Read Our Stories

Sean McCauley
Sean McCauley

Hi, I am Sean McCauley

I am an Alumni from 2000 that came to Limen house via the Whittsitt Center down in Chestertown, Md. I must admit I think I am one of the lucky ones. My bottom was truly something I had never felt before and for the first time in my life I was available for help and not just to manipulate the situation. I had a great Counselor at Limen and new something was important especially regarding step 3 because that's what was on his license plate. Limen House showed me how to begin a structured day and work on basic things like hygiene and structured meals. Counselors walked me through the 12 steps and showed me how to find a supportive AA sponsor. I never knew how much was going on behind the scenes of Limen House but today while being a CM/CADC at the Men’s house I have been given a much deeper appreciation towards this house and those that support this process. I have wonderful co-workers today that help me to continue to evolved my recovery process and be able to give back to Limen what TRULY WAS FREELY GIVEN TO ME.

I have been able to continue my sobriety based on the foundations that were shown to me in the early days of my recovery by Limen House. Many 12 step meetings, Big Book studies, evening group and morning groups were a central part of the treatment process. Limen House showed me how to deeper surrender and trust in my “HIGHER POWER” and when that’s not happening well, I have a great support network as an Alumni to bumper me back to my FAITH.




Megan

Hi my name is Megan. My journey began as another “quick fix” into detox to look good to the Board of Nursing in an attempt to get my nursing license back, and have my DUI repercussions lessened. As always, reacting on my delusional thinking and manipulative ways that my drinking and drugging career taught me. I was still in denial that I had a problem. I lost my career, my driver’s license, my daughter, my dignity and my family. I was homeless, but my disease tricked me to believe that I was still living a manageable life and that I was in control.

After detox they said go to Gaudenzia, so I went for two months. After that I went to another long-term rehabilitation for four months, and then got my interview for Limen House. I was on a variety of mental health medications because that became my next way to manipulate doctors to prescribe me medications so I could not feel, I could still be numb. But Limen House gave me a chance. As soon as I walked into that house I felt this indescribable feeling of peace. I was accepted and that was the beginning to my new way of living.

Limen House gave me the foundation to my recovery. They loved me until I loved myself. They introduced me to A.A. and the 12 steps, and helped guide me to find a sponsor which brought me peace, closure and acceptance. They helped me work through my shame and guilt from losing my daughter, which I believe kept me in my addiction. They also taught me this disease affects the mind, body and spirit, and how to feed them all. After working the 12 steps I now know it was my higher power who had me going from rehab to rehab until finally getting into Limen House. Today I have my daughter back full-time. I have my nursing license where I work in the Behavioral Health Field. But I am also a story that life shows up after you get clean and sober. I had a surprise pregnancy, and an even bigger surprise, they were twins. But Limen House and A.A. taught me that I can get through anything sober. My worse day sober is still better than my “best” day in addiction and alcoholism. I now am a mother to two 11-month-old boys and a 9-year-old girl, a fiancé, a friend, a present daughter and sister and I sponsor women. I know I am worthy and deserving of the life I have today, a life beyond my wildest dreams. I am forever grateful for the Limen House for giving me a chance.




Hi I’m Lavena Bell.

My experience at the Limen House has been an enriching one. I arrived at Limen House August 2016 and was welcomed into the house by the ladies who were residing there at the time.

I was introduced to my counselor Debbie Pisan. Although still hesitant about being in new surroundings, after speaking with Debbie I felt a lot less anxious. The ladies at the house were also very welcoming. Being able to slowly let my guard down was one of my first of many lessons I had to learn. At first, I didn’t know what being transparent meant, and once I did find out I thought it as being more challenging than anything I’ve encountered in life so far. I have learned that being transparent is being honest and honesty takes way less effort than anything else.

Limen House provided the foundation and structure for me to reconstruct my life. Through talking with my counselor and the ladies residing at the house, I found out that I am not that unique, and that through talking through problems I will usually find a better solution than what I would trying to find the answers alone.




