I don’t know if it was luck or divinity that brought me to the McShin Foundation. I was at yet another hospital psych ward, buying a bit of time, when a man named Peter offered me the opportunity to come to the McShin Foundation even though I did not have a cent to my name. Any place besides the homeless shelter sounded good to me. Again, I just thought I was buying some time in a bed with a mattress. That was a little over eight months ago. Today I have that much time clean and instead of a shelter I am in school.
I can’t tell you exactly what, but something good started to happen in my life. It had been many years since I could say that. Being completely lost and broken, I just dragged my person every place staff and peer leaders told me to be. My brain was pretty worthless so I did not bother to use it. I came and went when I was told and did what they told me to do. My expectations of change were very low but I had nothing to lose by following direction. It’s not like they asked me to do anything hard.
The basics were these: get out of bed in the morning, come to the foundation, clean for thirty minutes, go to and participate in groups, go to at least one meeting a day, get a sponsor, call your sponsor, get phone numbers of people in recovery, get a home group,, help each other, and lend a hand to any McShin projects. The guidelines are far from a reinvention of the wheel but it was easier to take advice when the people giving it had been where I was.
So, it is not to say that the McShin Foundation does anything strikingly original. The difference is that there are no wasteful middlemen involved. McShin is run by addicts and for addicts. McShin is a hub for recovery in the lakeside area. Even people who are not addict but are emotionally and mentally struggling come here for support, and it is here for the taking. The product of a recovery community is a wealth of individuals who found a way to arrest addiction and the benefit of addicts having a place to help one another is incalculable on the public dollar. I know taxpayers are saving quite a bit on me alone.