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Hanging Up My Running Shoes – Alumni Testimonial

Dec 22, 2020

Angel H. – Hanley Center Alumnus

The beginning of October 2017 was one of the lowest points of my life. I had been reported missing and was on a suicide mission, I could no longer use or live.

If it wasn’t for the staff who kept me alert that night, I wouldn’t be writing this.

I had been to over 50 treatment centers and had no energy to enter yet another one. How could this one be different? I tried to leave almost every day in detox, but the staff wouldn’t give up on me. Even when I lined my trash bags up out-front begging to leave to just get one more. When I got to Hanley Center everything in me wanted to leave, but the staff was like unlike any other I’d ever met. Bart, Tharin, Jackie, Denise, the therapists… all of them.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-841-1033.

They wouldn’t let me take the “easy way out.” They told me to “hang up my running shoes.”

We dove in to The Big Book and dissected every part of it. The one thing that changed my entire way of thinking was the question I was asked every day. At first it annoyed me because I couldn’t get the answer. “What is your number one priority today?” I eventually got the answer right and finally understood it. To improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power. Every day, no matter what I did, as long as I did that, I had a chance.

The small group of us at Hanley Center were like a family.

We laughed, cried, fought. We all keep in contact still to this day. The group “most likely to not succeed”, is succeeding. We’re living.

I was broken, a shell of a human being that had no soul when I entered Hanley Center. I had ruined every relationship I’d ever had. I didn’t think being sober was ever in the cards for me, especially after my last relapse. I was okay with dying an addict and alcoholic. Until I wasn’t anymore. Since leaving Hanley Center, I’ve experienced some of the worst and best things of my life. I was homeless. I had a son. I moved to different states. I’ve started a career. I was doing exactly what the people most important to my recovery did for me. I’ve bought a house. I’ve become a daughter, a sister, an aunt. I got to stand next to my sister as she got married. I work a program. I have a sponsor. I help others. And I still, no matter what, work on improving my conscious contact with a Higher Power, every day. I keep in contact with staff from Hanley Center and the group of people I now call family that were there with me. I just picked up my three-year medallion. If it wasn’t for Hanley Center, I wouldn’t be alive. I wouldn’t be able to help people who were lost like I was.

Hanley Center gave me my life back. 


Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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