Steve K

Steve K

There I was, emotionless, empty. A void which I filled with alcohol daily. It was my only escape, my true passion in a mundane existence I molded to be my reality. I have two daughters who were not even second to this disease and they missed their dad. Sure on the odd occasion I was not drunk or hungover we would go out to the park and have a great time but those moments were getting shorter and shorter until POOF, they were gone and vodka had taken over every aspect of my life.

It was a very dark place to be, being consumed, powerless over alcohol. I couldn’t even bring myself to get off the couch unless the bottle was around. There was seemingly no point. I wanted to be the best at everything, but I couldn’t handle anything. The only solution I had was more and more alcohol. Happy times: alcohol, sad times: alcohol, indifferent times: alcohol. The spiraling “out of control” was in full effect, and the staircase was ending. One day I had enough.

I had shown up at a detox center on December 9, 2017 not knowing what to expect. I was just there. From there I was accepted into the Limen House and that’s when the miracles began to happen for me. The Limen House afforded me an opportunity to quell my diseased thinking. It gave me a chance not many get; a chance to find a Higher Power. Through the Limen House I met my sponsor and countless men and women who guided me in the right direction on the road to sobriety.

Limen House shows love and compassion to us who need it most some days. I have been able to reconnect with my family, especially my daughters. Not just in the physical sense of seeing them, but to be present for them emotionally as well. That void spoken about earlier continues to be filled each day by God. And I thank Limen House for putting me in contact with Him. I thank Limen House for saving my life.

Peace, Love and Happiness,

Steve




My name is Freddie K and I am an alcoholic and drug addict. It took me long time understand and accept that statement. For most of my life I was convinced I was insane because being insane would be better than being an alcoholic or an addict. There is nothing on which I can blame my alcoholism. My childhood was idealistic, at least on the outside. My parents were very loving and caring and provided everything I could ever ask for and more. To an outside observer my childhood was perfect but on the inside, it was a very different story.

Freddie K
Freddie K

For as long as I can remember I never felt comfortable just being me. I was always nervous and shy and extremely anxious all the time. I felt as though I just didn’t fit in this world. Even at home with my family I felt like an outsider. There was something vital that everyone else had but which was missing in me, it seemed. Life was unbearably uncomfortable and by the time I had reached the 5th grade I was ready to be done with it. I didn’t want to be apart of this world anymore. But the love of my family kept me hanging on a few more years.

The summer before high school everything changed for me. My friends had already begun experimenting with drinking and smoking weed. I vividly remember the night I gave in and smoked weed for the first time. It was the closest thing I had come to in life thus far to a spiritual experience. All my feelings of inferiority and anxieties and the weight on me just lifted and my skin felt like it fit and I found that vital thing that I was missing. From that day on I chased that feeling relentlessly and with abandon. Nothing else in life would matter.

My drug use escalated and I was eventually using heroin intravenously. I became someone I never imagined I would be. Through years of drug use I had isolated myself from the world even further than when I began getting high. I found myself homeless and in and out of detox, rehabs, and psych wards. I had become resigned to this life and I knew there could be nothing else for me. When I realized that the drugs weren’t doing their job anymore and I wasn’t getting numb and I would most likely go on the rest of my life this way I reached out for help. I went to detox one more time and through what I can only call an act of God I got into the Limen House.

This is where something miraculous happened. On June 11, 2012 my journey in Limen House began. Limen House gave me so many gifts and I could go on for pages describing how awesome Limen House is. When I came crawling begrudgingly through Limen Houses front door I was a broken shell of a person. I didn’t say more than two words to anyone for my first two months because I didn’t know how to interact with other people. During my time in the house I was shown a new way to live. I was given hope through AA and the 12 steps which Limen House directed me to. I was also taught that I wasn’t alone in the world like I had always believed. I wasn’t broken beyond repair.

In Limen House I gained friendships and bonds with men that I will have forever. I consider my counselor at Limen House one of my best friends and I still talk to with him every day. Next year I will be the best man in the wedding of one of my best friends with whom I was in Limen House. I have a life today which I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be living. I am comfortable in my skin today and my life is so full of love and friendship and it is all thanks to Limen House.

