Alumni

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.
IAN S.

72 thoughts on “Alumni

  1. Joe S

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Matt, Margaret, “Big” Jim & the entire staff for the 21 days I spent there in late July-early August of 2004. It’s been nearly 9 years since I was there and still sober. God bless all of you; you saved me from myself.

  2. Danielle g

    Cant say enough about the love and feeling of hope new direction installs in the most broken of souls. I had the blessing to stay with Matt and margret in 2006 when Linda dropped me off at the house. What a gift. Approaching year 7 of sobriety and if that seed wasn’t planted from new directions I don’t know where I would be. God bless you both and your staff. you all are True angels on earth!

  3. Jimmy Ahearn

    If there is a heaven on earth it is at the New Direction. I KNOW it saved my life! Let it save yours,

  4. Trish K

    I arrived at New Direction on May 24, 2008 and I knew it was my last stop. I arrived not sure if I was willing to surrender but I knew I was too sick to continue to drink and yet I couldn’t stop alone.

    A run of the mill rehab environment wouldn’t work for me, I had been around the rooms too long and had even been employed by a rehab program. I was what they called a chronic relapser, I had 12 years sober at one time. No one had faith in my ability to stay sober except my spouse, my doctor and my therapist.

    Being isolated in a beautiful place with nurturing care in a solid 12 step environment was exactly what I needed. Margaret, Matt and the staff had faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself. Even one of the counselors at New Directions doubted my ability to stay sober, but I have, for nearly five years, one day at a time.

    My life was forever changed by my stay at New Directions.

    Thank you Margaret and Matt!

    

Trish K.


  5. Back when the New Directions just started and visited Columbus, Ohio, I really enjoyed the concerts. I remember Maggie, Duffy, Paul, and Marie. I am now living in Peru with my peruvian wife, whom I met in church. I hope that somebody writes me from the original group. I would especially enjoy from the people whose names are above. I am in regular contact with JL and his wife. I hope to hear from someone soon. God bless you all.

  6. bonnie

    I will be coming soon & I am so looking forward to my stay there to find that peace and serenity. Thanks for your positive comments.

  7. Mike C

    1991,I will never forget the trip from Beth Abraham Hosp and the arrival at New Direction,I did not have high hopes for myself and was trying to salvage my health and keep my job. Well with the help of Matt ,Margaret and the other great people I met I made the step and turned it over, knowing there was something better and it was best choice of my life. I do not think I would still be here if not for the help I received there. I have had some rocky times but try and keep the faith and stay with the program, it is a spiritual place indeed. God Bless and I am so glad you are still helping others.

  8. Grace

    The only word to describe how from 12000 miles away I found The New Direction is ‘serendipity’. My life was becoming spiritually bankrupt and I lived in an emotional vacuum. Simply put, I needed help…for self-will had let me only toward despair. Upon arrival to this safe haven, I checked my pride at the door and fully immersed myself in this program of recovery. New Direction is not your typical residential treatment center; it is a place where you are not defined by your addiction, but rather encouraged to confront your illness and surrender yourself to a program of action. And yet my days here were not solely steeped in seriousness and introspection, but filled with laughter, new friendships, delicious food and stunning surroundings. Margaret and Matt have built a sanctuary of hope where one can clear away the wreckage of the past and start on a new journey of sobriety. I am deeply grateful to the staff, counselors and housemates who made my stay one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I hope to meet some of you as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” Grace H.

  9. John Claus

    I arrived at New Directions on October 30,2010 not knowing what to expect. I was greeted with a warm smile and a hug. I was told that I was in the right place. My first few days there I said to myself that I did not belong there. As the days went by and the fog started to clear out of my head I knew I was in the right place. To Matt, Margret and the staff I owe so much gratitude. They showed me how to live life without Alcohol. For me there was nothing else I enjoyed more than to drink. I completed my 28 days there and then went back into the real world with a degree in AA.

    It is October 2012 two years later. I owe my new life without alcohol to all of you from The New Directions. I go back and visit as often as I can. For me just being there gives me a feeling of peace and tranquility, it also gives me a chance to return to my roots to where my journey began.

    My family and I thank all of you because without you showing me how to live my life without alcohol who knows were I would be today.

