HUNTINGTON - The big smiles on their faces as they walked into the First Presbyterian Church of Huntington sanctuary to applause said it all - the 20 men receiving their silver chips from Recovery Point of Huntington have reached a point in life many of them didn't even dream they would see.
Thursday evening was Recovery Point of Huntington's inaugural silver chip ceremony, honoring 20 men who have successfully completed all five stages of the recovery program.
"If I asked any one of these guys today what 'trust the process' means, they would say, 'I became the process for others to trust,'" said BJ Litz, program director at Recovery Point Parkersburg.
Because it was the first ceremony, many of the men have been thriving in recovery for a few years now.
Sean Tackett said he now has his own business and is reunited with kids and family, all thanks to Recovery Point and God.
"If I would have settled for what I thought was good enough for me, boy, would I be selling myself short," Tackett said. "Anything is possible."
Many of the alumni said the staff at Recovery Point believed in them when they didn't believe in themselves, keeping them on when they probably could have kicked them out.
"Today shows you that we are making the impossible possible," Anthony Dooley said. "When I came into recovery, I didn't love myself. But I had folks around me who loved me until I could find that within myself. I had brothers around me that believed in me until I started believing in myself. So now today, I believe that you can achieve and do anything you can put your mind to. You just have to want it. You have to believe it."
"Hard-headed people like me don't survive," said Tommy Chaney, who first entered a recovery facility in 2003. "I can thank a lot of these guys onstage today. The only real friends I have, I met in this place."
Clarence Faulk said he calls his entrance into Recovery Point "divine appointment" as he found himself across the street from the facility one day.
"Recovery Point and God gave me more back than I thought I had lost," Faulk said. "I can be a father to my children today. I get to help the next person."
He is now the men's intake coordinator at the Huntington City Mission.
"I'm grateful I get to use my story to help the next person," he said. "There were days in my life where I didn't think I could make it without a drink or a drug. By the grace of God, June 28 I will be five years sober."
Several alumni said they found purpose and new life by giving back.
"Every day I get to see myself," said Ray McWilliams, program director in Huntington, after receiving a medallion for 10 years of sobriety. "It's a constant reminder of where I came from and where I can go back to if I don't continue to work to help others recover from this insidious disease."
The current clients of Recovery Point were in attendance at Thursday's ceremony. Bobby Layne, drug test coordinator, said he hoped it helped them see what is possible if they keep working.
"We have this saying about planting the seed of recovery," Layne said. "Well, today we have our blooms on display."
Recovery Point of West Virginia has programs for men and women across the state, offering recovery services at no cost to the client. To learn more, call 304-523-4673 (HOPE) or visit www.recoverypointwv.org.
Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.