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  • Writer's pictureTanya Cook, CAI

Finding Purpose in Your Pain

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

Tanya D. Cook, Interventionist, President & CEO, Emunah Recovery Services


Today I read a story about a father's pain being turned into a purpose. According to the news story, Kevin Simmers fought the war on drugs for over 30 years working as a narcotics officer in Maryland. Thinking that he was making great strides in catching, arresting and incarcerating drug users and dealers on the streets, it was actually his own 18 year-old daughter's dying words that caused him to find his purpose in his pain, and see a better solution.

You see, like my own story with not one but two of my four sons who struggled with substance use disorder, Simmers' daughter was an opioid addict. Also not unlike my own sons, Simmers' daughter was in and out of treatment centers; however, struggled to stay clean. Simmers' faced the same issue that many families face, and that is the barrier to entry to good treatment centers. Even with good insurance, his daughter was denied in-patient treatment because she "wasn't deemed critical enough."

Like my sons, Simmers' daughter experienced several near death overdoses. But it was the final overdose that took her life. Even after he himself had her arrested (thinking this would protect her), she was released and right back on heroin within a matter of hours.

Before she died she told her father she wished there was a place she could go live and get sober. Shortly after Simmers' daughter making this statement to him, she died of a heroin overdose in the backseat of her own car. Simmers honored his daughter's dying wish by opening a sober living home for up to 16 women in the Maryland area.

Although my sons came very close several times, they did not die in their active addictions. I too found my purpose in my pain. If you have a story like Simmer's or even mine, are you looking for the purpose in your pain?

My husband and I truly understand the cycles of addiction. When our four sons were young, the thought of any of them becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol was simply the furthest thing from our minds.

Feeling like we were doing all the right things, imagine our surprise to learn that our two youngest sons would become addicted to drugs. We threw ourselves into learning all that we could about substance use disorder, and immediately sought out help for our sons and for ourselves. To include many inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, co-occurring therapy and treatment, and yes....SOBER HOME LIVING!

Understanding the importance that sober home living played in our own son's treatment and recovery plans, we began to feel a calling to open a sober home living house for young men in early recovery. God began to show us that what was meant for our harm, would be turned into something good. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20

And thus, Emunah Recovery Home for men was born and today our passion is helping young men recover! Located in the Spring/Woodlands area of Houston, Emunah Recovery is a place were men can live in community with other like-minded individuals pursuing long term recovery. A clean and comfortable space with an experienced house manager who can guide each young man through their recovery using an abstinence-based, 12-step, mind, body and spirit approach.

To learn more about Emunah Recovery Services (Sober Home Living | Interventions | Sober Transports) please visit our website at


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