I’m Freddie K and I’m and alcoholic and drug addict




Cathy Delaney

Cathy Delaney

On August 13, 2017 my life was about to change. I was on my way out of this life, but God had another plan!! My name is Cathy Delaney. I never thought I would be grateful for a trip to the ER, but this was the beginning of my journey to the Limen House.

I lost everything: career, house, cars, and worst of all; family. I have a son, 26, a daughter, 29, and two granddaughters (2 and 13). After watching me struggle with addiction, they had to cut ties with me in order to live their own lives. I had tried to gain sobriety many times, but it was not working. My life just continued to spiral out of control. My daughter and sister came to see me in the hospital. I hadn’t spoken to either one of them in quite some time. They strongly encouraged me to get help, and I listened to them. I became willing to accept help. I went to rehab where it was recommended that I go to the Limen House. I had never heard of the Limen House, but I agreed, went on the interview and was accepted. I had no idea what a privilege this was.

The Limen House is a beautiful place to live physically; but, more important, it is a beautiful place to grow spiritually. I was able to practice self-care, daily routine, prayer and meditation. I was introduced to AA which, as it turns out, is the medicine I need for my addiction. I received the best counseling. I formed lasting relationships with the women in the house. I found the perfect sponsor.

My family could see a change in me and were willing to let me back in their lives. What a blessing! As if that weren’t enough, Limen House helped me find employment to become financially responsible again. Today, I am present in my children’s lives, and they are present in mine. My kids threw me a 60th birthday party and surprised me by having my extended family attend. It was awesome!

It’s easy when life is good. When tragedy strikes, that’s when you have to use everything you’ve learned to cope. I just lost someone very special to me to addiction. The Limen House gave me the tools needed to get through this tragedy………sober.

God bless the Limen House!




My name is Colin and I’m an alcoholic and drug addict. The majority of individuals I meet now are unaware of this, yet in the summer of two-thousand and nine when I entered the Limenhouse it was blatantly obvious. At this point in my life alcohol and drugs were very progressively killing me.

Kelsey
Colin

Having entered my first outpatient treatment facility as a sophomore in high school, I was acutely aware that I had a problem with alcohol and drugs. However, it took me another seven years of pain, fear, self-loathing and loss to truly inwardly accept this personal truth. I had to experience utter demoralization by ending up in detoxes, sanitariums, jails and homeless. I had to have everything that I cherished and everyone that I loved stripped away from me in order to fully surrender and accept the help I most desperately needed.

At the age of twenty-two I was accepted and subsequently court mandated to the Limen House. This was after a brief sentence in jail followed by a stay in a thirty day treatment facility. It was at the Limen House that my seeming new life/second chance would begin. The counselors, the Limen House program and my sponsor guided me through the life altering process of change which became the foundation of my recovery and my life. I made lifelong friends, the majority of whom are still sober today, including my great friend Vincent Garibaldi who is now a counselor at the men’s Limen House.

Upon completion of the Limen House program, I found work in the medical field through friends in the recovery community. This job led to an interest in helping people in need through physical therapy. I returned to school and received an Associates degree in Exercise Science from DTCC followed by a Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology from University of Delaware. Despite the odds, I was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where I am currently a second year student.

More importantly, I have been honored throughout my recovery to give back to the community and to those who struggle with alcoholism and addiction. I gratefully serve on the Amethyst Ball committee in support of the Limen House, and was a co-founder of DECYPAA along with a number of other altruistic endeavors throughout the years. Today my family is back in my life, I accepted myself and came out as a gay man, I have fallen in love and have had that love fade away, i have traveled all over the country and parts of the world, I have gotten to see my nieces and nephew be born and grow to be toddlers. I have witnessed my friends marry those they love. I’ve lost family members and childhood friends to this disease. None of this would be possible without my family, my sponsor, the Limen House, AA and my conception of God. On June 7th, 2018 I celebrated nine years sober. I am still far from perfect, but today my life and soul are completely full! My name is Colin and I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

Thank you for letting me share.




Nicole

Hi I'm Nicole,

My journey in sobriety began on June 10, 2006. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I woke up in a place that I had been before, a painful dark lonely place. I can remember being angry, angry that I woke up. Many nights I prayed to who I thought was "God" to take my life and put me out of the pain that I was in. Pain that I had been running from since I was 12.