    Thank you Matt & Margret,
    Mike, Bobby, Fran, & John
    God bless you all.

    The Claus Family

  10. Brendan O'Brien

    I celebrated 14 Years Sober on June 14, 2012; coincidentally I raised the White Flag of Surrender on Flag Day. Did I say “coincidentally?” I have learned over the past 14 years that there are “no coincidences.” I also became a Dad in February of 2011. I am getting a “crash course” in patience and acceptance; a course I wouldn’t refuse for anything in the world.
    My life changed when my spirit was “broken” by Big Jim at The New Direction. I was the Big Baby personified when arriving.
    Some years later, my life may be a “roller coaster,” but for the grace of God, the New Direction and A.A. I am off the “merry-go-round” of hell that I had been living. I cannot thank The New Direction enough as they truly provided me with “The New Direction” I needed so desperately in my life. I may not be where I wished to be at 53 years young; but thank God up above and the staff of The New Direction; I am not where I was headed prior to entering their wonderful home.
    May God Bless You for the Divine Intervention you perform on a daily basis.

  11. Willybee (Bill)

    The B&B (Bed & Breakfast) and MORE, of Rehab. All generously served with sating helpings of Support, Guidance, and Friendship.
    Staff’s caring and giving attitude becomes highly contagious to the Guests too.
    It’s called “Recovery ” !

    Thank you all !!!

  12. STEFANIE KATZ

    I CELEBRATED MY ONE YEAR MAY 1st! I never had it so good. You guys have changed my life and opened my eyes to how valuable and beautiful life can be when were living sober. I never though I’d be proud to say I got sober at 21, celebrated my 21st birthday sober and actually enjoy my life beyond what I could even articulate! I miss you guys so much! hope all is well up there! LOVE ALWAYS, <3
    STEFANIE KATZ

  13. Stephen Dolan

    Dear Matt and Margaret,

    Just celebrated my 30th anniversary.

    The kids left New York for “Greener Pastures” so we did too. Sold the house and left New York for Florida in 2010. We are currently visiting our son and his wife in Indiana. Matt would like Indiana. Very much like upstate New York. They have given us two beautiful Grandchildren. (Lucas Jeffrey is 3 and Haley is 1)

    The daughter and her husband moved to Florida. They are expecting their first child, a daughter (Emma) in June.

    Just wanted to drop you a note. Hope you are both well.

    All Our Love,
    Stephen and Joanne Dolan

  14. MARIA HEFNER

    Dear Margaret,

    All this letters touched my heart deeply… Everything I read has to do with me and most, I learned about The New Direction and the love, support and encouragement your guys are giving to others whom are in need!

    I am looking forward to hear from you this evening and hopefully I can visit your Blessing place sometimes soon.

    God Bless all of you!
    Maria.

  15. Joe Miele

    By far my favorite place in the entire world… Just wanted to let you all know how much i appreciate you guys for opening New Direction. I feel blessed , I finally got my life back and I am not a slave to the disease anymore and its all because of everyone at ND. The New Direction is where the seed was planted in my head and living my life the way I was living was never the same again so I returned and it was the best decision I had made in my entire life. This place is magical and will always be part of my life. I think it was the only place I have ever been that I didn’t want to leave when my time was up. I hope to see you all as soon as I can and when life gets to be too much to handle I know I always have The New Direction to visit, take a break, and refresh on the tools that keep me on my wonderful journey I am on today!! Miss You ALL!!
    Oh Lord, I ain’t what I want to be…
    Oh Lord, I ain’t what I oughta be…
    Oh Lord, I ain’t what I’m gonna be…
    But thanks, dear Lord,
    I ain’t what I use to be…

    And thank you Matt & Margaret & Everyone from The New Direction!

