“I was afraid that at any time I might hear that he was no longer living,” shares Kirk Long’s mother, Kay. Kay, 84, has seen her son through deep darkness. A hard lifestyle of addiction coupled with mental health struggles led Kirk to homelessness and desperation.


In fact, Kay recounts purchasing a suit for her son’s funeral. Heartbroken, but practical, she was close to hopelessness.


Thankfully, Kirk found Healing Transitions and things slowly started to change. Despite visiting over 40 detox centers, Healing Transitions’ non-medical detox center provided something different. Kirk shares, “I was met with unconditional love. I was at the point where my drinking was the last thing I had that gave me any sense of comfort. But, all the staff in detox, they let me be me. I could be the full range of emotions. I could express myself in the way that I wanted to. There was something about Healing Transitions that made me want to conform. It drew the best part of me out of myself, and I didn’t know why.”


Even with renewed hope, Kirk faced trials of detoxification and heightened mental health struggles. The medication he had been taking for 30 years to help his schizophrenia was no longer working. He started having severe psychotic episodes, and the staff at Healing Transitions had to intervene. Kirk was a harm to himself until a staff member was able to meet him where he was and talk him off a ledge. Thankfully, he soon found new medication that met his needs, helping him take the next step in his recovery journey.


Now a Silver Chipper and two years sober, Kirk acknowledges there is more work to be done. “I have the hardest work I’ve ever done in my lap today and that is to take responsibility for the emotional healing that God shows me.” Kirk is quick to share his connection to his higher power and show love to his family, especially Kay, for her unending support.


Kay shares her thankfulness for Kirk’s journey, including the transformation that happened at Healing Transitions, “Healing Transitions has done so much for my family. Kirk has been in and out of many programs, but this one has been so fulfilling for all of us. It has worked with him and we feel that we’ve been included on the path of his sobriety. I speak to people almost daily about what a wonderful place Healing Transitions is.”


Kay was overjoyed to sell the suit she bought for Kirk’s funeral. You may have read Chris’s blog about the momentous exchange!


Kay’s closing words ring true for every parent looking for a refuge for their child: “I’m just so happy to have my son back.”