Meet Greg Casey
Meet Greg Casey
Greg Casey, one of main 12 Step Contacts for The Plymouth House, has been with the treatment center for a little over a year. We sat down with Greg to discuss his personal experiences with substance use, his transition from client to valued staff member, and what his current role entails.
“I’ve been a 12 step contact for 3 months and was a Tech for around 10 months before that,” Greg explains. “Filling this role was just a natural extension; I absolutely love what I do now. Pretty soon after I started as a Tech I knew I wanted to eventually become a 12 Step Contact, which would allow me the opportunity to work more closely with clients. Part of my role is helping clients work Steps One through Seven while they’re engaged in the program. I have my caseload, and we spend the first couple of weeks on Step One and Two working up to Step Three.”
Greg explains a big part of his role is helping clients who might be experiencing some resistance to the idea of actively participating in a 12 Step program. “I feel fortunate to be able to help a lot more people in this role,” says Greg. “I’m one of the three main 12 Step Contacts, and my main goal is to help clients work towards a personal spiritual experience. We guide them towards finding their Higher Power. Some people come in pretty resistant to the concept of a Higher Power and AA as a whole, others have tried everything and are ready to try something new. In the end, all you can really do is be willing to BE willing to experience something greater than self. I try to use my personal experience to help those who are currently where I once was. I wasn’t resistant to a Higher Power, it was just something I had never explored.”
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One of Greg’s main responsibilities is running group workshops. “I run anywhere between 5 and 6 groups a week,” Greg says. “They always look different, we might do a Little Big Book Group, which is about 2 hours a day of breaking the Big Book down line by line. This starts about a week into the program. We run groups on anything and everything.”
When asked what about starting the 12 Step process was the most challenging for guests, Greg responded, “Step One can be tricky, and I didn’t realize what a hurdle it was for me until years into my own recovery. It took me out a million times. People who go in and out, in and out; it seems they usually struggle with the concept of powerlessness. The biggest hurdle is getting people to acknowledge, ‘No matter how I try to do this, no matter what that looks like, I’m going to wind up in this seat again.’”
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Greg brings his personal experience with the Plymouth House program to his group sessions and the one-on-one work he does with current guests. “I’m originally from Massachusetts,” Greg explains. “I had been to The Plymouth House twice, and the second time I transitioned into a sober house owned by the Executive Director. I had been there for around 14 months when I started working for The Plymouth House, which was about 30 minutes away. After I went through the program I stayed on as a Monitor, which is a guest they allow to stay on longer. As a Monitor I would wash dishes, clean up around the facility, and have the option of participating in groups. So I was actually there for about 5 months in 2013.”
Greg continues, “I believe with all of my heart that The Plymouth House taught me how to live a life. It gave me, for the first time in my life, a solution to my alcoholism. The program transformed my life; it gave me ownership of my disease. I was able to finally say, ‘Yes, I have this thing, and I have the power to reclaim control of it.’”
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Greg notes that The Plymouth House is very near and dear to his heart. “The program laid out a clear path for me,” he says. “I learned that I could keep doing the work and stay in recovery, or stop doing the work and go back to the life I had been leading before. If you told me a few years back that I would be working here, I would’ve told you that you were nuts. I come from a sales background, it was never in the cards. But when I got well and started letting my Higher Power lead my life, I was brought here. It’s been such an amazing experience being able to help people and work with the people I look up to.”
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