SMRS Staff Highlight: Kevin Butler

"I spent over 40 years addicted to alcohol and other drugs. By the age of 50, I had reached my bottom. I ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. I would have died within a year if I didn’t stop drinking or be in desperate need of a liver transplant. At that moment is where my journey of recovery began. I prayed to my Higher Power, whom for years I did not have a relationship with, asking for forgiveness, healing, and directions. After a few weeks in the hospital, my road to recovery became clear. A dear friend of mine heard I was sick and asked me to go to a meeting with him at his church, and I agreed. I walked in that meeting room, and there, I had a spiritual awakening. There I found forgiveness, healing, direction, and most important to me, love. I spent the next few years healing and learning the 12-Steps and the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery.

After being a refinery technician of almost 30 years, I decided I wanted to give back and become a counselor, so at the age of 55, I went back to school. During my internship, I was assigned to Royal Palms. Just like the meeting room experience, when I walked into Royal Palms, I knew that it was the place for me. I love what I do, and I always remember something my sponsor once quoted to me: 'Make your message and not yourself the most prominent thing. Set your heart on what your higher power has given you to do, and don’t be so foolish as to let your own difficulties or your own abilities stand in the way.' My experience with staff at Royal Palms is like working with family, and it is always rewarding to me to see the change in the residents’ lives. Also, I can say that my life has changed for the better. I have recovered from liver cirrhosis and am living a life far more rewarding then I can ever imagine."