Alumni Page

Welcome To The New Direction Alumni Page

Since Matthew and Margaret opened their doors to the newly recovering alcoholic/addict 33 years ago, literally thousands of guests have always kept in touch with us. Often by telephone, letters, and holiday cards – all expressing their gratitude for their on-going recovery. Now, with this new alumni page, everyone is welcome to visit and leave a message for others to read and share!

Serenity. Peace. Freedom from my addictive personalities. Upon entering The New Direction in 2006, my life was in turmoil. I was educated in the disease of alcoholism and built a solid foundation during my stay. This I carried with me upon leaving, and today I am a new man. My health, happiness, and respect of family and friends are all attributable to what I received from the New Direction. To Matt and Margaret Batson, and the entire staff I will forever be grateful!
Geoffrey R.

Peace of mind, health, true friends, a future without addiction. All this is possible again.
Fred H

I learned during my stay at the New Direction that my will power was no match for my alcoholism. Although I was very successful in all my other ventures, I could not stop drinking. The knowledge and understanding of the disease helped me to move forward. I am so grateful to Matt and Margaret for their care and understanding. I would not be sober today without the guidance and friendship I received from the New Direction Staff.
Roy L.

The New Direction saved my life. Matt, Margaret and the staff are the most amazing people I have ever met. I thought I would be drinking and doing drugs my whole life but I learned here that I didn’t have to do that. Because of the education I got here about my disease today I have a choice. I came through in 2005 and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I can’t express in words the gratitude I have for being given a second chance at life. I am forever grateful.

67 responses to “Alumni”

  1. Raul

    Hello Matt and Margaret. I am a “graduate” of the class of January of 1986. I still remember very clear my stay there. I am one of those who listened and stayed with program. I am on my 31rst. year of sobriety and all started with you guys. Thanks again. Maybe I will visit one day and say hello in person. My best to everyone. Raul

  2. Danny Lynskey

    Thank you for helping my wife Inga.. Matt,Margeret,Mike,Melissa and the rest of the staff !! I only spent one day with you’s and fell in love with all of u❤️GOD BLESS! She sounds great n I’ll b up there to see her this weekend..

  3. Rob M.

    January 3rd of 2016 represents 25 years of sobriety – I entered New Direction back on Jan. 3rd 1991 having realized I needed help on NYE early in the morning. It was and continues to be one of the greatest decisions, blessings and events of my life. Everything positive flowed from that experience. I am eternally grateful to Matt and Margaret and the entire staff (don’t remember everyone’s names frankly except of course for Big Jim – he also made a tremendous impact on my life) as well as all of my fellow alcoholics there at the time. I have been blessed so much and have been as Step 12 tells us – helping other brothers and sisters in Alcoholism begin to get the help they need. I welcome anyone who reads this to reach out and contact if so moved.

  4. Kim Rogers

    I went to the New Direction a little under 5 years ago ….
    My life has changed for the better because of this special place .
    Matt and Margaret are beautiful people who open there hearts to so many hurting souls
    I am so grateful I found this place
    Today I will almost have 4 years of sobriety (Aug 22nd) 2015
    I married my best friend -we met at the New Dirction as friends – and now we have a beautfuil baby boy named Noah who will be turing 1 next month.
    Today I get to raise my son as a sober women and I owe it to this special place
    This is the place that planted the seed and I am forever grateful
    Thank you Matt & Margaret

  5. Frank Adams

    I was in New Directions is 2009 and 2010 thank you to Matt And Margaret even though my stay didnt end out the greatest I still had a great experience up there with you guys both times lol. My clean date is 1.24.14 almost 1 year one day at a time thank you to new directions

  6. kevin frawley

    its been too long i need to visit, the picture brought a flood. of wonderful memories. the best of holidays for you and whomever constitutes the family right now. i am proud to list my name as a member of the family I LOVE YOU GUYS kevin frawley

  7. Elisa Isaksen Hodge

    Ten years ago this Fall a very significant other Joe “the Poolman” would meet Matt and Margaret and become a client at the New Direction. I was his partner at the time and very much in love with him but alcohol had us both in its grip. Joe would stay sober only a very short time and relapse at a Christmas party held at a place we both frequented in our alcoholic lifestyle violating one of the major principles of cutting ties with people, places and things that set us up for relapse. We would have an alcoholic episode that ultimately ended our relationship in February of 2005. A month later I was faced with a “do or die” choice and fell on my face and asked God for help from this dreadful life of addiction. I would go through many, many hardships and grieve the loss of a friendship and a love living as a recluse for about 5 years. In 2009, by the grace of God I would be reacquainted with people who were in recovery continuously since I had first been introduced to AA/NA and recovery principles in 1981. I have stayed clean and sober all these years celebrating my landmark anniversaries on March 17 of each year and God’s Grace and guidance ten years in March 2015. I am visiting this page with great sadness to remind each one that not all make it to the glorious life of living alcohol free. My beautiful love who I was never able to even reconcile in friendship died yesterday after a long battle with alcoholism. He died alone and living for the last six weeks a total recluse unable to find his way out of the bottle. He was fond of Margaret and Matt but he fell away having completely given up and resigning himself to a life of total loneliness and no hope of recovery. I write this as reminder that each day is a gift and the importance of maintaining an active recovery lifestyle requires work! Rigorous honesty, trust in a Higher Power, accountability and so much more. My heart is so terrible heavy and just pray for the continued work of the New Direction. I want so much to come and visit so much just to heal my own broken heart and share with those who are coming through there…It is so very important to share the victories but also the sad losses of life as a testimony that alcohol erases so much and untimately life when left untreated. God Bless you Matt and Margaret and all who continue to fight the good fight of faith. I love you Joe forever and am sorry your battle ended this way. May you be at peace. Love, Elisa

