Michael Weatherford’s father, Richard, wrote a desperate letter to Dr. Phil pleading for help for his son. Richard was convinced that his son’s addiction would take nothing less than a miracle to overcome. To his surprise, he received a response from the Dr. Phil show. During the taping, Michael was offered an opportunity to go through a recovery program. The submitted letter, entitled “Save my Son,” would be the first step in the chain of events that changed Michael’s life forever. The family traveled to Los Angeles and taped the show. Within a few weeks, Michael checked into Benchmark Recovery Center.
Michael arrived at Benchmark Recovery Center in February 2010, a scared, broken young man. Being in a recovery center was not a new experience for Michael; he had bounced around traditional treatment and detox centers since he turned seventeen years old. Each time Michael entered a program there was always hope that this time would be different and he would achieve permanent sobriety. But each time the hope was shattered with yet another relapse.
Michael was at the bitter end. He lost everything in life worthwhile. Michael squandered a promising baseball career, dropped out of school, and ruined relationships with numerous friends and family members. Facing felony drug charges after his second arrest, Michael became resident number 389 at Benchmark Recovery Center.
Although Michael was completely out of options when he arrived at Benchmark, he was not out of ideas. He was resistant to the accountability and discipline that the program demanded. Michael tried his best to manage and control everything until he had a moment of clarity. A month into his stay, Michael came clean to the staff and community that he was being dishonest. From that moment he vowed to sincerely follow direction from staff.
Even though Michael made a firm decision to give himself completely to the program, his spiritual awakening was slow to
follow. Michael began approaching his recovery with earnestness. His desperation propelled him to seek recovery on a daily basis. Michael commenced to see results almost immediately and thus continued on his journey through the Twelve Steps.
Michael worked all Twelve Steps while at Benchmark. He also had an opportunity to be a leader and help the newer members of his community. Michael credits Benchmark’s community-driven atmosphere for helping him to grow out of his “comfort zone” and work with other addicts.
Since completing the program at Benchmark Recovery Center, Michael’s life has continued to take off. He followed through with his continuing care plan that he received at Benchmark. Further, he has remained engaged in all aspects of recovery. Michael carries the message to treatment and detox centers twice a week, is an active member of his home group, and continues to work with a sponsor. He is an asset to the recovery community. Michael attributes his permanent sobriety to his relationship with God and his experience at Benchmark.