The story behind the 217


When I entered treatment for the 15th time it was at a new place (to me) in Northern Michigan. This treatment center had room numbers and I was first placed in room 114. I was there for a week or so before being moved into room 217. Here's where I really go to know the other two guys in the room, because after a long day of groups and social interactions with staff and other clients we felt the need to vent. It was our way of processing how our day went, what we could've handled better, and the things that were out of our control. We'd play games to spice up the monotony of the day and the games forced us to make uncomfortable statements in uncomfortable situations. Wanting to win the game and not wanting to let the other guys down, we always played our role. This actually helped us more than we knew at the time. It was so much easier to face the uncomfortable things that led to our substance use than it was to say the game challenges. So, 217 might be an area code in Illinois, but that's not where the meaning comes from in 217 Recovery.

  -Corey Winfield 

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