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Your Impact

Trevor's Story

A second chance at life...

My name is Keith Shaffer, and my sobriety date is 03/17/19. I had my first encounter with substances when I was 14 years old. I tried weed for the first time with a group of friends. The insecurities and general discomfort in my own skin were completely wiped away, and my only regret at that time was that I hadn’t tried this years ago. So, I used again. Eventually, weed evolved into alcohol and other substances. This compulsion of ‘more’ could not be satisfied no matter what substance I was using.

I grew up in Dover, Massachusetts in a very loving and supportive family. I played college football, I was well-liked by my peers, and I even produced an independent film that won 6 awards. All this time, I was using drugs and alcohol just to get through the day, but I reached a point where the substances weren’t providing me with the escape they once did. I knew deep down that I couldn’t go on this way.

When I was 30 years old, I was arrested in front of my parents for a second probation violation and thrown into Norfolk County Jail. I was faced with the decision to either make an honest attempt at recovery, spend the next year in jail, or end my life. It was the darkest time I have ever experienced, and thanks to my parents and probation officer, I was introduced to Gosnold.


I will never forget the sense of hope I was provided upon checking into Gosnold. I was riddled with fear of what lay ahead of me, and that same insecure boy was now a man with his only coping skills stripped away. I was treated with nothing but compassion and kindness, the Gosnold staff and community loved me until I could love myself. I completed my treatment plan here and pushed myself through the full suggested continuum of care.

I have stayed connected to Gosnold in one way or another since being admitted as a patient.

In March of 2020, I began doing some contract work for the marketing department. Over two years later, I am the Director of Marketing and Alumni Relations, and I get to work my dream job for this amazing organization that saved my life. It is an honor to lead Gosnold’s marketing initiatives during our 50th year, to be the Team Captain for the Falmouth Road Race, and launch the new Gosnold App. This App is designed to allow all alumni of our programs and services stay connected to Gosnold, no matter where their journey takes them.
Today I am an active member of the recovery community, a son, a brother, a fiancé, and a father to my son Carter who was born in October. I have a second chance at life, and I owe that to Gosnold.

A new beginning...

My name is Marisa Hagen, and my journey in recovery started at Gosnold in 2018. I had been dependent on substances from my early teen years starting with drinking and smoking weed, which gradually snowballed into opiates and anything else I could get my hands on. Throughout my twenties, I stumbled through life, barely managing to keep restaurant jobs in order to support my partying and addictions. By my early thirties I was so sick and tired of carrying around the burden of addiction and the guilt it came with that I knew something had to change. I had tried to get sober on my own multiple times, but nothing worked. By then, surrendering to a detox facility was the only option I had left. When I learned about Gosnold, the stars aligned and I asked myself, “how could I not take this chance?”

The day I checked into the Gosnold Detox was the first day of the rest of my life. The immediate sense of hope I was given by the staff, the comfort of fellow addicts getting treatment, and the daily meetings were such a big part in my staying there and committing to the process.

When I checked into Gosnold, I was certain that after a seven-day detox, I would be returning home to my old ways; but after being there just a couple of days, I committed to Gosnold’s recommended treatment plan to get my life back on track. I trusted them.

Thanks to Gosnold, my life today is second to none. In sobriety, I have become a mom, a wife, and a homeowner, and I have also launched a career in real estate. These are things I was sure would never be possible for me. They were dreams I had abandoned in all the wreckage I had caused in my life. I don’t forget where I was 4.5 years ago and I hope I never do. I am eternally grateful to Gosnold and the hope that they provided on that very first day. As a result of trusting the Gosnold staff and the programs they offered me, I have been blessed with an amazing new life.

Resilience in recovery...

My name is Cheryl and I’m an alcoholic. When I was asked to share my experience with Gosnold, my first thought was “Why would they want to hear from me as it took seven attempts at Gosnold for me to finally stop drinking?” Yet, after some thought, I realized that this fact is one of the most powerful reasons I am still sober today.


I had many years in sobriety, but that changed several years ago when I experienced a huge loss in my life. I stopped going to meetings, fell back into my disease, and struggled for two very difficult years. I lost everything. At 59 years old, I got my first DUI and totaled my car. But that still wasn’t enough for me to stop drinking. I traveled around Massachusetts with a suitcase and a bottle and reached such a low point that even I didn’t recognize myself.

I knew I couldn’t keep living this way, so when someone told me about Gosnold, I checked myself in. After a few days in the detox, I felt better and went home, and after a short time at home, I fell back into my old routine. This became a vicious cycle. I would go back to the detox, feel better, then leave and drink again. Throughout this time, and no matter how many times I did that, I was always welcomed back with compassion and understanding. Gosnold was always there.

My last visit to Gosnold’s detox was at the peak of Covid when every organization in the world was in shambles. During this time of uncertainty and chaos, the Gosnold staff was always professional, kind and focused on recovery. This time, I was finally willing to stay sober and follow my long-term treatment plan.


I love my life today, thanks to Gosnold. I have my own apartment, a 5-month-old puppy named Willow, and my amazing AA friends. But most of all, life today is so much better because of how I feel. I always drank because of feelings, and today I stay sober because of feelings. I have a great connection with my Higher Power, I have stopped struggling with most aspects of my life, and I have finally come to understand what acceptance, and ‘letting go’ really mean. Thank you, Gosnold.

Jeff's Story

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