Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.
When I first arrived at START UP, I immediately fell in love with the facility and the people.
Jeff, Gregg, and Patricia were amazing, the staff was great and made me feel safe and welcomed, and the other residents brought me joy and happiness. I had a community where I could be myself and share my experience with others. My favorite part of my stay was building connections, bonding with everyone, and being able to laugh again. The programming that was offered was amazing; daily reflections, nightly meetings, and the sober mentor meetings were all tops. I stayed in a breathtaking room, which had an amazing view and made me feel very at home. The amenities START UP offered, such as their pool and Micko's great and tremendous nightly dinners made my stay even better. For anyone who is looking to get better, my advice to you is to not be fearful, START UP is a safe and amazing place!
Having struggled to achieve sobriety off and on for years, I can honestly say that I owe my life to Gregg, Jeff and Patricia.
Their commitment, caring and experience are un-paralleled. There are many choices for recovery, but the accommodations, facilities and services at START UP RECOVERY surely are the among the best in the world - a superb staff dedicated to client comfort and needs; numerous extra-curricular activities including pottery classes, private trainers, yoga classes, sound baths and personal coaching with Gregg; superb healthy food from the talented private chef and a fully stocked fridge and pantry.
Additionally, it was especially helpful for me to have an array of nightly AA and NA meetings to choose from as well as Thursday night meetings lead by an accomplished speaker entrenched in the 12-step program; to have help in finding me a great sponsor and to acquaint me with a first-rate selection of intensive outpatient programs that have been enormously helpful to me.
I cannot recommend START UP RECOVERY - Gregg, Patricia and Jeff and their entire staff - too highly.
I want to take the time to tell you about my experience at START UP RECOVERY.
In January of 2019 my life was turned upside down from a long journey of addiction and depression. Little did I know that the next year would see me change my address five times in thirteen months. Because of God, great family and friends I was blessed enough to find out about SUR, their incredible staff and co-founders Gregg Champion and Jeff Vann. If it wasn't for the kindness, compassion, structure, resources and support from SUR I don't know where I would be right now.
I had no idea where SUR was or what they were about when I had to make this life altering decision. As I made my way up the coast from San Diego, I found myself in the surreal picturesque geography of the Pacific Palisades. At first when I arrived nervous and saying what the F#$@ happened to my life, I was greeted by an intake technician named Matt and Gregg Champion. Immediately they made me feel welcomed and safe in the midst of an inner hell, and a complete disorientation of any world that I had previously known. Not knowing where I was going at first to get the help I desperately needed, I couldn't believe that I arrived at such a beautiful home atop the hills of the Pacific Palisades looking out onto the Pacific Ocean. After I took some deep breaths and was shown around, I went out to the corner of the backyard to gaze out into the abyss, I told myself... don't waste this incredible opportunity to get up off the canvas and fight for your life again!
As soon as I settled in, I was surrounded by loving and supportive staff members who structured a daily routine that helped me slowly rebuild my inner strength and a path back to truly living. I was amazed by the resources that they made available such as, Yoga, breath work, sound bath, gym, and anything that was a benefit to your mind, body and spirit. As well, there was transportation to any meetings or personal obligations, a personal chef named Micko that absolutely provided any culinary desires, resources for outside therapy and the availability of someone to seek counsel 24hrs a day. On top of this, SUR provided the most unique and qualified guest speakers and coaches from all over the spectrum in their specific fields in recovery.
I could go on, but what I am trying to convey is that I hit the spiritual lottery when I found myself in a very dark and foreign place along my journey through this world. It was the staff members, Gregg and Jeff that helped me find my way again. Life will always present its peaks and valleys, but when you’re wrestling with your plight and you’re meaning with your precious time here, and you’re battling with your "Dark Night of the Soul'', I am so thankful that there was some place like SUR and the people who were there that guided me back to living and loving myself again.
“When I woke up....” I broke out of detox 2 days early. The plot was on by my loved ones: “He needs help.” I knew what they were thinking.
“Those idiots,” I griped.
Every addict knows what people think about them. We pick up on every insinuation. The merited condemnation is too much to bear, so we choose to be alone. We lock ourselves in a prison. The only voice we have left to keep us company is our wretched minds. We are bombarded with incessant self-loathing, craving only more poison to silence the cacophony. Relegated reprobates, alone and unknown, we neither live nor die...until we do.
When the stratagem was deployed, my ragged head and bleary pupils encountered Greg, Jeff, and Patricia aka Mamma Bear for the first time. I had been so accustomed to judgment, condescension, and narrowmindedness, that I only expected more of the same. To my astoundment, their kind gazes and understanding eyes immediately dismantled the intransigent guard. I felt seen. I felt known. And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like the refuse of the earth, ineluctably hell bound. In short: I felt loved.
Hope emerged. Comfort came. I could see. I could taste. I could smell. I could...BREATH. I was HOME. And it all happened in a blink. “I’m gonna go pack up my shit and come right back.” As promised, I did just that. The way had been shut, but now the door had been opened. Thank God I walked through.
The withdrawals that first night were dreadful. But I did sleep. A mantle of peace does that sort of thing. When I woke up the next morning, the backyard view announced a new day. The light air and blue sky were a hug from Heaven. “I don’t want to be anywhere else.” For the next two months, I would have the time of my life.
START UP is an ethereal agent that saved my life. The "idiots" were right. I DID need help. But I needed the 3 things an addict needs more than anything: love, acceptance, and understanding. To Gregg, Jeff & Mamma Bear: I love you. If it weren’t for you, I’d already be dead. Thanks for the "help".
We wanted to express our thanks and gratitude for taking K.M. after our family intervention to get him to get help for a second time.
