It’s a beautiful thing when you can say that you truly love your work, and for me, the evening of July 27th was a night which served as a reminder of that. Timberline Knolls’ monthly alumnae night has been a tradition for a number of years, and has always been a special part of our programming – a heartwarming gathering where our current residents have an opportunity to hear inspirational stories of how TK has “made a real life difference” in the lives of women who have gone before them, who have sat where they now sit in group rooms and therapy offices, at tables in the dining hall, at work-spaces in the art studio, in child’s pose on the floor of the ET room in Yoga Therapy. Alumnae Night, to me, provides a sense of solidarity and oneness in recovery that is palpable – and beautiful.
July’s Alumnae Night was beautiful indeed, with silvery summer skies that held their raindrops until after our Letting Go ceremony at the fire pit (thank you, Higher Power!). A record number of alums – I believe the final count was upwards of forty – made the trip in to Lemont, from all over the country: Texas, New York, Missouri, North Dakota. Two young women, Chantyl M. and Maggie C., traded turns at the podium, courageously sharing their recovery stories and encouraging our residents to trust the program, trust their Higher Power, surrender to their treatment plans, and do the next right thing.
Following our speakers and our ceremony at the fire pit, alums gathered for a catered meal in the admin building, where they had the opportunity to catch up with several Timberline Knolls staff members who were able to drop in – including art therapist Rae, who brought a (ten-month-old) date to the dinner, prompting several alums to suggest that TK offer Baby Therapy as part of our programming!
Since that evening, my phone and my inbox have been delightfully busy, receiving messages from alums thanking TK for how we’ve contributed to their journeys toward a meaningful life. Said one anonymous alum: “So remember that one time that I wanted to leave TK and drown in all my diseases and die, and then you told me all these crazy things about God’s love for me and recovery and said ridiculous things like I was worth it all . . . Yeah, that was over a year ago. And remember that other time I was on the cusp of six months of abstinence, coming up on nine months self-harm-free, just about to have 18 months sober, and could actually say I didn’t want to die any time in the next seventy years? Yeah – that was just today. Thank you, TK!”
Seriously, people – I love my job. In fact, I share the perspective that so many of my coworkers embrace: Working at TK isn’t just a job; it’s a blessing and an honor. So, from all of me to all of you, thank you – for making July’s Alum Night special, and for making my day-to-day work so rewarding and enjoyable. Looking forward to future Alumnae Nights and other events to come . . . “Keep comin’ back!”