At age12 I had my first drink and by age 17 I was addicted to heroin. I had been in many treatment centers, halfway houses, and outpatient programs. I was fortunate enough to enter Limen House and stay for 14 months. I will forever be grateful for my time there. I came in a broken woman and left with a sense of purpose. Purpose that I never knew I could have. Living in the Limen House gave me connection to the AA community and people who loved me and cared for me. Limen House taught me how to love myself and most importantly what it meant to be a responsible woman. I learned that I wasn’t alone and that I could ask for help. Limen house gave me courage and strength to do the things that were necessary to get sober.

Over the 11 years that I have been sober, I have created a life I never would have imagined. I was able to go to college and get a Bachelors degree and other certifications. I got married and have two beautiful boys. I will forever be grateful for the Limen House. I has given me a life of purpose.




I AM A LIMEN HOUSE MIRACLE.

Kelsey
Kelsey

My name is Kelsey. Prior to the Limen House I was a worthless, homeless, heroin and crack-cocaine addict. My life was consumed with hustling and hatred. I had edge that cut deep, and grit I could not shake. If you felt how I felt, you would have understood the hell I breathed. The life of addiction was a constant up and down rollercoaster, and all of my family and loved ones were painfully strapped to the back. I CARED ABOUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT MY NEXT HIT.

Limen House changed it all for me. Debbie and Sister Margie taught me to “put the gloves down,” that I no longer had to fight everybody and everything. I learned how to practice compassion and an open-mind. They taught me how to positively deal with life, people, and any situation as it comes. I WAS DOING IT! I was staying sober, and handling life. Debbie showed me how to “master the ordinary.” I held a job, saved money, paid rent, got a drivers license, went to AA meetings, and remained present in family and friends lives.

Thanks to the Limen House I am graced with love and life. A chance at life was given back to me, and now the gift of giving life. I am a proud mother to my 16 month old son named Mack, and I couldn't be more happy or grateful. I am engaged to the kindest and most exquisite man that I have ever met, (also a fellow alumni). I am an artist as well as a responsible and productive member of society. The universe has filled my life with love, peace, and happiness that I wouldn't change for the world. I AM NOW A BEAUTIFUL SOBER WOMAN.




Amy

Hi I’m Amy.

Growing up, I wondered what my life would look like as an adult. I would have never imagined at 22 I would become a homeless drug addict. I didn't understand addiction; I thought I had control over it, that it was just a matter of will power. I deceived everyone I loved. I had been cheating my way through life, grasping for any opportunity I could to numb myself, even if that meant I had to lie and steal to get what I wanted – what I needed. I woke up to a merry go round every day that I just couldn't get off of. I cried for help in ways that hurt my family; I felt that if I could just end it, everyone would be better off. I was dying inside and the alcohol just wasn't dulling it anymore. It wasn't working, and I couldn't stop. I was unable to see how selfish I was, insensitive to what I was doing to the people who loved me. I was the living dead, a shell of who I had once been.

I entered detox for the last time in 2012. I was unaware that this would be the last time. After 7 months in rehab, I landed myself in the Limen House. Prior to my stay, I was uncertain of who I was and ignorant to who I was about to become. Limen House introduced me to a solid 12 step program, placed my hand in the hand of God's, and loved me until I was able to love myself. Debbie and Sister Margie trusted me, they saw something in me that I couldn't (or wouldn't) see in myself. They taught me self-respect, and how to walk with dignity. I tear up as right this right now because Limen House has given me a life I would have never imagined myself having. I am unable to properly put into words my gratitude for the transformation that took place; however, what I can say is that I love the Limen House. I will have 6 years of continuous sobriety this year and that wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't shown the way. I am actively involved with Limen Alumni and have the honor of sponsoring one of the residents - these are contributions that show my gratitude. I have a beautiful life today, a family that trusts me, and true friends who don't give up on me. Limen House took a chance on me and I will always remember that.

