How Good Being Honestly and Truly Sober Feels

Narconon Graduate
M.M., Narconon Graduate

I graduated from Narconon Arrowhead on the 29th of September 2023. I’m 34 years old, was born in Mississippi, and raised on the East Coast of Florida. Before I started drinking heavily, I was in control of my life; I was happy and healthy. Two of my happiest moments back then were the births of my children.

My alcohol abuse started about two years ago around 2020, when my daughter was six years old and my son was eight years old. I fell into a deep depression for no specific reason, and I chose drinking to numb myself. Right then, my life changed for the worse. I lost who I was and the trust of my loved ones. Drinking damaged all of my relationships in life; I let myself and everyone around me down.

I started day drinking, hiding my drinking, and just not caring about myself anymore. As I would drink, I’d be thinking to myself, “I shouldn’t be doing this, I’m not even enjoying it.” I would continue drinking anyway. This is when I realized I needed some guidance, and I asked for help. My father was researching different types of rehabilitation facilities on the internet and found Narconon. We both liked what we saw, and that’s when I came here to Narconon Arrowhead.

When I arrived, I was extremely overwhelmed. The staff helped; they were welcoming and friendly and always made sure I was as comfortable as possible. I was feeling so much guilt for leaving my children and family—guilt because of the poor selfish choices that led me thousands of miles away from home, far from those who matter the most to me.

At times, as much as I wanted to leave, I stayed. I did so because of my drive to be sober and my desire to be the best me I can be. I knew this little time away, which seemed like forever, was worth the rest of my life living happy and healthy. If you really want sobriety or know someone who does, this program works.

I’ve now cleansed my body and mind of harmful toxins, and I feel amazing. I’m able to think more clearly and handle my emotions more rationally. Just being able to see my life choices from a different viewpoint helped me realize my wrongdoings.

“I’m looking forward to using all that I’ve learned in this program to go home to live that productive, happy, healthy, and ever-growing life I know I deserve.”

I’m now taking full responsibility for my past actions and have gained the knowledge I needed to help make sure I never make the same mistakes again. Learning how to properly handle those things around you in life that you can’t always control, like people, places, things, and situations, has given me the courage to work hard to regain my life. I feel much stronger as an individual; I’m ready to mend the relationships I need to. I feel I’ve been given the proper tools to do it successfully. I’m looking forward to using all that I’ve learned in this program to go home to live that productive, happy, healthy, and ever-growing life I know I deserve.

Fully completing the Narconon program was my proudest moment. No matter what hurdles came my way, I stuck with it. Graduation was surreal. It was great, and for the first time in a really long time, I was genuinely proud of myself. My whole family is proud of me also and our relationships have already begun improving. That’s one of my favorite parts of this journey, as well as how good being honestly and truly sober feels. For me, there is no other way—this is the way!

If I had any advice for those who are living in their active addiction, it would be this: Come to Narconon, be the student, fight the battle of addiction, and become a soldier of your own sobriety. If I can do it, anyone can. Just don’t give up. I can say that I’ve gained a whole new sense of what life is meant to be and how important self-love is. This is a new chapter in my life, and I can’t wait for it to begin.

Thank you Narconon Arrowhead and staff for being a part of me getting my life back!

M.M., Narconon Graduate


Jo-Ann Richardson

Jo-Ann has always loved helping people. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and Elementary Teaching credential from California State University, Chico, Jo-Ann worked at non-profits around the United States and the world for more than 35 years. This path led Jo-Ann to Narconon Arrowhead, where she has been the Director of Legal Affairs since 2017.