    With Love,
    Joe Miele (from Lake George 🙂 )

  16. The LoSapio Family-Zach,Tony, Trudi

    This “Thank You” from the bottom of our hearts is long overdue. Our 19 year old Zach was at New Directions this past summer. The day we arrived was something undescribable. The opened arms and caring was overwhelming. Matt and Margaret went above and beyond for what they did for our son. As parents we worry everyday for our children. But when you have a child with an addiction problem its even harder. Our son also has Tourette Syndrome. This condition acted up severely while Zach was with them. These people helped our son as though he was their own. We could never express our appreciation and gratitude for everything. All the staff, Bobby, Pam, Jeff, Melissa, Fred, Mike, Jodi a big Thank You also. If we missed anyone, we apologize. Our prayers will always be with you. God Bless you all. Zach is now in Florida still trying to find a job, but has been clean and attending his meetings everyday. He still calls New Directions and checks in with them as often as he can. Again, we thank you and may God continue His work through all of you! Matt, a hearty CONGRATULATIONS on your sobriety 40 years! You will always be in our hearts and prayers. THANK YOU!
    The LoSapio Family-Zach, Tony, Trudi

  17. jack mcmanus

    I came for 3 weeks and stayed for almost five. Like so many others, I did not want to go home. I will always consider New Direction a second home and the staff will always be a part of my extended family. From the moment I arrived, I felt like I was in the right place. When I saw the sign in the living room ” You are safe here”, there was no doubt. I truly love those I spent time with there. I miss just about everything, including the Walton and Hancock meetings, the great meals, staff that bent over backwards to make you comfortable and the sharing on the porch. Most of all I will never forget the comradire, love and serenity. Happy 40th Matt! I will love you and Margaret for the rest of my life.

    Love Always,
    Jack

  18. Sjk

    On 11/18/2006 I finally made the decision to surrender. I went to New Directions on the as advice of professionals.
    After trying to do it my way it. The peace and serenity that I found there was unbelievable. The past 41/2 years of my life have been unbelievable. Without the teachings and caring of Matt Margaret and there staff. I don’t know where I would be today.

  19. Chris Costa

    Ten years ago, June 23, 2001, New Directions made a small exception and accepted a young 19-year-old girl (me). It seems like just yesterday, and it seems like a million years ago, that I walked in to that house trembeling. How was I going to possibly live without drugs and alcohol?? But I couldn’t possibly either. I was not living at all, I was dying. Margaret, after I got over my initial dislike for her and her rules, became my “Mother” while I was there. Had an exception not been made I would not be who/where I am today, Happy and Free! I am so grateful that my journey began in that big red barn at New Directions. I always meet fellow alumni in meetings and a strong bond is felt. In fact, starting a conversation about how we both went to New Directions is how I met my boyfriend of nearly six years! There is too much I can say about this place, but I will end with this. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction/alcoholism, send them to a place where they will feel at home. Home cooked meals, a loving couple that opened there home many years ago, a beautiful farm; not a hospital rehab. This is a place I actually miss, even though I was so reluctant to go in the first place. I have visited many times, and will be up in a couple of weeks to celebrate my tenth anniversary sober!

  20. carla filangeri

    I am so gratefull to New Direction for saving me , its the love and understanding that Matt and Margaret have for the many people that come into their life . When I arrived at New Direction I was scared, my life had fell apart I had no hope,that all changed with the great staff ,the care and especially the warmth of the house, I miss the peace and tranquility that I had there. I continue to sit in front at meetings, shake the speakers hand, put my chair away, and then there’s the balance that Bobby always talks about. I don’t know were I would be if I didn’t make it to New Directions!! Love & Miss You , Carla F

  21. Nina A

    By the Grace of God, today I am celebrating two years clean and sober. The staff of The New Direction gave me a solid foundation in recovery which has helped me immensely. It has helped me begin my new life one day at a time. I utilize what I learned in my everyday life. What a gift. Today my life is so much richer than before. I cannot say enough wonderful things about my stay at the farm house. Matt and Margaret made us feel like part of their family. Mike and Bobby were so informative about the disease of alcoholism/addiction and what you need to do to stay clean and sober. Being able to speak with them openly and honestly was such a comfort. Thank you all so very much. You all hold a special place in my heart. I almost forgot…. the meals were great too!

    Much Love,
    Nina A

  22. Steve D

    By the Grace of God will be celebrating 29 years this April.

    29 years ago. Can still remember being at New Directions my first night in full blown denial. After dinner I started drinking a glass of water and suddenly Matt said “Don’t Move.” He turned to Margret and asked “Did you see that, the pinky off the bottom of the glass, the way the head is tilted back, swallow after continuous swallow going down that wide open throat; why that was a beautiful thing to watch and he says he is not an alcoholic.”

