Matt Bohannon is a Behavioral Health Technician at Blueprint Recovery Center in Concord, New Hampshire. Originally from Attleboro, Massachusetts, Bohannon remembers that from an early age he had trouble fitting in with his peers. He experienced a lot of fear around what people thought of him. This anxiety is what first brought him to using drugs and alcohol as a teenager.
“At 13 or 14 I started drinking and smoking marijuana to fit in, but it was really to cover my pain,” Bohannon said. “It turned from a social activity to a coping skill pretty quickly.”
Chasing the High
By the time he turned 18, Bohannon’s use became even less social when he started using opiates. He said he would do anything he could to feel that first high again, chasing the sensation for many years.
In 2011, Bohannon entered a treatment facility in Florida and stayed clean for two years while managing a sober living home. Things were going well until he had the thought that, with opiates behind him, he could drink safely.
“That led to a few more years of pain and misery,” he said. “It was detox and rehab, detox, and rehab.”
Calling Blueprint Recovery Center
After relocating to Maine, Bohannon experienced another short stint in sobriety before making the call to Blueprint Recovery Center. This time around, he approached his recovery differently.
Initially, his plan was to return to Maine, where he could begin working again in car rental and sales. But he recognized the strength of the recovery community in Concord, New Hampshire, and decided to stay. Things began looking up quickly.
“I humbled myself and got a ten dollar an hour job. At four months sober, Blueprint hired me part-time to do minimal alumni duties and build the alumni base,” he said. “Then when they lost a tech, I was hired full-time. Now I have a dual position as an alumni coordinator and a tech.
“Because I fully surrendered and took suggestions, my life is beyond what I could have ever imagined.”
Life in Recovery
Bohannon knows that being in recovery doesn’t make life easy, but it enables you to deal with difficult situations with a clear mind.
“One of the hardest things I’ve dealt with in sobriety is that my Dad passed away last year,” he said. “My Dad never judged me and he understood the disease of addiction. I found out while I was still in IOP that he had cancer. I had a chance to make amends to him, and all he asked me to do was fight to stay sober and build a relationship with my brother.”
Bohannon said that he struggled with his identity for a long time, but when he came to Blueprint he was, “Welcomed in with open arms. Blueprint is a judgment-free zone and we allow our clients to be who they are. I myself, am open about who I am as a man in recovery and attempt to pass that courage to other clients that struggle with the same issues.”
Working at Blueprint
Bohannon is uniquely qualified to relate to the clients at Blueprint–after all, he was exactly where they are less than two years ago.
“Recently, a guy was having a hard time and wanted to leave,” Bohannon said. “But I related to the same pain that he was feeling when I went into the door. I showed him my intake picture, and he decided to stay and give it a second chance.”
From his experience as both a client and a staff member at Blueprint, Bohannon recognizes that the center goes beyond what typical treatment centers are willing to do for their clients.
“Blueprint does not treat their clients like a number,” he said. “I’ve been kicked out of treatment centers for loss of benefits. Blueprint will work with you and your family to help you stay in treatment. Blueprint is family.”
Bohannon says that bringing laughter, fun, and positivity to clients is the best way to show them that a life in recovery isn’t dull. The alternatives are too dangerous.
“A lot of people are dying,” he said. “But Blueprint is the only treatment center where I can say that I felt the obsession to use drugs and alcohol lifted. In the past 16 months, I’ve not felt it once. It’s the first time I’ve actually felt free. Life is good.”