Garrett’s Story

Garrett is one of the Ethan’s Fund Scholarship award winners to receive funding for his stay at The Culver Alumni sober living house on the Dewey campus. He is an amazing example of what happens with the funds you help us raise.
My name is Garrett and I am an alcoholic. I am a current resident of the Culver Alumni House, much in part due to the financial resources provided by Ethan’s Fund, and have just celebrated seven months of sobriety. I have had two experiences through detox and residential rehab at the Dewey Center; first in March 2020 and again in Mary of 2020. I grew up on the east side of Milwaukee but have resided in Arlington, VA since 1999.
My descent to rock bottom included quitting a lucrative career in physical therapy, separating and divorcing a husband of 18 years, and the ultimate loss of virtually everything in my life that once brought me purpose and joy. In my darkest days I completely lost the ability to envision a future escaping constant inebriation and wanting or yearning or hoping for anything more than total oblivion. These lows, the crushing depression, the vapid space void of hope is why I am so proud to share the story of my transformation. In sobriety my life has taken a 180-degree turn. My ability to crawl out of the depths and change the direction of my life is largely due to the time I have spent at The Culver Alumni House.
The budding vision of what my sober life could be developed exponentially when I moved into the Alumni House. Michael Beyer, the Alumni Coordinator, sat down with me in my first few days and helped me craft a vision of personal and professional growth that I would have previously deemed impossible. I worked hard to hit the ground running through the residential program at The Dewey Center which included programming, daily journaling, meditation, yoga, nightly meetings at the Lighthouse on Dewey, finding a sponsor through Alcoholic’s Anonymous, and beginning that essential step work.
Seven months later, I am floored at the successes I have had with some of those goals laid out early on. Every day I am feeling forward momentum in my spiritual, personal, and professional journey that I plotted when I moved into the house. For example, I am proud to report that I will be returning to my life’s profession, physical therapy, after an extended hiatus. I am going to incorporate aspects of yoga into my practice through a yoga teacher training program that I will be beginning in February. The guidance that I received through the staff and support at the Culver Alumni House has helped me build a new life for myself. The house has also provided a fellowship that has lifted me up and buoyed me in a way I could not have imagined. My housemates and the staff have been there to celebrate my successes with me and provide comfort to me when I stumbled. They truly are like family to me.
My commitment to sober living at The Culver House was a life changing decision. It has been a striking contrast to the dark isolation I felt after a previous treatment when I was alone at the height of COVID’s 2020 lockdown. Surrounded by the alumni house community has given me the chance to build a sober network that I know will be a part of my life far beyond my time in the house. I celebrated six-months of sobriety by skydiving with some of my sober family that I met through the Alumni House…honestly, how amazing is that?!
As I look forward to my completion of the nine months in the house, and my transition back to the “real world”, I struggle to find words for the miracle this house has been for me. It is so much more than a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in; it has been the foundation of my sobriety and I will always see it as a source of my healing. I am so truly grateful for my time here, made possible by the Ethan’s Fund Scholarship.

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