Addiction Recovery: What Makes us Unique?
Hello and welcome to The Liberty Ranch. My name is Larry Luttrell and I am the owner of The Liberty Ranch. This information is designed to answer questions you may have about enrollment into our recovery home. It will also give you some insight into our approach to recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism, the nature of the disease, and how it affects the individual and the family as a whole, not only in the active stages of the disease, but also while the individual is a resident of The Liberty Ranch. Please be patient and open minded because you are about to embark upon a path that will change your life and, or that of your loved one. Keep in mind that we are dealing with a disease that tells you that “You don’t have it”.
The structure described above is always flexible and able to bend. It can encompass most individuals and their work schedules. It is highly effective and is geared toward the changes residents need to make in order to attain long term sobriety. Larry & Perry worked hard at making this structure encompass individuals and surround them and their every move. It fosters surrender, open mindedness and willingness (Steps 1, 2 & 3). It also encourages change by getting individuals to look at themselves, (Steps 4 & 5) and then to seek alternative courses of action which is what we learn in Steps 6 & 7.
Since individuals are living and learning how to interact like a family and care about one another, when harm is done a resident wants to make restitution (Step 8 & 9) to the other house member, and finally family members, co-workers and employers. Essays help the residents to work Step 10 by getting them to look at their individual conduct and behavior each day. The morning meditation/goal group helps the residents focus on Step 11 and implementing that days reading into that days affairs. Step 12 is also worked daily by residents in supporting one another on outings and personal business, one on one’s and commitments at 12-step meetings. Sponsorship comes after graduation.
Many of the people who come to The Liberty Ranch recovery home have been through numerous less rigorous drug treatment programs and drug rehabilitation centers, and did not remain clean and sober. Most of the residents of The Liberty Ranch can complete 30-day and 90-day addiction recovery programs with little or no effort.
This is due to the individual being very clever and able to deceive drug counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other professionals. Several members of our staff have personally experienced drug addiction and, as a result, are far more equipped to handle an addict's manipulations. This is part of the disease, and they do this to themselves and others. This pattern of behavior developed over a period of years, and cannot be unlearned in a couple of months. These behaviors and thinking patterns are not clear to the drug addict or alcoholic because of denial. Denial is the first obstacle in addiction recovery. The drug addict, or alcoholic must address. Honesty is the key to success in drug and alcohol addiction recovery. This also happens to be the fundamental principle of the first step of any 12 step program.
We Are Effective
The very organized structure of The Liberty Ranch Recovery Home is designed to facilitate insight into one’s own character defects. The underpinnings of the methods used are frequently not understood by the residents, or his/her family in the beginning. However, they have been proven to have a more permanent effect on the alcoholic or drug addict than the more superficial tactics used in shorter and less structured drug rehab programs. After several months we have found that most of the families begin to see the rationale behind our approach, and are very supportive as they gain their own insights into the effect of the alcoholic or drug addict on the entire family. Regular meetings for the families of the Liberty Ranch residents, in order for them to better understand their involvement, are also an important part of the addiction recovery process.
With the methods employed at The Liberty Ranch, we teach our residents how to be honest with themselves and others, personal integrity, self-respect, accountability, honesty, self-sufficiency and the personal tools needed to sustain life-long sobriety. These types of lasting changes are noticeable right away. The learned undesirable behaviors of the alcoholic or drug addict have taken years to perfect. The Liberty Ranch approach is to breakdown undesirable, learned, addiction behavior while introducing alternative behavior/actions based on the 12-steps. The philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous is intertwined into the structure of The Liberty Ranch. The residents begin to see how they can incorporate the 12 step principles into their lives and daily behavior. This in turn brings about new thinking patterns and actions which result in a changed. If one is to stay sober, one must change.
The following is a story that I heard early in my addiction recovery and I continue to relate to it on a daily basis.
The cap on the toothpaste
Over 17 years ago when I was just 30 days into my sobriety, I heard the following story at a 12 step meeting that gave me profound insight into drug and alcohol addiction behavior and thinking. This brief story illustrates the fundamental nature of The Liberty Ranch approach to addiction recovery. Many years later, I still recall this story on a daily basis.
A sponsor says to a newcomer in a 12 step meeting what’s going on? The newcomer replies that his life is a disaster. He goes onto explain that his job is in jeopardy, his relationship with his wife and family is in shambles and that he is behind in his car payments to the point that his car is dangerously close to being repossessed. The sponsor asks the newcomer, “Is your cap on your toothpaste?” The newcomer asks, “What are you talking about?” “I’m telling you that my life is a wreck and you ask me if my cap is on my toothpaste.” The sponsor tells the individual to go home and put his cap on the toothpaste. The newcomer objects. The sponsor interrupts him and says, “Look, do you trust me, do you want what I have?” The newcomer says “Yes.” The sponsor then directs him to go home and make his bed, do his laundry, wash the dishes, fold his clothes, mop the floors, fold his socks and underwear and put them away neatly, and hang up his clothes. The newcomer goes home and does all the sponsor asked him to do. The sponsor sees him later at another 12 step meeting and notices the newcomer walking around laughing, talking, happy and at ease. He calls the newcomer over and asks him how he is doing. The newcomer responds that he lost his job. His wife filed for divorce and that his car is being repossessed. He felt great. He was glad to be sober and he was going out for coffee afterwards with friends from the meeting.
This is especially true in my own life because when I was new to sobriety, I had 14 court cases pending in Los Angeles County alone. There were other charges in other States as well. I had lost my job after 4 months of sobriety and was evicted because I could not pay my rent. As you can imagine, these types of events can cause a person to make substantial life changes. I went to live with my aunt and uncle. I was scared to death of returning to drug abuse and drinking. I wanted to stay sober, but felt as if the world was falling down around me. I lost everything because of drug abuse and drinking, and what wasn’t already GONE when I got sober, WENT after getting sober. I began practicing the simple tasks in the above story on a daily basis. Soon the fear and uncertainty was replaced with faith and security on a very deep and basic level.
I did not believe in this story when I heard it, but after I was living with my aunt and uncle, I began to practice its teachings out of fear. I did not know at the time, but this is an act of blind faith. For the first time in my life I was following someone else’s instructions. No active drug addict or alcoholic I ever knew had clean dishes, floors or windows when I visited them, certainly not me. To make this ostensibly simple adjustment to my life required a lot of faith and change on my part. These seemingly simple, but fundamental changes are where it all begins for an alcoholic and drug addict as they start on their road to addiction recovery
I would like to welcome you to The Liberty Ranch. Come talk to some of the family members of other Liberty Ranch residents. Their insights are valuable. We encourage family participation in our house meetings and rap sessions. Even if your husband or son does not graduate from Liberty Ranch, we hope that you will find the tools, hope, and inspiration here to continue on this life-changing path. There is hope and you will find it here as others have found it here before you.