Lynn Taylor is the Director of Operations at Serenity House Detox Center in Houston, Texas. Originally from central Texas just outside of Austin, Taylor recalls growing up in a home where drinking was commonplace.
“I come from a long line of drinkers,” he said. “I started drinking around 15 or 16, and began using drugs at 17. I got a DWI at 21, and you’d think that would’ve slowed me down, but no sir.”
Taylor’s drinking and drug use had many consequences, including losing his scholarship at Texas State after he got drunk and swam in a fountain. Years later, he started wanting to change.
“At 29, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he said. He checked himself into Starlight Recovery, spending 39 days at the treatment facility. After that he entered a sober living home, and became very involved in his recovery community.
At his sober living home, he met a friend with whom he started a business. Between 2006 and 2015, Taylor and his partner opened 21 sober living homes around Austin and Houston.
“When I got to treatment, I was working at Dell computers,” he said. “The thought of working in this field didn’t cross my mind. But when I got to treatment and people who didn’t know me cared about me, I knew this was something I wanted to do.”
After leaving his sober housing business in 2015, Taylor spent six months working a $14/hour job. He greatly missed his work in the substance use treatment field. Luckily, when Serenity House Detox Center–then operating only out of Florida– planned to expand to Houston, Taylor got the call he was waiting for.
Taylor has been at Serenity House Detox Center in Houston since day one, playing a large role in hiring the staff and getting operations underway. As Director of Operations, Taylor says he does a bit of everything.. His favorite activity, however, came by chance.
Each morning Taylor arrived at the facility at 7 a.m. and sat outside to read recovery literature and meditate. One morning, a client asked if she could join him. Thus started his daily routine of leading a morning meditation for the clients at Serenity House.
“I feel blessed to be in the position that I’m in,” Taylor said. “The only way to keep it is to give it away, and to be of service to another addict or alcoholic.”
Taylor has been sober for more than 13 years. Having been through treatment himself, he recognizes the unique quality of care that he and his staff provide at Serenity House. As people in recovery, they wouldn’t ask their clients to do anything they have not done themselves.
“The fact that the majority of the employees are in recovery themselves is very important,” he said. “We work with sponsors, we have sponsees, we work a program and don’t just do lip service to a program.”
While early sobriety can seem like a daunting time in one’s life, Taylor recognizes on a daily basis that addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.
“This does work if you genuinely put your heart into it,” he said. “I get to watch so many other people get the same freedom and ability to go back to their god-given self as was given to me.”