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Client Success Story

Chemical Health Graduate Mike Shares His Story of Success in Recovery

Mike grew up as part of a large family of seven brothers and two sisters in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis. In high school, he started drinking beer with friends. Drinking was a problem from the start, however, and he received his first DUI when he was 19 years old.

After high school, Mike got married and had two children. He worked as a drywall finisher for 30 years. His drinking continued to be a problem. After receiving two DUIs in one month, Mike spent 60 days in jail.

Over the years, Mike went to two treatment centers and to detox several times. He once stayed sober for two years, but then he started drinking again.

“I don’t know why it didn’t work,” Mike said when asked why he didn’t stay sober.

Eight years ago, Mike began suffering from seizures. After he was diagnosed with dementia, he moved into a nursing home. A staff member at the nursing home realized Mike had a problem with alcohol, and recommended he receive treatment at Vinland Center. Mike was open to entering treatment again because he understood he had a problem.

“I enjoyed Vinland a lot. It was a turning point in my life. I realized I could have been facing prison time, but I was lucky not to be.”

When asked what was different about treatment at Vinland, Mike said, “I just made up my mind to do it. I had been through so much hell before I got there.”

Mike enjoyed the structure of groups at Vinland, and he appreciated the recreation time. He fondly remembers taking walks down to the lake shore and playing pool in the Stordahl.

After graduating from Vinland Center, Mike moved into an assisted living house owned by Sojourn. He enjoys the small group setting at the house, which he shares with 6 other residents.

Mike’s health has also greatly improved, and he is feeling good. His seizures are under control thanks to medication, and he has not had a seizure in two years.

“I’m doing great. I’m proud to be a graduate of Vinland! It really helped me a lot. Today I’m free from alcohol, and I no longer crave it.”

Three months ago, Mike started an AA group at Sojourn Day Center, a center for aging individuals and individuals with special needs. Mike continues to have a good relationship with his son, who recently moved to Arizona to work at the Mayo Clinic. •