Amy, a grateful Limen Alumni




My Name is Tim Brainard and I am a sober, active alumnus of Limen House. On March 6, I celebrated three years of continuous sobriety.


Tim

I picked up my first drink at age 9 and have struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction my whole life. My ultimate decline was like that of many others in Delaware: I found prescription opioids, which led to a heroin addiction that depleted me of everything that mattered in my life. I lost four jobs, lost my family, became homeless and had trouble with the law. I made unsuccessful attempts at getting sober through rehab. Finally, I walked into detox weighing 130 pounds, with a trash bag holding all I had left in the world over my shoulder. I was bankrupt physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I went from detox to Gateway Foundation, and then to Limen House where I stayed just over eight months. The minute I walked into the doors of Limen House I felt a sense of ease and comfort, as I was welcomed by staff, residents, and alumni. I have been through other treatment programs and detox, but my Limen House experience is truly one of a kind. The individualized treatment and education of the disease concept, and the staff of counselors who guided me through were unparalleled. Limen House gave me the time to begin to heal and just become a better human being.

The only real difficulty I faced was when it came time to re-enter the world with my newfound sobriety, getting back to work and into the stream of life again. I was guided through by the staff, with support from the growing network of sober friends I now had in my corner. My counselor suggested I move to Limen House Level II sober living so I could approach this new way of life in a pragmatic way and put into practice what I had learned. I stayed with the Level II house for over seven months.

On March 6, I celebrated three years of continuous sobriety. My family relationships have healed and been restored. My employment as a peer specialist with Connections Community Support Program allows me to work with other people who are like me, and offer hope to them as Limen House offered to me. I am fully independent, living in my own apartment in Wilmington near Limen House, and have a car that is titled and insured in my name. This may seem a small deal to other people, but for a guy like me who walked into detox with nothing, these accomplishments are all small miracles.

I continually visit Limen house to attend alumni meetings, have dinner with the residents, and to keep in contact with all the counselors. I also visit to offer hope to the residents, as the alumni did for me during my stay.

Once the spirit of Limen House entered my heart and soul, I knew it was there to stay. This is why I donate financially and volunteer at Limen House and its events. My heart is full because of what Limen House has done for me, and I truly want other people to be afforded the same opportunity.

There are many signs in and around Limen House, but I have to say that my favorite sign sits out front. It says, “Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” How very true this is of my Limen house experience.




Joshua

I’m Josh and I was very fortunate to have been able to go through the Limen House in 2013.

I had abused drugs and alcohol for more than a decade. I had tried many different things to kick my addiction before landing in the Limen House. When I arrived I was physically, mentally, and spiritually broken. I could hardly look in the mirror, as I was ashamed at what I saw. I had lost everything and was even losing the support from my family and friends. I was disconnected from society and couldn’t hold a job. I didn’t see a way out.

By the time I came through the door of the Limen House I was hoping that I would get better and someday be normal. Deep down, I didn’t believe that would ever really happen. Immediately, I was welcomed by the staff and the other residents and felt like I was part of the group. I was in the house for the first couple months but wasn’t fully committed. Because of that, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted or hoped for.

It was at this point, I truly believe, that God intervened in my life and gave me a feeling that I never experienced before. It was hope- and it changed everything. (I get goose bumps right now just remembering and describing it.) I wasn’t just going through the motions anymore just to get by and keep staff off my back. I was now doing what I was supposed to do because I believed that I could get better, and I wanted to do it. I started feeling better and better. I left the Limen House in a much better condition than when I arrived.

Today I still attend AA and a lot of the same meetings that Limen House introduced me to. I’m still really good friends with most of the guys I was in the house with and many alumni. I have built a network of supportive people that I may have never met if it weren’t for Limen House.

I cannot express all of the love and gratitude I have for Limen House in this short letter but I am forever grateful for what the Limen House has done for me and others.




My name is Ray.

It was hard to put into words how much of an impact Limen House has had on my perspective on life. I walked into that house like many alcoholics over the years, broken and full of anger toward myself. Once again I had ruined everything and pushed all of the people who cared about me away due to my obsession with drugs and alcohol. I didn't know what was wrong with me, why couldn't I stop?