    Later that night was the first time I ever said at an AA meeting “I am an alcoholic.”

    Almost 29 years ago. Now today we are Grandparents of a beautiful 2 year old boy.(Lucas) We have a Granddaughter on the way in April. . We sold the house in New York and are living in Indiana.

    All our Love to Matt and Margaret

    Steve and Joanne

  23. irish sue

    I just decided to check out your web page after all these years, it was great to see the photos and read the comments. I stayed with you in July 1997 for 4 weeks, Matt, Margaret, and staff, ye were amazing, I was a very sad lonely person when I arrived on yer doorstep from NYC. I’m still sober today, thank god, back living in co kerry. THANK YOU.

  24. Todd R

    I came to Matt and Margret’s August 6th of 2010 and that is now my new birthday. I knew nothing about the AA program or how wonderful life could be living sober. Alcoholics and Drug addicts are not bad people, they have a treatable illness. New Direction methodically taught me the 12 step program and a new way of life. I tried to stop drinking on my own but did not have the education I desperately needed to succeed. The councilor’s are recovery professionals and have shared the same hopeless feelings that I have. They understand what Alcoholics and drug addicts are going through with patience and understanding. The food, accommodations and amenities are 5 star but that is completely irrelevant. I am a grateful recovering alcoholic and I owe it all to New Direction………

  25. Steve Lewis

    The 21st day of my stay at New Directions fell on Thanksgiving Day, 1992. I was sure it was going to be OK for me to go home for the holiday, but I was mistaken. Margaret lovingly informed me I had to remain the full day and go home the next day. Naturally I was upset that I couldn’t be with my wife and daughter and the rest of my family, but after partaking of the delicious turkey dinner prepared by the staff at ND, I settled down and reflected on the past 21 days and began to realize why I had to stay that final day.

    Here I sit 6,632 “one at a time” days later mentally thanking Matt and Margaret and their excellent staff for making me realize that I could turn my life around by incorporating the basic rules that AA has established into my daily routine. I didn’t want to admit I was an alcoholic, but after just few days of co-existing with fellow drunks, I was beginning to see the light and realize how upside down my life had become and that alcohol was the reason. I’m happy and proud to say that I have made it this many “one day at a time” days and have not had drink one. At first I was scared and apprehensive about facing the world upon leaving ND, but as time went by, after securing a sponsor and attending daily (sometimes twice) meetings, it became easier for me to cope with the world around me and function without alcohol.

    I have since moved out of state and don’t get the chance to attend the summer picnics at ND anymore. My original sponsor has passed away, but I maintain contact with AA members almost daily and maintain my sobriety by reading literature pertaining to alcoholism. This has worked for me for 18+ years……but it never would have happened if it weren’t for my then boss Dick A. and his understanding and resources to send me to Matt and Margaret for my “New Direction” in life. I am and always will be ever so grateful……..Steve L.

  26. Thank you Matt, Margaret, “Big Jim” and Tim O for all you’ve done, I am forever in debt, and flourishing. My Children, my new wife, are forever grateful.

  27. Cathleen Merrick

    Hi, I left New Direction and with actually having a new chance at life. I left there with a sense of peace and some clarity on how to start my journey of Sobriety. If i hadn’t found New Direction when I did I would still be alone and hopeless. Thank You Matt and Margaret and Staff

  28. Susan B

    I just arrived home from an anniversary at my home group, The First Step, on Staten Island and had to share my experience. It has happened several times and is always quite profound. A speaker will share how their life was touched and forever changed by a rehab experience filled with compassion and kindness, without giving details, but at the end of the meeting when I ask if they were speaking of Matt and Margaret they seem surprised and then smile; and we exchange our experiences. I arrived at The New Direction in April 1990~an empty, broken down soul. Matt said many times since then he though he saw the living dead. I was quite unhealthy, had several bandages on from surgeries but still though I was fooling the world. Ha, did they open my eyes. My stay of 21 days turned into 2 1/2 months. Matt taught me a solid foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous which I feel is a big part of my sobriety today. Margaret gave me tough love while at the same time the most unconditional love I have ever received. I did not take all the suggestion given and paid the price heavily. I had a relapse and destroyed several move years of my life but somehow I still had that foundation Matt had helped me build and stepped back into AA on December 7, 2001. Matt and Margaret, I love you and I thank you. God Bless… P.S. Hope to see you guys soon. xoxo

  29. TOM O.

    I HAD THE BLESSING OF DAYS SPENT IN THE BARN- A TRULY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE …MY HUMBLE THANKS TO MATT & MARGARET FOR SAVING MY LIFE …THE BEST ! TOM O.

