“My name is John G., and this is my story.
My first evening at GateHouse in Nashua, I was killing time on the front porch, waiting to check in and talking with a few of the guys. One of them asked me if I was a dad. I said yeah, three times over. He looked at me expectantly, then looked around. Then I realized he was looking for my son, who he thought was the one checking in. (OK, I’m a bit older.) No, I said. I’m here for me. Better later than never, right?
In my six months at GateHouse, I lived with an English teacher, an insurance agent, a cook, a builder, a landscaper … and more than a few guys still figuring it out. Men of all ages and races and backgrounds. Fundamentally, though, we knew and appreciated the fact that as alcoholics or drug addicts or both, we were much more alike than different.
“TODAY, APPROACHING FOUR YEARS SOBER, I LOOK BACK ON GATEHOUSE AS SOME OF THE BEST TIMES I EVER HAD. EVER.”
I’d come to GateHouse after a lifetime of heavy drinking, and then about two years of severe, 24/7 drinking. This was my first attempt at sobriety, after detox and a 28-day program. I had no intention of living in a sober house – “Animal House,” minus the fun. But my family and my sponsor didn’t agree; they knew, better than I, that learning to live a sober life takes time, and practice, and unending support from people who know the pitfalls of early sobriety.
Today, approaching four years sober, I look back on GateHouse as some of the best times I ever had. Ever. Sure, there are rules and chores and mandatory meetings. There’s also an incredible camaraderie that comes with living with a group of men united in their determination to overcome their fears, live meaningful, productive lives, and help others on the journey. I’m grateful every day for the friends I made there.”