the addiction had taken hold and the expense of prescription opiates was just too high, which eventually led Stephanie to turn to the more affordable street option, heroin. Her relationship with her family began to deteriorate and she found herself becoming a person she no longer recognized. “They knew something was really wrong with me, and I was just lying and manipulating which was never something I would do with them,” said Stephanie. “It goes to show how much my addiction just changed me completely.”

Alumni quote

On July 23, 2017 Stephanie’s parents had an intervention, and Stephanie jumped at the chance to get help. She had been trying to stop for most of 2017, “I was just really afraid of the physical pain I would go through so I wasn’t able to,” said Stephanie. This brought her to detox, and eventually Turnbridge.

“From the second I got here, I thought ‘I can do this’,” said Stephanie. “I got passed the physical aspect of the withdrawals, which is what I was most afraid of, so now I have no excuse.” These were Stephanie’s first thoughts when she arrived to the Turnbridge Women’s Phase I Residence for the first time. She wanted nothing more than to live up to her potential. Stephanie began creating relationships with the staff at Turnbridge and started to “want what they had”. She also started to build connections with other clients, many of whom she now considers family. At the 90-day mark, Stephanie admits that she started to get restless and wanted to leave Turnbridge, but “I had an epiphany that saved me,” said Stephanie. “I didn’t want to do this again. I wanted to try my hardest the first time.”
Soon Stephanie phased up to Phase III of the program and began to really see a shift in her recovery. Her bond with her therapist at Turnbridge, Lexi Holmes, got stronger and she feels that Lexi played a pivotal part in her self-awareness. “She helped me see how many things I just always rationalized in my head,” said Stephanie. “I don’t know where I’d be without her.”

The transition into Phase III also meant a new case manager, Erin Royer. “Erin is just someone I trust and is very similar to me,” said Stephanie. “I just don’t know where I would be without their support, and their love, their genuine love.” Stephanie continues to build her sober network and dive further into her recovery.  She recently secured a job at a local mortgage firm. “I just didn’t have any coping mechanisms,” said Stephanie. “Drugs were my only coping mechanism and now I just have so many other ones. It’s a really good feeling.”

Stephanie has nine months of continuous sobriety now and is much more her authentic self. “Turnbridge is really ahead of its time in terms of recovery and how they go about it, and its working,” said Stephanie. “I am the best version of myself that I feel like I have ever been.”


Unsung Hero
Unsung Hero Headshot

Mac Burns

Mac Burns is the Turnbridge Unsung Hero for the month of May 2018.

As Resident Liaison, Mac is a key member of the direct-care team in Phase I and is responsible for managing community morale and offering support to clients that are in distress. As a Turnbridge graduate himself from over seven years ago, Mac is uniquely suited for this position.

“My life today is one that I could not have imagined,” said Mac. “I would not give it up for anything. Helping others, like how others helped me, is the only way I know how to live.”

“Being nominated for Unsung Hero is a great honor,” said Mac. “Turnbridge helped me achieve my goals in life and is still helping others achieve theirs.

I have worked here for 4 years and have seen clients that turn into alumni, alumni that turn into staff, and everyone here has the goal of helping another person in recovery and it drives me to do better every day. It is awesome to see and be a part of the process.”

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Alumni Life Alumni picture

Heather W. is from Atlanta, Georgia.

After completing high school she went off to Auburn University, but it wasn’t long before her burgeoning struggle with substance abuse led her to move back home and transfer to the local Georgia State University.

After moving home, “I gave up on being happy and had been discontent for a long time, and obviously had been using,” said Heather. “I told myself, ‘I am just gonna get through school and I am not even going to make any friends.’ and I would just stay in my room and use drugs. I was lying to everyone and then got into a couple bad car wrecks.”

At this point, her parents knew that something was going on with her. Heather eventually came clean to them that she had been heavily using. They quickly helped her and got her into a detox and then into a local treatment center, where she stayed for a while before coming to Turnbridge.

When Heather first arrived to Turnbridge she, like many clients entering treatment, was angry and somewhat ambivalent about engaging in the program. “I didn’t want to make connections with anyone,” said Heather. “I was just going to serve my time and get this over with.” Heather was reluctant to communicate and create relationships in the community as well as engage in groups or therapy. “I would just sit there in silence in therapy,” said Heather. After noticing some irregularities in her sleep, Heather’s treatment team at Turnbridge recommended a sleep study. After participating in the sleep study and learning that she was narcoleptic, which was greatly contributing to her mood dysregulation and low energy, she began to turn a corner. “I thought I was just unmotivated and got really down on myself and didn’t know what was wrong with me,” said Heather. “But when I found out it was narcolepsy, it made me feel better about myself and gave me something to work towards, normal sleep patterns.” Heather began to see progress in herself. “I started going out in the community and making friends with the other girls and actually realizing that I could have fun and be sober,” said Heather.

Alumni quote

A big obstacle for Heather was in trying to understand her problems with relationships. She had been asked to leave her previous treatment center due to an unwillingness to terminate a relationship that had been deemed unhealthy, so this was an issue that she wanted to tackle while at Turnbridge. “Turnbridge was able to help me with my relationship issues instead of just kicking me out for them,” said Heather. “Turnbridge doesn’t give up on people. My Case Manager, Erin, made me feel like I could be honest with her without getting in trouble. My whole life I had always gotten in trouble for being honest and reprimanded. I finally trusted someone to be honest.”

“Once I started to actually care about myself and want better for myself, I decided to actually engage at Turnbridge,” said Heather. “I also found a twelve step sponsor that I could relate to and that I genuinely liked.

We went through the steps together and I started to actually feel relief.” Heather started thinking of twelve step meetings as less of a chore and more as a means of making real kinships with people. “Doing things like going to the diner with friends after meetings and recreational events were good for me. I actually started to get involved in art again and paint with my friends and do things that make me happy that I had forgotten about.”

Heather graduated the program and now lives in Thrive, Turnbridge’s sober living home that is reserved for Turnbridge graduates with long-term sobriety. Heather is employed as a Support Staff member at Turnbridge, which puts her in unique position to use her experience to help others. “I am in a place where I really want to give back what was given to me,” said Heather. “That is really what attracted me to the job at Turnbridge. They never gave up on me. They helped me find out why I struggled with being alone. I gained my self-confidence back. I want good things for myself and want to speak my truth for the first time. I was not living and now I feel like I am living.”

Alumni pic

Recent Anniversaries


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