Meet Beth Cleggett – Director of Lake Shore Retreat

Beth Cleggett

Beth Cleggett

My name is Beth and I am a recovered alcoholic & addict.

Growing up, I was raised with good morals and values by two loving parents that had been married for over 50 years. I have 3 siblings and we were all raised in the same home, same neighborhood, same schools, played sports, went to church every Sunday – Yet I am the only alcoholic/addict. I’ve accomplished  the “American dream” i.e, married, children, dog, cars, graduated nursing school and bought my first home by the time I was 22 years old.

Yet – I was a daily drinker by the age of 18. I was the Mom who volunteered for all the school field trips, read to the children at our local library and was a pop warner football mom. My disease slowly progressed throughout my 20’s and by my mid 30s I was a full blown addict. I’ve been to countless amount of detoxes, holdings, halfway houses and sober houses. I would have brief periods of sobriety that would build up my families hope and mine – but inevitably would always end up relapsing and I never could understand ‘why’? 

I then had an opportunity of going to a rehab that‘s primary focus was entirely on the 12 steps of AA. They handed me a Big Book upon my arrival and that very same day, I was in a group that for the first time in my life, it was explained to me I was both bodily and mentally ‘sick’. That is was not a matter of “willpower” I had an “allergy” to alcohol & drugs and my body reacted completely different when I put a substance in me. I am hard-wired differently than your average person. They also told me I suffer from a mental obsession, that once the substances are removed from me (i.e detox) I always have a recurring thought that does not respond to reason. For example – “I am going to lose everything, my family, my kids, my job, i’m going to go to jail, etc.” but I can’t stop and I relapse regardless of the consequences. Lack of power is our dilemma, I used against my own will for a long, long time.

I was told that the disease of alcoholism and addiction is centered in my mind and luckily there is a solution to my mind (the way I think) through the 12 steps of AA. During this process I built a relationship with a higher power of MY understanding that helps solve ALL of my problems. Not just the drink and drug problem, but the real problem – me. Once this was explained to me by people “who had been where I’ve been and felt what I have felt” and I could see that they were no longer the people they are explaining to me in their stories. These people were calm, happy, smiling, peaceful… Total night and day differences. They were new people..  All the things I dreamt of being, and for the first time in a long time.. I had hope. Hope that I could do this. I finally, after all these years understood my problem, the real problem and now that I was armed with the facts, I could start to work on the solution.

I thank God everyday for the people who walked this path (The 12 Steps) before me and were willing to give freely of their time to help me and get well. I have experienced “A spiritual awakening as a result of these steps” which freed me from my mind. The center of my problem! Today I am a free women and my passion in life is to help sick & suffering alcoholics and addicts that God places in my life. I know what it’s like to feel completely broken, hopeless and like i’d never be able to recover. I had been placed beyond human aid and through the process of the 12 steps, I have tapped into a Power greater than human power and what has happened in my life and the lives of my 2 son’s, Danny and Tommy (also in recovery) is nothing short of a miracle. Recovery is possible!