I could tell that Limen House was different from the very first day. I was surrounded by people who had lived through the same misery as me, and had found a new way to live. They didn't just tell me I suffered from a disease, they showed me by bringing to my attention, on a daily basis, just how far from a healthy lifestyle my thinking and ideas can be. They made me take it slow, and I was forced to sit with myself and face my feelings. It was extremely uncomfortable at first, but slowly it became easier. Limen House was the beginning of my journey inward. I began to know and love myself for the first time in my life. They helped me get connected with a program where I met some of the best friends I've ever known. Before Limen House I would've never thought I could live a life this full of love and hope, or have a heart full of gratitude for every minute of it.

Ray



Danielle

Hi, I’m Danielle A.

I had done it again. After successfully completing the Limen House and obtaining 9 months of sobriety, I decided to drink and drug. Knowing exactly where it would take me, what a scary place to be. It didn’t last long though because I ended up overdosing, nearly killing myself. All I can remember is waking up in the hospital asking myself, "How could I have let this happen again?"

Luckily, the Limen House offered me a second chance, allowing me to go to their Level 2 House. On February 13, 2017, I walked through the door crippled by guilt and shame. I was completely defeated, broken and alone. I was in such a dark place and had lost all hope. But little did I know that day was the beginning of a new life for me. The Limen House gave me a safe and structured environment to rebuild my spirit. There I found a new sponsor and began to work the steps again. I was in a house full of women who were trying to obtain the same thing as I, sobriety. I felt a bond with these women like no other, and received the love and acceptance that I desperately longed for.

Today I can say that I have found gratitude for the relapse in which I walked through the door feeling so ashamed of. I have had an entirely new experience working through the steps with my sponsor and with God. The Limen House introduced me to my solution, and a freedom I wouldn’t have found anywhere else. The Limen House will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will be eternally grateful to them. They saved my life not once, but twice.




My name is Ashley. I am a recovering sober woman, and I am FREE.

For so many years I was locked in a never-ending cycle of drugs and alcohol. I lost everything, multiple times. And in the end, I found myself in an abandoned building praying to a God, that I wasn't sure existed, to please help me or take me away. Laying there that morning, I found the strength to get up and start walking. I didn't know where I was going. It was as if someone was moving my legs for me.

What I found was the Limen House. The place that would teach me how to live.

They gave me the tools to cope with life on life's terms. They held me accountable. They encouraged me to dig down deep and let go of so much that was blocking me off from being genuinely happy. They gave me love... They gave me AA. And in AA I found FREEDOM. I built my relationships back with my family. I worked with a sponsor. And have built a solid foundation in recovery that is lasting.

I am forever grateful.

Ashley R.

Ashley



Adam

My name is Adam Center and It is an honor to be asked to give my testimony for all that Limen house has done for me. They took me off the streets December 24, 2011 and gave me the tools that I would need to change my life forever. During my “interview” Mike and Reggie said that they thought I would struggle in the program but agreed to give me a chance and immediately welcomed me. They said that they were giving my family and I the best Christmas present that I had ever gotten before. I will never forget the relief I felt when I realized that everything was going to be OK. I was 13 years old the first time I took a drink. My alcoholism would progress to heavy drinking and legal consequences by the time I was 14, my first institution by 15. That would be the course of the next 16 years of my life. My alcoholism demanded treatment and I found opiates. I would go on to experience all kinds of trauma but never enough to stop me from using. I tried everything that I could until finally, I received the gift of desperation. I ended up in a detox and was ready to follow directions. My twin brother told me to “put on your seatbelt and get ready for the ride of your life”, he was referring to sobriety.

The Limen House introduced me to AA and the 12 steps. I would get a sponsor and go through all twelve steps while in the house. I left a changed man and a believer. Today I live a normal life. I was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree and am currently enrolled in a master’s program. I am able to be available for my 7-year-old son, Oscar and the rest of my family. My twin brother overdosed in August and I was able to show up for my family and lean on my foundation of recovery to cope with the loss. Limen House taught me to set goals and show up no matter what. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that Limen House has given me and the vision for my future that I clearly see today.

Adam C.



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