  30. Kevin Gokey

    When I arrived at The New Direction i had lost all hope.I truly believed that I Would never get sober and be happy.During my time there I learned about the disease and what to expect in early recovery.I gained hope.Today I am free from the bondage of drugs and alcohol and my life has never been better.I am very involved in AA where I currently Chair a meeting in Valley Stream and am sponsoring People.So much of the wreckage of my past is healed and I owe it largely to Matt and Margaret.I had a life changing experience there and will never forget them.I used to wonder “how will I pay them back for all they have done?”Today I know the answer is to stay sober and to help another alcoholic achieve sobriety.That is what they would want.Thanks again to all the staff from Mike to Fred and all counselors Like Bobby, John and Fran.Most of all I thank Matt and Margaret for their love and support.I truly love you guy’s.

  31. Denise

    Oh, how I wish…how I pray my son’s testimonial could be posted here one day…I am so afraid we will lose him….and what a loss that would be…not just for me, but for everyone. He is an INCREDIBLE artist….everything he does is art….this world needs him and those like him, who are too much in pain by what they have no control over….LORD…hear my prayers!!!!

  32. Robert L

    With immense patience, love and support from my best friend, lover & wife I checked myself into New Directions 3 years ago on 07-07-07… By most accounts at the farm I was voted the “least likely to succeed”, especially when I declared to Bobby and the group that I was 90% positive that I would never use again… But the exersise of putting my children in the bottom of the glass along with the amazing education I received about my specific “allergy” gave me understanding and tools I needed to accept my specific limitations… In this life I am free to do most everything execpt that which takes control of me… rather than being a slave to my addiction I choose life and leave those things I cannot control to god.
    Matt was very clear when he told me my odds were less than 10%, Margaret was very scared and concerned for me upon my unconventional departion… But I’ve been resolute and have succeeded in living a life worth living because I cared enough about those who love me to love myself!
    I wish for you the same 🙂
    Robert

  33. I am a parent of someone who was admitted to ND 10 days ago. She is my beautiful, 23 year old daughter who was getting hooked on prescription pills and started using heroin. I don’t even know if she knew where she was when we dropped her off. I come to this website to get courage and strength. I read the testimonials of those who have been there and it makes me hopeful. I will be going to see her tomorrow for our family visit and I am apprehensive. Please pray for me and for all those who have lost their way. I will keep you posted now and again and let you know how we’re all doing. I am hoping she will be able to tell you how well she is doing day by day…..

  34. ANDRES C.

    I MISS YOU , HOPE TO VISIT VERY SOON. YOUR KINDNESS , LOVE AND RESPECT GAVE ME THE REAL VISION TO GET OUT OF MY DENIAL
    I WAS THERE JUNE 2005
    LOVE, ANDRES

  35. Douglas R.

    My addiction had taken control of my life. Family, friends even my children stood no chance of stopping me and my addiction from controlling my every decision. I wasn’t able to hold a job and my career was being destroyed. Heroin had taken hold of my sanity and left me in a state of suicidal depression. Logic had no place in my head and I couldn’t control the choices I made. Before arriving at New Direction I was ready for the asylum or the morgue, either would have been a welcome change. My thinking was the complete opposite of hopeful and my mood was that of “the world’s greatest failure”. Nothing was going to help me, I thought. I’m a useless case destined to die from this disease, or so I thought. Slowly, with the help of some caring people and some home cooked meals, my thinking began to change. Little by little I began to feel optimistic. I learned about my disease while in the company of my fellows, all fighting to save their lives. I made friendships that will last a lifetime. I received tools that would help me fight my addiction and I learned confidence to stand up to it. Today I’m not healed of my disease but nor am I in the throes of it. I am the vital part keeping my addiction suppressed by using the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous and other tools I learned at New Direction. This program not only keeps me clean and sober, it teaches me how to live a joyous and fulfilling life. I feel as if I have been giving a second chance at life and I have a better understanding of how to live it. My journey is far from over. My disease is always right behind me waiting, but thanks to New Direction I have the knowledge and the will to stay clean and sober.

