Coming home to the Vineyard is one of the smartest choices I’ve ever made. Over the past few years addiction has taken a great deal from me, reducing my existence to mere survival. I lived to use, and I used to live. I never expected to return to the Vineyard full time. In years past I would have surely laughed at the prospect. I had “moved on” from my Island home, and really never wanted to look back. In hindsight this choice was a strange one. The Vineyard had given me so much over the years. My oldest and dearest friends are the ones that I had met and made here. My first attempts at creative expression were nurtured here. And, my passion for life was born here. Martha’s Vineyard revealed in me a purpose. Yet, nearly 10 years since I had left the Island for college, I was broken. Alcohol and drugs destroyed all of the products of those positive influences. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere.
The suggestion to move into Vineyard House came at the suggestion of my family and the support of my friends in recovery. After meeting the wonderful people involved with the house, I felt welcomed and cared for immediately. They knew what I had gone through, but more importantly what it takes to overcome the disease of addiction. I knew that by deciding to change the way I had been doing things, I was ultimately setting myself on a new course.
I’m extremely excited to be living in the house, and being involved in all facets of recovery on the Island. The house offers me a safe place to focus on recovery, while giving me the tools to rebuild my life. I really can’t say that I have any expectations, as this is truly new territory for me. But I know that if I put in the work, while staying honest and willing, I can achieve great things — like the ones who have come before me. Not to sound too contrived, but by taking this opportunity afforded to me by the people at Vineyard House, I am letting my higher power — as well as the Island — teach me how to live with passion, creativity, and purpose once more.
The Times invited a Vineyard House resident to describe his experience moving into Vineyard House, which we publish here unedited and anonymously.