Steve Diggs Photo

How One Man Changed His Life at Above and Beyond Recovery

Steve Diggs is Chicago native that found himself in a world full of abuse and addiction. It was his troubling past that brought him to the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center.

Diggs was raised by a single mother due to his father not being present in his life. He was born and raised in Chicago. As a child, Diggs was molested by someone he believed to be a great person, one of his family members. Like most people suffering from traumatic childhood experiences, he didn’t tell anyone about this molestation until he married his wife about 8 years ago.

The Drug Takeover

Once Diggs finished high school, he went to work and it was about this time that he developed a drug addiction. When he first began to use, it was for recreational purposes.

However, once he shared his the story of some of his past trauma with his wife, his addiction began to spiral out of control, putting him a position where he desperately needed help. Diggs suppressed everything.

It was then when he realized that, all along, his addiction was caused by him trying to hide from such a traumatic experience. He was putting on a mask and acting out of control; something he never did when growing up.

The Search for Help

After his life turned to shambles, Diggs found himself walking along the street after a binge of getting high. He passed the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center for Addiction and Treatment and noticed that employees were passing out food to people on the street. That is when Diggs decided to walk in and ask about what the center was passing out.

Little did he know that this decision would have a tremendous impact on his life.

Diggs spent some time talking to employees and learning about the recovery program and different treatment options available. He mentioned that he did not have insurance but was looking for help. He left the building with some great information but waited another week until he decided to go back in. Like so many that come to Above and Beyond, he had to come a couple times to really understand all it had to offer him.

The Road to Recovery

Now, Diggs attends the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center 5 days a week! He is also a mentor for others just like him.

Diggs loves all of the classes and has tried each one, besides yoga which he says just isn’t an interest of his. He believes that the smile group is what saved his life, along with the much-beloved Terry London who sat him down and explained to him that life is made up of choices.

After spending roughly 30 years being high, Diggs had to make the right choice. He began to take classes that taught him important life skills while other classes introduced spirituality to him. He joined a purpose group while also participating in brainspotting.

What is Brainspotting?

According to Good Therapy, Brainspotting is a relatively new type of therapy designed to help people access, process, and overcome trauma. Many mental health professionals have found it to be an effective form of treatment for a variety of mental health concerns.

According to therapist and creator David Grand, the direction in which people look or gaze can affect the way they feel. During a session, therapists help people like Diggs position their eyes in ways that enable them to target sources of negative emotion. Therapists are then able to access emotions on a deeper level and target the physical effects of trauma.

Diggs feels that brainspotting is the tensest form of therapy he has experienced while on the road to recovery. It is something he really can’t explain, but he can explain how it is much more intense than other support groups or other forms of therapy.

Diggs had always questioned why he was the one that was molested? Was it his fault? What did he do wrong? After multiple sessions, Diggs was able to release those negative thoughts that were holding him back from living a happy and successful life. As counselor Terry London often says, “what happened in the past may not have been OK, but it doesn’t have to define our today or our tomorrow.”

Being a Better Person

Diggs believes he is now a much better person compared to who he was before treatment. He is now a better stepfather and grandfather, plus a better husband to his wife.

Growing up, Diggs had no relationship with his father due to the hatred he felt towards him. He was never taught how to be a child. He never learned how to throw a baseball, ride a bike, or roughhouse with his father.

After living a life of sobriety, Diggs is now able to be cordial with his father. The two are still working together to get to a point in their lives where they can learn to forgive one another, but that may take time.

Living a Great Life

Steve Diggs can’t imagine his life without the people he has met at the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center for Addiction and Treatment. Every day, Diggs mentions the center while on the bus, at restaurants, and even at church. He tells everyone about how amazing the center is and how it has truly made him a better person.

Diggs didn’t believe recovery was possible at first, but now he wants people in a similar situation to his own to know that treatment works! Brainspotting has changed the way he looks at life and recovery; he no longer hates the life he is living. Diggs is now living a much happier life, as he should, and has been successful in helping others just like him.

Diggs wouldn’t have been able to make such a strong comeback without the help of those that donate to the center. Those donations help people like Diggs recover and live a fulfilling life!

He encourages everyone that is struggling with something to reach out and ask for help. That initial ask is what can change a life forever.

Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center is a completely free addiction treatment, behavioral health, and life skills counseling center right in the heart of downtown Chicago. We offer 5-star outpatient treatment for those who can’t afford it! Our mission is to help all those downtown who may not have a home or resources to access treatment on their own. If you would like to learn more about us, please schedule a tour or contact us anytime.