  8. ILR

    I graduated New Directions this past Winter and have maintained sobriety since. I note my graduating cohort has likewise maintained sobriety at a rate far above the statistical average for addicts and alcoholics.

    New Directions bills itself as “uniquely successful” and I would like to speak to that.

    One is treated as a welcome guest, not as an inmate or a failure – or with the rather thinly veiled contempt that is so often a feature of rehab. The grounds are beautiful; one is given as much freedom and unstructured time as is healthful.

    Matt and Margaret are caring people and they hire caring staff: that is where the unique success comes from.

  9. Tom Insardi

    When I arrived at New Direction in December 2013, my soul was as bleak as the mountainside. I was resentful and defiant. I couldn’t understand why the food on my fork kept leaping off while I was trying to eat. However, I had promised to bring a warm coat and an Open Mind. I had done just that, and gradually the gentle wisdom and good sense of this miraculous program seeped into my Soul. Soon the landscape surrounding the farm was filled with Beauty. The new Outlook didn’t come easy for me, and it didn’t come fast, but I stuck it out and my breakthrough did come at last. My life has been truly changed for the better. If someone had told me ahead of time how much I would change with this inspiring program, I would have ordered two of what they were drinking. New Direction saved me from myself. I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay my debt to these good people.

  10. Lauraa

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Matt and Margaret and what they’ve done for me. They gave me my life back. I will love them forever and ever!

  11. George Rafferty

    Every October when the air begins to feel cool and crisp it reminds me of my 3 week stay at New Directions with Matt & Margaret. I was not happy about being dropped off there by a friend, it would be the 3rd Rehab. The first few days were difficult, but something was different this time. Matt, Margaret and the staff made you feel comfortable and I was able to figure out there was a better way of life and it was something I needed and wanted. I can’t really explain it, but I can proudly say, it has been 12 years sober.
    Life Is Good! Thank You.

  12. Otto Lombardo

    I came in for a three week stay at The New Direction in 2006 when I was 41. I had just gotten out of the hospital for a six day stent in medical. I was drinking in excess since early high school and made it to 41 with little experience in recovery. My first AA meeting was at New Direction. There, I learned enough about recovery and my condition to stay clean and sober ever since. I would say my life began when I left the rehab. I got a new job after about 100 days that I still have today. I was able to keep my house and have recently paid it off. I got married a few months ago to a girl in the program and we are having a wonderful life together. I owe this to the simple things I learned at The New Direction such as going to meetings, doing service, being truthful to myself and others, and being responsible. I never thought I could have a good and fun life without drinking, but I have found a better life that I ever dreamt possible; “beyond my wildest dreams…” hahahah
    Thanks so much Mat and Margaret
    Otto L

  13. Dennis Milashouskas

    I was first at new direction in 1997 and Mat And Margret literally saved my life. Going there gave me my life back and enabled me to be married and live a happy life with a woman I married. One if the greatest gifts I’ve ever received was Mat and Margret attending my wedding!! That is the kind of people they are. I was also blessed with a son who helps me to keep on going. I had a relapse after over 17 years and was welcomed back with open arms including most of the staff from 1997. I can’t say enough about this place, they literally saved my life more than once.
    Thank you Mat and Margret
    Dennis M.

  14. KMO

    A year ago today, I walked down the New Direction stairs to what would be an amazing Christmas ’12. I was surrounded by total strangers whom have ultimately become some of my best friends today. It was snowing and freezing… too cold to even brave the “porch”. It even snowed on Christmas Eve and it was beautiful! Today I am with my family in Charlotte, NC… Sober, employed, happy, reliable and a women of integrity. I owe it all to Matt, Margaret and all of the New Directions’ Staff! Words cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for a chicken farm with a red barn in Walton, NY and how much it has changed my life! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Merry Christmas to everyone! I love you all!!

    “Sometimes in the winds of change, you find a New Direction!”- Ive found that New Direction and am very grateful!


  15. Dorothy V

    I’ve been meaning to visit this website for a very long time and I’m so glad I did. What memories! This May will be 10 years of a living a life I never dreamed possible — thank you, Matt and Margaret and your wonderful staff (and “Big Jim”).

  16. Ray M.

    Ray M. has 90 days. Thanks Pam I am.

  17. Robin

    I was an addict for almost 5 years. Coming to new directions helped point me in the direction I needed and wanted to go. I now have been married 10 years and have an awesome 10 year old son. I love to watch him play baseball and have moved up the corporate ladder nicely since getting my life in order.

    Thanks to everyone there at new directions.