  36. Celeste A

    Hi my name is Celeste and I am and Alcoholic an Addict. It took me a very long time to admit that to myself. In 2008 I finally hit my rock bottom. Went in and out of rehabs but never really got it. Until I was sent away to New Direction. I went there kicking and screaming and wanted to die. I was a mess physically and emotionally. I lost my husband, my home, my job, my children, and my family’s support. I didn’t think I had anything to live for and no one wanted to hear the words “I’m Sorry I will never drink again”. New Direction gave me the tools and the knowledge to start my life over again. To live sober One Day At A Time. I have so much gratitude now for being sent to New Direction. I was in good hands. Mat and Margaret are wonderful caring people who deserve a medal. The Staff and the Counselors were always there to help always there to guide you in the right direction. Today I live a sober life and I owe it all to everyone at New Direction. You guys really did Save My Life. Don’t know what I would have done without you all. Special thanks to Bobby Jordan for teaching me to raise my hand at every meeting and sharing even if I don’t want to. It really does help to keep me sober when I let people into my life. Thank-you I love you all and God Bless.

  37. Keith C.

    In 1993, I was 27 and a complete mess. The pictures of the meeting room in the barn nearly made me cry. Not because a miracle happened there, but because it was where I stopped praying for one. I, myself, was going to determine my future and not my rotten parents and childhood traumas. There is great joy in being the only one to blame, believe it or not.

    And I have Matt and Margaret to thank for the freedom to do just that!

    17 yrs sober.

  38. Frank R.

    My name is Frank ..and I am an alcoholic . I could have never imagined the freedom in those words . My life is very different today . Very different, and rewarding. I look forward to my mornings . The other day I realized that I have not had a hangover in nearly five years . I cannot think of a better decision I made in my life than saying that I needed help and that I would go to New Direction. It is the greatest gift I ever gave myself and the people around me . Matt , Margaret , the staff, the house and the barn are all fond pictures in my mind . I am truly blessed to have been there with them and my life will never be the same… thank God Wishing you all the best , your friend in sobriety Frank R.

  39. Kenny B.

    Opportunity to break free from the brutal chains of addiction – with unconditional love, unparalleled support, genuine freedom – that is what is waiting at the new direction. Matt and Marg, with the wonderful team they have assembled, will pave the way. Just bring your white flag, follow suggestions, and a life worth living will be revealed in time, one day at a time. God Bless all alumni, past and future, all the staff and especially my superheroes, Matt and Marg. Love you, thank you forever.

    With all my affection,
    Kenny B.

  40. Esther R.

    As my brother & I were nearing ND on a cold dreary morning in March 2010, I was thinking OMG I’m in the middle of nowhere. There’s no way of escaping. How am I going to stay in this hick town for 3 weeks? Upon arriving I was in a fog, scared to death & every part of my body was shaking from fear, anxiety & withdrawal. I was greeted by Mike with a smile from ear to ear who hugged me immediately & continued to do so during my 4 week stay (yes, I stayed an extra week, not because I felt I needed to, I just didn’t want to leave). Everything about this place is magical, the closest thing to a fairy tale I have ever experienced. I made wonderful friends who made me laugh away my tears. Margie, Cory, Jimmy, George, Pam, Jason & my many other new friends, I love you all. I am sooo grateful to Matt, Margaret, Mike, Bobby & the whole staff for their love, kindness & life long memories they have given me. I am now on my 88th day of being sober & live by everything that was ingrained in me. Thank you! Esther

  41. Stefanie K.

    I remember walking into new directions thinking to myself “where am I, and what am I in for?” My parents took me there after I hit a bottom I didn’t think was possible. At 20 years old I was scared, confused, and most importantly desperate. I went there completely baffled and unsure if I wanted too but in my heart I new I was exactly where I needed to be. New Directions is heaven on earth to me and they hold a very dear place in my heart. They have saved my life and given me a new life and the ability to live it today. There are plenty of time I sit home and close my eyes and wish I was back with that wonderful smell, laughter and love that surround that place. I hope to visit soon. Thank you, and if you are questioning if this is the place for you, it is the best place I’ve ever been to and as an alcoholic and a drug addict I don’t believe any other place would have saved me the way ND did. They made me want to live sober and showed me how to do it.
    With Love,
    Stefanie K.

