BRC Alumni Stories: Resident #1

It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the BRC Recovery (BRC) family. I was asked to write a post about the experience of being resident #1 at Mark Houston Recovery, predecessor to BRC.

I think it is important for current (and prospective) residents to know a little something about the history of this facility. This first installment will address that topic. In my view, we who experience this place and the great work performed here are blessed with a taste of something otherworldly that transcends place and time. It is an amazing experience that changed my entire life. It can change yours, too.

Actually, my experience at Mark Houston Recovery (from June 17-August 19, 2006) begins just a little before. Mark  Houston became my sponsor, mentor and spiritual guide on 11/21/2003. Within two months, he took me to Burning Tree Recovery Ranch in Kaufman where he was CEO, and I worked on a technology project and attended staff meetings and briefings. I was allowed to attend a few meetings with the clients, too, and it was my first exposure to a drug and alcohol recovery center.

It was an eye-opener.

On June 17, 2006, Mark picked me up in Dallas and we drove down to Manor, TX where I saw Robert B., who I met earlier at Burning Tree, and I met Don M. and Greg R. In fact, Greg and I were the first two people to sleep overnight on the Hill – on blowup mattresses from Costco! In the first week or two, Chris W. showed up (resident #2), and Patrick, and Cole, and we spent time getting the place ready: clearing some land, stocking food and supplies, etc. Oh, and I broke the elevator, too!

Formal “programming” had not started yet, but we had close contact with Mark and his approach to recovery. We had our “upon awakening” each morning, did our work during the day, and went to an outside meeting nearly every night. As more residents arrived, we got down to business and the recovery center routine. From day one, we made a positive impression everywhere we went, because we were on a mission: To achieve victory over drugs and alcohol, and to learn to live and enjoy a new way of life. This legacy continues to this day at BRC Recovery.

In future posts I hope to share the principles and practices I learned here, and the result of submitting to guidance to a new way of life. May God bless you and keep you until then.

John Means was Mark Houston Recovery’s first resident to graduate Mark’s program.