Taking the Next Step: Get Real Retreat - Don

Don sought help from Dr. Phil because he was struggling to get over his past as a meth addict. For 25 years, he stole from and lied to his family, and was worried the guilt would have dangerous consequences. Don remembers:

My name is Donald. I am a member of the recent Get Real Retreat.

At the time I was chosen to participate in the retreat, I was fifteen months clean and sober. I was very proud of that fact, however I was riddled with shame and guilt over my 20-plus years of addiction. The life I led as an addict left a tremendous amount of wreckage behind. Even though I was clean and sober, I could not seem to correct the wreckage. This was causing me to slip into a deep depression, and I feared every day that it would lead me back into my addiction.

Dr. Phil did not just wave his magic wand and fix me. However, he did assess me and give me the tools to fix myself. When Dr. Phil works, he pulls no punches, and he hits the nail on the head every time.

Don gives an update:

It has now been fifteen months since I participated in the Dr. Phil retreat. I no longer carry the burden of shame or guilt of having been an addict. I no longer suffer from depression and have totally fixed the wreckage that the addiction caused in my life. The tools Dr. Phil gave me to work with have enabled me to repair the damage and continue to progress in my recovery.

During the last fifteen months since I left the retreat, I had my child support order overturned. This was not an easy task, as I did not have the assistance of an attorney. I owed $38,900.00 in back child support for a child I learned was not mine. As a result of this, my driver's license had been suspended. The judge set aside the child support order, zeroed my balance and reinstated my driver's license. Also, during the last fifteen months, I have co-written a book called Facing Our Personal Truths. Currently, I am in the process of writing my own book which is titled The Good Lord, The Devil and One Man. It is a story about a unique life, a terrible addiction and a wonderful recovery. I belong to a gym and work out faithfully. I have enrolled in college as a full-time student and am studying to become a drug and alcohol counselor. I maintain an A average while working full time to support myself.

An example of a few of the tools Dr. Phil gave me that will serve me through the rest of my life are:
  1. (Probably the most powerful.) To throw all of my guilt, shame and other baggage I was carrying around with me into a deep pit, turn around, walk away and never look back. In other words, forgive myself and move on with my life.
  2. To start reaching out to those who still suffer in their addiction and give back what I got. As I did this, I felt immediately better about myself, so much so that I decided to make a career out of it.
  3. The day I left the retreat, I signed a contract with Dr. Phil to be a strong man.
On a more personal note, when people find out about my Dr. Phil experience, they always want to know what he is really like. On the last day of the retreat Dr. Phil invited me, along with the rest of the members, to his home. Upon my arrival, I was greeted at their door by Dr. Phil and his wife, Robin. They opened their home up for my total enjoyment, and I was told to relax and enjoy! Dr. Phil and Robin were very gracious hosts. Dr. Phil is very relaxed and quite humorous at times. They are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. The best part of my visit was being able to determine for myself that they are also genuine. I consider them and Dr. Phil's caring staff friends, and every time I have contact with them, this feeling of friendship is reconfirmed.

I feel very blessed and grateful for having had this opportunity for Dr. Phil to take an interest in my life. Thank you so much for helping me reclaim my life and spirit.