There were times at AIM House where I wanted to leave and go my own way, convinced that I could make it on my own. There were times when I thought I had learned all I could here and that any more of the groups and the rules and the requirements would just is a waste of money or time. However, each time I had those thoughts something would remind me of just how important AIM House was to me. It was never my idea of a perfect home, it was rarely comfortable, but it was always the best place for me at this time in my life. Now that the end of my AIM House career is actually drawing near, I can look back and be thankful for the stroke of reason that had kept me here. There is no doubt in my mind that I see the world much differently than I did when I stepped into the castle for the first time on April 18th.
Back then; I was a person who had no direction, little hope, and definitely no solid future. Today, I am on my way to becoming the mature and responsible man I hadn’t realized I wanted to be. Where the first few months at AIM House have been focused on developing a more therapeutic understanding of myself, the last three or four weeks have been directed at the more concrete areas of my future; things like a place to live after AIM House, a steady job, a strong support system, and a college education. It was through these things that I began to fully appreciate the journey it took for me to get here.
I think that for most participants, the true test is weather they can apply what they have learned at AIM House to the real world. Will they retain their knowledge and continue on their path to recovery? Or will they fall back into old patterns and return to a state of stagnancy? This question puts butterflies in my stomach as well. No one can say what will happen in the future. Nothing is certain, and this gives me an amount of fear that is uncomfortable. However, being uncomfortable is what forces us toward progress.
What is certain is that I have developed skills that will allow me to succeed as the person I want to be. AIM House has given me these things along with a very different perspective than staying in my Maryland farming community would have allowed. I have met people (some completely different than myself, and some with similar problems) that have not only put my life in perspective, but have shown me worldly things that have enriched my personality. I have never been more honest with others or myself than I have during my time in Boulder. Similarly, nowhere else have people been so honest and forthright with me. This degree of transparency has allowed me to make perhaps some of the deepest and closest connections of my life.
In a few days from now, I will be on my own. I will be paying my own rent, working my own job, and surviving independently. I know there will be tough times ahead. I know I will be uncomfortable at times and I know that I will falter. But I will always have what AIM House has given me. And in that, I am confident. AIM House Participant
How can we say “Thank You” for all the things you¹ve done
How can we say “Thank You” for …
How can we say “Thank You” for…
How can we say “Thank You” for being there with our Son when we couldn’t
How can we say “Thank You” for saving our Son’s Life.
A simple “Thank You” doesn¹t seem enough and
A thousand “Thank You’s” don’t measure the extent of our appreciation
So please take comfort and pride in knowing that you touched
A young man’s Life
His parent’s Hearts
And that the only words we can think of at this time to express our gratitude are simply, ”Thank You” AIM House Parent
I want to thank you for your continued support you have given Matt. I think you have done an outstanding job in understanding Matt and standing with him during these past several challenging months. I believe Matt is really learning the importance of communicating his emotions – his feelings and thoughts – good and bad. His health and frame of mind have dramatically improved and you have been invaluable in this process. Matt’s specific family dynamics make your warm, caring and real presence even more critical to his development.
In my eyes Matt is a wonderful, caring, sensitive, and intelligent young man. I feel he has so much to offer this hard, fragmented and selfish world. As a father, I have tried, but failed, to give Matt the tools he needed to navigate through this tough world. Sherri, through your hard work and sensitivity towards Matt’s needs you have given Matt a new beginning, a new world. I believe Matt realizes the many great opportunities that he has ahead of him. Matt has a bright future largely because of you. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for being there for Matt. AIM House Parent
As I am sitting in my room, writing an article for my school paper, AIM House actually came to mind. I was thinking about how different and positive college is this year as opposed to two years ago; except for the fact that my girlfriend is now in London for a semester. I am doing well in my classes and I am keeping up with my studies as well as being more thoughtful. I used to be pretty egocentric and did not give the appropriate appreciation to the feelings of others. People at school have even noticed the difference in my behavior and many have said as much to me. I feel, for the first time in my life, that I am actually a capable individual and AIM House has definitely played a significant role in my growth. I have tried to keep up with the habits I established at AIM House, especially exercising. With regard to this I have not been as successful, as I am taking five classes now. That said I still have been getting to the gym at least once a week. I plan on flying out to Colorado for some skiing in January and to stop by AIM House to say hello. Thanks again. AIM House Participant
Thank you for creating a place where it’s okay to struggle. I learned an enormous amount about life while at AIM House. You and your family made being away from–or at odds with–my family much more bearable. Thanks for being a great friend and sounding board. AIM House Participant
My son attended AIM House some five years ago. In the beginning, he favored the part of the program where he walked the dogs at the Humane Society as part of his volunteer commitment. During his time there, he experienced successes and challenges. He hung in there and graduated with his proud parents looking on. Last Friday he had another success. He graduated from CU Boulder again with his family looking on. The best part of these past five years was his coming to the realization that he was in charge of his own life. He could screw it up or he could overcome the obstacles and come out on top. The choice was his. AIM House should be proud of its principles, its program, its leadership and its willingness to grow from its experience. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of it. AIM House Parent
Thank you all for providing our son with a wonderful experience and a ‘home-away-from-home’. This past nine months really proved to me just how far Dave has come, and just how ready he is to take on adult responsibilities. I am looking forward to this Father’s Day in a way that I haven’t for many, many years. Take care, and if you would ever like to use me as a reference, please feel free. AIM House Parent
I am writing to thank you for having a person like Dave on your staff. I truly cannot imagine going through what we are going through without him. First off he has taken the time to really know our son, which makes his opinions invaluable. Secondly his expertise, guidance and knowledge are right-on and practical. He takes the time and cares to see what will make our son succeed. Thirdly he has been so kind, sympathetic and patient with us as well and is always willing to talk things through. I am truly grateful for having his guidance and help for our son and for us. AIM House Parent
One year ago was an uncertain and frightening time for our family. Our daughter was making the transition from a highly structured therapeutic boarding school to a more independent lifestyle of college and work. Together, we decided that AIM House was the best program for her needs and we began the gradual process of watching our daughter grow and gain the self-awareness to live independently. Less than a year later she is a student at CU Boulder, working part-time and has recently moved to her own house. These steps have not always come easily – requiring a great deal of effort and work for our daughter to handle the responsibilities of young adulthood. They were realized in large part with the guidance and support of AIM House. We are grateful and appreciative to your program for helping us make this crucial transition and giving us skills to work through conflicts and to anticipate potential problems. We found the parent weekends extremely worthwhile educationally as well providing the valuable opportunity to meet other parents and participants. The staff has reached out like family in their commitment and genuine concern for our daughter. Reflecting back, the past year was critical for our family and with the help of AIM House, it was one of growth, and restoring relationships. Our best regards to you and your staff for the work you do. AIM House Parent