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Butler Creek: Alma’s Testimony


Some time ago we had a lifestyle guest named Alma. After completing her lifestyle change program at Butler Creek, she returned to her home in New Jersey. She became more than a friend—she was part of the family. This is her testimony:

Miserable, guilt ridden, utterly depressed, dejected, and sick, I found myself being transported to the desolate hills of Tennessee not knowing what to expect when I arrived. At the age of 56, my problems stemmed from over 35 years of alcoholism. God knows I tried so many times, but I still had not conquered this addiction. In my late twenties I began toiling with psychiatrists, psychologists, detox facilities, and any other program that was available to help me with excessive drinking, depression, and emotional problems. By the time I was 30, I accepted the fact that I was an uncontrollable alcoholic.

So now I’m on my way to some place in Iron City, Tennessee—240 acres of nothing but land, trees, farms, and who knows what. Humiliatingly and ironically, “my children, now in their late thirties and who have been victims of my addiction, were driving me to this “new” health center. I was told that this facility was not like any others I had been to. This center was designed to help the guest make personal life changes. It was also a program for training you to have a nutritious and healthier lifestyle.

From my previous experience with other facilities, I waited for my bags to be inspected. There was no bag check! From the beginning there was actually trust, which provided me with an earnest motivation. Feeling that I was safe, my children eventually left. Being a black female in the middle of nowhere and not knowing what to expect, I never felt more alone. But from day one, I felt that the Butler Creek staff provided personal care not only to the mind, spirit, and soul, but also to the body as well. A staff nurse patiently explained what the daily routines would be.

My peaceful days there were filled with eating nutritious foods, participating in health lectures, receiving hydrotherapy treatments and massages, doing simple chores, taking walks, exercising, cooking vegetarian foods, communicating with nature, resting and relaxing, and building a spiritual relationship with God.

The whole time I was there I was so busy learning a new lifestyle that I had very little time to think about alcohol and the stresses that I left behind that caused me to drink. While I was there, certain troubling home issues came up that would have normally caused me to drink. However, at Butler Creek I had learned to remain calm and began to know how to think clearly. This new attitude helped me immensely when I finally returned home.

An added bonus was my unexpected interest in learning more about God. For about thirty years my brother, a Seventh-day Adventist, has been trying to get me to walk with God. I went to his church a few times but never really followed up. For some reason, while at Butler Creek and learning my new lifestyle, I became fascinated in learning Bible scripture. Though Bible studies were not a required part of the program, I asked for them. One of the directors personally provided them. I became consumed with learning. Attending church on the Sabbath was also not mandatory. However, I found that I looked forward to it each week.

I believe my newfound spiritual connection came about by the examples of Christian faith, practice, and spirituality that were exemplified by the staff members and the directors during day-today living. That influence was infectious. I’ve been home now for five weeks. In that time, not only have I successfully avoided alcohol, but I also have brought home the practice of following a “new” way of living.

Besides living healthfully and attending church, I am also attending prayer meetings, Sabbath school, and taking Bible study lessons. Furthermore, relations that had been severely damaged because of my alcoholism are being vastly improved. Last week, I brought my mother to church and had a Bible study conducted at her house. I have many two-way phone contacts with my children each week and we have mended many broken fences. Not only that, I have made many new friends in church and have gained a never-ending friendship with the Butler Creek staff members I grew to love and cherish.

So, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, or finally found that you’ve rock bottomed out, I recommend that you try becoming a guest at the Butler Creek Health Education Center located in the beautiful rolling hills of southwest Tennessee. My personal experience there brought about phenomenal results and gave me a precious new lease on life.