“The environment here is safe and supportive”


I would like to first provide a little background regarding what led me to the finest recovery home on the planet; at least as far as I am concerned.  It was a long and painful journey, but now I am one of the fortunate ones.

I remember that last few weeks of my active addiction, crawling on the floor desperately searching for one more hit.  I absolutely did not want to consider reality, as time was running out; and I was penniless…with nowhere to go.  Practically speaking, my head was full of dope, yet I distinctly heard (in my mind) a very pleasant melody, along with the words; “We have a different place for you”.  My mind was immensely distorted, but I knew it was no delusion, because I heard it in my heart.  For the first time since my last relapse, I felt something was going to help me, and it was going to take me to a place where I could recover; in an environment that I would be willing to recover.

The Thunderbird House, one of the AZ Clean & Sober locations, is beyond a recovery house…it is a home!  There is plenty of structure, but the emphasis is on responsibility…being an adult.   It is quality living in recovery.  For me, the Thunderbird House environment promotes self-esteem.  The unspoken message I heard from the house manager, when I got the call to move in was; “I believe you are as worthy as any other recovering person”.  This was an enormous boost for me; because Bob Schumacher took me in for who I was.  So…as wonderful as this environment is, with its very cool amenities, it is a very down to earth community.

I am originally from Chicago, and have been in numerous recovery homes; and sad to say, absolutely none of them compare to AZ Clean and Sober living.  Please know that I am not including the traditional halfway house, where the emphasis is on structure, and it is absolutely needed.

When I arrived in Arizona on September 2, 2012, I moved into a halfway house with many rules/ mandates.  It is a fantastic facility for newly recovering people.  I moved to the place sight-unseen, but wondered what the universe was up to, especially since that wonderful melody gave me the impression it was taking me out of my madness, and into something special.  I decided to make the best of my situation, and shop around.  I toured a couple of places, but when I visited The Thunderbird House, I stopped searching, even though they were full at the time.  I thought; “there’s probably no other place like this in the world…I will wait as long as it takes”.

When I finally moved in, I felt a great sense of relief, and in retrospect believe that I belong here.  The environment here is safe and supportive, and yes…compared to the vast majority, there is a significant level of comfort.  The physical structure is attractive, clean, well maintained and affordable.  And we are treated with dignity.  The common denominator for the residence here, is that we derive much of what we need by living in a community with a common purpose.  I am allowed to practice my skills of being a responsible adult, and I am supported.  The Thunderbird House of AZ Clean & Sober Living is the premier model for recovery homes, with a focus on personal dignity.  I believe many lack this important ingredient.

My journey to AZ Clean & Sober Living didn’t unfold exactly like I would have planned; but I am in that different place now.  I am one of the fortunate ones.