  42. 2942 Country Highway 23, Walton, NY 13856. The address that my parents said to enter into the Navigation system on February 9th, 2008 at 6 am. Still in the “fog” of my using and not exactly what to expect of this place that people were referring to as “the farm”, I arrived onto the most beautiful property I had ever seen. I was welcomed with warm hugs from complete strangers promising they were going to take care of me. Matt, Margaret, Michael, Bobby, and Jeff were among the first people I met in New Directions and about the only people I needed to know of at that moment in my life. I felt safe, loved, and saw a small glimmer of hope that life could actually get better from that moment on.

    Well, Life has gotten SO much better since that first day up at ND. I hold New Directions so close to my heart and Margaret promised me that as long as I continued to stay sober and carry the message, that I could come back and visit anytime I wanted. I’ve done just that over the past 2 years and each time I go back, I get more and more grateful to them. I love New Directions with all my heart. Matt and Margaret have created something that no one can undo. I am forever grateful to New Directions and the magical power it holds over people like me… sick and suffering Alcoholics. Thank you. Rachel T.

  43. Kevco

    In this my 10th year of sobriety I owe a world of gratitude to Matt & Margaret for the loving care I received and the continued support and direction I have been given during the storms of my life.

    God bless you both. Love Kevco

  44. Gene M.

    What can I say about Margaret and Matt, the Mom and Pop of recovery for so many thousands of souls sent to New Directions? I can personnally vouch for the fact that the NYPD owes a great debt to them for all the recovering cops who were sent there under “induced therapeutic surrender,” and returned to full duty, a productive member of the service. God Bless you both. Thank you for always being there for me and mine. Love you guys. Gene M.

  45. Tom L

    The NYPD nickname for Rehab was always a trip to “The Farm”. Well after a few run ins with the law myself, I was finally off to the Farm! 01-16-94. It never even crossed my mind that this three week stay would be the greatest gift and change in my life that anyone could ask for. Had you told me what my life would be like today i would have laughed! Sixteen years later i remain sober one day at a time, have a beautiful wife, two young children and have since retired from the NYPD. I continue to carry the message and give this gift away to those who want it. I will always remain eternally grateful to Matt and Margaret, “Big Jim” and my dear friend, Tim O. Your continued service to those who suffer from Alcoholisim since 1977 is nothing short of miraculous and Gene M. is right New Directions property is “Hollowed Ground”. Love and Service Tom L

  46. Jack P.

    I pretended… This is the proper way to introduce myself; as a recovering drunk. Therefore: and let this be known: No One, not even God, could do the
    real work; of Matt and Margaret. They saved my small life…! Moreover; I want this to be known: I was a successful detective, with the NYPD. I was a moral cop; with four shootings under my belt and the Medal of Valor. However, I was an alcoholic…! Unknown to me. I drank beer for every occasion and then I drank beer alone. I drank in the shower; to stop my hands from shaking, before work…! I hid in known shadows; to drink. At work…! A self-disgusted person, was I. Crying and drinking on the sly…that was me… I want this to be known; and I should have spoke sooner. This Horror can be helped…!!! I was blessed; to be sent towards Matt & Margaret by a wonderful man. Gene , thank you… I would be DEAD; if not for Gene’s push and the purity of M&M. I do not believe in God; but I’ve seen Him near the lake, near the home of two wonderful humans…..

  47. Diane L.

    My 37 day stay at Walton changed my life. I was brought there with this idea that I could still drink and wasn’t really an alcoholic. I left there, unwillingly, with the realization that I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable. When I say unwillingly left I mean I really didn’t want to leave there. I felt safe for the first time in my life. I had answers to the questions I had asked myself for years about “why me” and why I hated myself. I was given tools to live a sober, spiritual, happy life and I have received so much more! I am forever grateful for the second chance I got from Matt and Margaret and the staff at The New Direction, and the work they do on a daily basis helping drunks like me.

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