What can I say, I arrived in Alabama on New Years Day in 1995, I was detoxed in a NYC Hospital before arriving... I was a thug, I had a major addiction, my life was a mess, and nobody was going to tell me anything..Well, my life changed after working with Mary Lee & Tom. They beat me up, and built me back up, to finally look at myself, love myself, and accept life on life's terms. Believe me, it wasn't easy, I was not a good patient, and was very rebellious when I first arrived, it took a while to see things clearly and work in group settings for me, but they never gave up on me, and I finally started to believe in the magic....and what a magical trip it became, I learned more & more about myself, my addiction and my demons each day, we worked hard in group, and we were worn out at the end of each day. About 2 or 3 days before I was to be discharged, my dad passed away in New York, Tom was going to travel back with me to NY, due to the nature of the circumstances, I decided, along with my family and May Lee decided the it would be in my best interest to stay in Alabama and work on this tragedy in my life, I would have picked up if I returned for his funeral and all the work would have been in vain, I stayed another 3 weeks in MLZ and worked hard, I arrived home 2 months after arriving and have been living a clean & sober life since... I was blessed to be sent to MLZ, I would not be sitting here tonight writing this letter if I never made it to Alabama that New Years Day. I am truly blessed to have met Mary Lee & her brother Tom, and continue to call them my dear friends to this day...I love them both, Jimmie K... New York City....
I arrived in Alabama angry,arrogant and desperate for help in January 1990. Mary Lee hammered me daily on my defenses and how I had attempted to protect myself from pain. I learned to accept and "soften" my approach to life and others. I was blessed to have an amazing relationship with my recovering mother for 14 years. My treatment changed my life. It has made me a better guider for people I treat and has helped me sit "with" myself instead of "by" myself. It took 24 years but Mary Lee has transformed from being my guider,my teacher to my cherished friend,
Jimmy, you were a big help to me at MLZ! 25 years later I still think of you, and others, from that group fondly. People in my life today have a hard time seeing me as the person I was then. I can not explain what my time at MLZ meant to me and my family.
I was "enlighten" by Mary Lee in 1985 and my life changed, for the better. After all these years, staying clean and sober (32 years), her words still echo in my heart and soul. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mary Lee.
This is Brenda, Dowe's wife. Mary Lee asked that I post here about the line dancing in Roanoke. I remembered the line dancing back in Dec. 1994, but I didn't remember the song. Dowe said it was Boot Scootin' Boogie. "down in the country there's a city limit sign by the honky tonk near the county line..." Seems like you all did some dancing to Eric Clapton too. Layla?
Hi Brenda, the other song was Achy, Breaky Heart by Billie Ray Cyrus! How funny is that!!
I was a patient at the time Dowe was. We became good friends and will never forget our time together. We worked together and through hard work everyday since, I am so pleased to say Dowe & myself are clean and sober today, close to 20 years since first meeting in 1995, its been an amazing trip...
Hello MLZ Roanoke Alumni. When Jim picked me up at the airport in Atlanta in 1998 to come to MLZ, I was terrified to confront my demons. I had depression, and found out I had a lot of arrogance and anger as well. After 2 weeks, MaryLee and our group broke through my shell and I was able to find a new way to live. The ride back to Atlanta was so very different. I welcomed living life again. My husband Lee came for "Family Visitation," and MaryLee kept him for 3 days as well. I returned in 1990 for a tune up. This past July, MaryLee came to Michigan and stayed at our home for a week to help us with our teenage son. I thank God for the time spent with MaryLee, and look forward to reconnecting with other alumni. MaryLee's God given gift of healing others is back in action, and I am thankful to be able to take advantage of her guidance.
When I first met Mary Lee I was indeed a total mess. However, she gave me tools so that I might rebuild and become a parent to my children, because I had no idea what a parent was, and how to be a husband to my wife of thirty years.Jun/jul91
I was in treatment in 1996 at the MLZ treatment Center in LaGrange GA for anorexia and alcoholism. What I learned there has been invaluable to me throughout my lifetime. At the time, to get better, I had to give up three beautiful children to do this and I didn't think I would ever survive such heartache. I now live a wonderful life wherein I have been reconnected with my children. I have used the tools given to me by Mary Lee to put my life back together. I also now have grandchildren and can "do it all over again" with them! I can't help but to think back to all the experiences and friendships made while at the center. I have to say I did love the line dancing! Although not to keen on it at first. I hope to reconnect with some alumni one day for a retreat. How nice would that be?
Mary Lee is speaking at our Annual ACA Conference in St. Petersburg on May 17. Please join us.
It's been almost 20 years since I was at MLZ in Roanoake. It helped me more than words can say. After that, I started noticing the little things that make life beautiful. The first thing I remember noticing was the smell of someone baking cookies while I was taking a walk. Those little coincidences that remind me that I'm never alone, that God is with me, happen every day if I listen. I just noticed this website is titled, "Compass." I'm reading a good book, "First Things First," which uses the terms "clock" and "compass" to reveal how addicted many of us are to being in the "urgent" mode, stressed out, ruled by the "clock." The "compass" represents the right way, to see and do what's important, not just whatever crisis happens to jump in front of us each day. So thank you Mary Lee for another pleasant coincidence!
I flew into Atl. in a stupor and this weird happy man picked me up and on the way to MLZ told me about group and singing and dancing...I was thinking "fuck that" I need to sleep and detox and get people off my ass. I was awoken and some ungodly hour and told to get my ass to group. Many many hard hours later I started to "get it". Life has not been perfect, who's is? But I look back and can barely recognize the person I was then and I do what I have to to ensure he doesn't return. Mary Lee holds a special place in my heart and in the amazing life I'm blessed to lead today
Although I went to MLZ back in the early 90's, I did not "get" it. It took until 2007 to even corroborate and recall the physical and other abuse that took place. That year, a family member gave that to me in detail and my journey truly began. The next 9 years were hell. In 2016, I finally was willing to turn my life over to the care of God. These last 2 years have been full of forgiveness, making things right, behavioral changes, and working with others. I remember Lois well. She worked with me there although I do not remember the work too well. I remember feeling intensely angry with you there over a confrontation at MLZ. I offer my sincere apology for carrying an intense resentment for many years. There were things you and I both didn't know about me. The Magic of recovery is present in me today after 56 long years of torment. I am here to say that sometimes God has plans for those of us that are seemingly unreachable. I just wanted to share this. I don't know if you will respond, as this is not the same type of posting as others have replied. God Bless you, James W Doman
You've got the magic. MLZ COMPASS - Mary Lee Zawadski