There have been a lot of emotions but he is almost 100 days sober so we can’t lose sight of that great progress. There is no doubt his success to date was due to his time at START UP and the love, sometimes tough love, that he received from the three of you and the START UP family.
M & J -- Parent of former resident
I think the best thing about START UP is the people (don’t get me wrong, facility, program, etc. is great).
You guys walk the walk… You have always been there for Ryan even afterwards… even through many trials and tribulations, he might continue to struggle but he knows that he is never alone…. And for that, I am eternally grateful!!
C.O. -- Mother of former resident Seattle, Washington
Our daughter who stayed at START UP RECOVERY for 4 months has now been sober for 18 months and is currently in a College arts program.
START UP played a huge part in her recovery and in this process.
She was diagnosed with a learning disability and oppositional deviant disorder in school. She had difficulty with school work and with making and keeping friends and was often angry and withdrawn. We tried multiple therapists/psychologists over the years, but no one could get through to her. She was confrontational and unhappy, not to mention drinking every day. She dropped out of high school and moved in with her boyfriend when she was 17.
In late 2018, we found an amazing sober coach/mentor, who was finally able to connect with her. Over the next year, we saw things improve significantly, but she would continue to fall off the wagon every few months. It was then that START UP was suggested as it was a sober living community,
Throughout her time at START UP, she slowly began to open up. She immediately connected with Jeff, and then slowly was able to begin friendships with the other residents. Jeff and Gregg and their team, along with their outreach program, got thru to her in a way we never could. We see her using the strategies they taught her every day.
But they didn’t just treat the alcoholism, they helped her to visualize and plan for a future without alcohol. They set up a painting studio in the garage. They helped her design a website to sell her paintings. They arranged for her to meet other artists.
She had to cut her stay short due to COVID, and is living with us now. She is an absolute pleasure to live with. She is back to being the strong, brilliant, creative, hilarious kid she was when she was a kid. And when she does struggle – like we all do – she is finally able to ask for help.
We can never thank you enough!
Sincerely yours, Donna and Michael
Where do I even begin to describe the most life-changing event I've ever had?
Well, it began with my meeting Gregg (referred by a great friend), Jeff, and Patricia of START UP RECOVERY. My first step was truly finding humility and realizing I could not continue to fight my alcoholism alone. I felt comfortable and safe and decided to fully trust these people, now solid friends of mine, basically with my life. What I found at START UP was an all-encompassing rebuilding of my mind, body, and spirit. I had no problem damaging these on my own, what I needed and received, was thorough and gentle repairing and rewiring. Gregg and his staff made me feel very comfortable in every sense but at the same time kept me busy in this process. I was immersed in continual twelve step practices and education but also provided with a large variety of thoughtful activities for my mind and body to enable me to really regain my confidence and sense of worth.
The START UP program works for all types of people; young, old, active, sedentary, introverts, extroverts, I was amongst them all. Although I entered the program feeling isolated and afraid, within minutes I was made to feel very comfortable and at ease. Within a week all these various strangers (the staff included) became my very close and trusted friends. This team building was a huge part of my success in giving me the realization that I wasn't alone and that I now had a solid support group that I could trust and who could trust me. With anything. I was challenged in a good way with the material and activities and honestly became excited to begin each day learning and progressing. As I approach my seventh month in sobriety, I have become a fully reborn better version of former self. I now love myself again and this love trickles down through all aspects of my life. It's very tough to sum up my gratitude for these people as they very truly did save my life. It's difficult to notice one's own progress through this journey as it does not happen overnight. For me it hit me when my son and each and every one of my friends and loved ones smiled and hugged me, all amazed at the dramatic changes in my entire being. Spending time sober and fully engaged with my son now is nothing short of something out of my dreams. I really do owe the entire START UP team my lifelong gratitude because what they have given me is a lifelong gift that I can only hope to also give to someone else.
Dear Gregg and the whole START UP team
I hope you are doing well and had a happy and healthy holiday. I just wanted to share some exciting news with you. I finally got the results of my petition and I am happy to report that I am APPROVED.
I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for all of your help and guidance along the way. I could not have done it without you!
I am forever grateful to Jeff and Gregg and START UP for their unwavering commitment and genuine concern for my husband's well-being.
I was pleasantly surprised with the involvement and commitment made by Jeff and Gregg genuinely showing their concern and desire to help my husband. They invited me to be part of the process and together we formed a team along with my husband and the professionals at his IOP to devise a plan that was completely custom to my husband’s needs. This was the first time that I had experience such a hands on approach. For the first time in years, I saw so much positive change in my husband. He worked the program they have planned and themselves to his recover. I am still in disbelief sometimes when I see the transformation that happened in such a short time that he has continued to maintain. I am forever grateful to Jeff and Gregg and START UP for their unwavering commitment and genuine concern for my husband’s well-being. If you are a loved one of someone struggling with addiction, you probably know the fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness that can exist. I can say that based on my experiences with my husband’s journey through recovery, there is no place or program that has done as much for him as the team at START UP.
Lisa F. -- Wife of a SUR Resident
After two failed attempts in Rehab, and coming to the realization that “My Way” was not going to work...
I reached out to START UP RECOVERY for help. Jeff and Gregg clearly explained to me and my family that I needed a BIG BOY TIME OUT, and needed a longer RUNWAY of recovery before returning home. Gregg set me up with a life changing IOP (whom I still work with today) and personally coached me every week. Gregg was available for me. It’s just that simple. I have been a business professional for over 20 years and want to say, ‘These guys have something special!” Shifting Addiction to Passion. Well that’s their tag line. All I can say for myself, is that it is coming true for me ONE DAY AT A TIME!”
Brian F. -- C Suite Executive