Recovery In Waco


How It All Began

On January 1, 1999 I walked away from a lot of things having no idea if I could actually have the life I wanted. I was seventeen, and for the entire two years leading up to that moment I had been a drug addict. On December 31, 1996, I was at a slumber party for one of my dearest friends, and that night my entire life changed. I had never tried any drugs, but I was dating a guy who used them daily, and my parents had been getting high my entire life. When the guy I was dating walked into my house for the first time, he explained the smell I had always known to be in my house was the smell of pot. Great, just great. That December night in 1996 my mom got a call from my boyfriend telling her he was arrested, and she went to bail him out of jail. Not only did she bail him out of jail that night, she moved him into our house, and I knew nothing of it until she picked me up from my sleepover the next morning. I was fifteen years old. New Year’s day of 1997 I tried drugs for the first time. Over the next two years, I would go on to try a few different drugs…mostly to make him happy. It took me years of reflection to understand the thing I was actually addicted to the most was him.

My Introduction to Recovery

During one of my courses in seminary, we were asked to visit a recovery program for several weeks. We had to write about our experience. Each week I attended several AA meetings at a local church and was overwhelmed by what I discovered. The people at the meetings didn’t care that I wasn’t an alcoholic; they knew why I was there, yet they were all still incredibly vulnerable with their stories and struggles. Each meeting they went over the 12-steps, recited the serenity prayer, and asked about opportunities to pass out chips marking various lengths of sobriety including a 24-hour sobriety chip. It was a quintessential meeting where whoever was sharing would stand and begin by saying “My name is Julie” [“Hi Julie”] “and I am an alcoholic. I have been sober for three months today”. Sitting in this room week after week with amazing people who were fighting for a life I had taken for granted was humbling.

Beginning Recovery

This past September I started attending Reclaim, a weekly recovery ministry of Harris Creek Baptist church. In twenty years I have never relapsed, but I also had never been through recovery. I never worked the 12-steps, lived out the serenity prayer, or celebrated the victories that come from daily choosing to not go back to that life. Granted, it has become much easier than it was in the beginning. Reclaim has been a refuge for me, a place where I can share what is going on in my world without any fear of judgement. We don’t stand and state our name and our length of sobriety because some of the people there have never been addicts. Reclaim is so different from other recovery programs because it’s intended for everyone because we all have “hurts, hangups and habits” we need to wrestle through. Storey Cook, talked about how the 12-steps are for everyone in a blog post a few months ago and there is even a podcast interviewing some of the individuals who have been a part of Reclaim for a long time. If you are interested in being involved in Reclaim, you certainly do not need to be a part of Harris Creek to attend; as I mentioned, it is for everyone. Reclaim can be found on Instagram @reclaimministry and we meet every Wednesday night at 6pm at Harris Creek Baptist Church (401 Stageline Drive).

What My Recovery Looks Like Today

Right now, I am currently reading Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr. I would love to sit and visit with anyone who is interested in reading this book as well. In the book Fr. Richard looks at the 12-steps and their connection to spirituality. The content is eye-opening and could bring about some amazing conversation. Celebrating 20 years of clean living has been the result of repetitive, daily (and sometimes momentary) decisions to stay drug-free.

Recovery Resources In Central Texas

Reclaim is not the only recovery program/ministry here in Central Texas.

Here are a few resources:

HCBC 12 Steps are for Everyone – Podcast

A Case for 12 Step Recovery Work – HCBC Blog

Reclaim on Instagram @reclaimministry

Celebrate Recovery Waco –

Facebook –

Alcoholics Anonymous:

Women’s Only Group:

Narcotics Anonymous:


12-Steps from Central Texas AA

Supporting Recovery In Central Texas

If you are interested in supporting some recovery efforts taking place in Waco, check out Sunshine Recovery House and the work they are doing to help women live sober lives.