Tag Archives: Recover Life

Tag Archives: Recover Life

By: Mary Beth McCauley, Staff Writer at University of Tennessee Daily Beacon Feb 9, 2017 — Updated Feb 13, 2017

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour

Knoxville (Tennessee) had the chance to get up close and personal with Justin Furstenfeld, the lead vocalist of alternative rock group Blue October, at the Square Room in Market Square this past Wednesday.

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld's unique approach to his book tour
People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour and his story of recovery

Furstenfeld has been traveling to cities across the country to promote his book, “Crazy Making: The Words and Lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld to the Music of Blue October.” The “Open Book Tour” also gives Furstenfeld the opportunity to share stories regarding his struggle with addiction, depression and relationships along with playing an acoustic set in front of a small, intimate audience.

He kicked off the evening with “The Answer,” the title track of Blue October’s first album, and began to tell the audience about his own personal journey, starting with his teenage years. Furstenfeld led his first band called The Last Wish at only 15 years old, the age that he was officially diagnosed with depression. When the Last Wish split up, Furstenfeld went on to create Blue October.

Although Furstenfeld was raw and honest with the crowd, he told his stories with such charisma and humor that throughout the heartfelt details we were all laughing and smiling. He often reminded the crowd, “This is the open book tour. No holding back.” The auditorium felt like a room full of friends, a safe space to share their darkest secrets.

Furstenfeld played a few other songs from Blue October’s debut album, such as “Black Orchid” and “Breakfast After 10.” In these, the audience learned of his first love, Mamie, and how he forgot her birthday after two years of dating. His belated birthday song to her was “Calling You,” the song that scored Blue October a record deal.

He told the audience about his band’s first 15-passenger tour van — and their second one, and their third. He walked us down the path that began his drug addiction, partying on tour every night in hotel rooms and bars. During this same time, Furstenfeld met his first wife and had his first child, a baby girl named Blue, and that changed everything for him. The audience sat quietly absorbing every detail and feeling every emotion as he told his story.

He bravely shared the details of his divorce, the custody battle for his daughter and his spiral back into addiction. And, through all of these hardships, he continued to make music.

Furstenfeld pieced together all of the major events in his life one by one and sang us the songs that stemmed from those events, making them even more meaningful and emotional for the audience, many of which were already huge fans of Blue October.

Towards the end of the evening, Furstenfeld shared his redemption story. He went through a 75-day program at Cumberland Heights, a rehabilitation center in Nashville, and found his faith there. He has been sober for four years now. The audience cried, clapped and cheered for him, all rising to their feet in applause. Furstenfeld truly was an open book, and told his story bravely without shame, but with hope.

After the show, Furstenfeld took time to meet his fans, shaking hands and signing posters, all with a smile on his face. His merchandise sports the phrase “People Can Change,” the perfect summary of his journey thus far.

Triumph Over Tragedy

One woman’s journey from drunk driving to addictions professional

Drunk driving offender Katrina Cornwell with Fiance
Katrina Cornwell and her fiance, Mike Long, attending Recovery Fest in Nashville, TN.

Louder than the sound of a 44 Magnum reverberating in the memories of my cousin’s failed suicide attempt. More deafening than the thunder in my scariest childhood storms. It was the sound of metal crunching against a concrete wall in the blackest of nights. It jolted me awake while drunk driving in a Xanax and wine induced blackout. I hit something with my car.

I remember thinking, ‘What was that?” but I didn’t see anything. Disoriented and barely conscious, I drove away in the dark.

Click. Click.

The clasping of silver handcuffs on my wrists was a cold awakening the moment the police jimmied open my car door. I’d never seen so many blue lights. I had no idea what was going on, or how my life was about to change.

A failed field sobriety test, a police interview and an inadvertent spotlight on the TV news later; I found myself in the back of a patrol car on my way to Metro General Hospital for a blood-alcohol test to determine the level of my intoxication.

Still clueless, I asked a question of my own, “Am I being arrested for DUI?”

“No,” the officer said. “You’re being arrested for vehicular homicide.”

And from that moment forward, my life has never been the same.

K 2
Katrina Cornwell with her children (L to R) Kavanaugh Creekmore, Kristen Creekmore, and Ian Creekmore.

In one night, I lost my children. I lost my home. I lost my award-winning career as a journalist, and I was labeled a killer who had just run over a father loading his daughter’s truck on top of his wrecker.

I never saw him. I was not able to avoid him. That has been a hard pill to swallow. Imagine how you would feel if you accidentally fell asleep at the wheel and killed someone? That’s exactly what happened to me.

I was drunk driving. I have no excuse. I take full responsibility for ingesting the substances that caused this accident. I’m horrified everyday with the knowledge of a wrong I can never fully make right for the family of the man I ran over that night.

However, this night was also a defining moment in the life of this alcoholic who was able to completely surrender to her Higher Power and allow him to rebuild her piece by piece.

In 2009, I sought addiction treatment at Cumberland Heights. This small step in faith toward a life of sobriety saved my life. In my first primary group, my counselor asked me to tell my story. With each sentence of truth, tears streamed down my face. I allowed myself to be vulnerable in public, and the healing began.

Women in my group said, “That could have been me.”  Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone anymore. I was able to identify. It was an important part of my journey, as was two years of individual and group therapy, regular AA attendance and working the steps after my discharge.

Eighteen months later, I accepted a plea deal for my crimes and was sentenced to 10 years of probation, including two weeks of incarceration at Christmas and at Father’s Day each year. As part of my sentence I was ordered to speak publicly twice a year, but I have done this as often as possible. I never turn down an invitation. I have spoken to more than 1,000 students in Metro Schools, master’s level counseling classes, youth outpatient programs, church groups and even basketball teams. I consider it my life’s mission to use my story to help others.

I have remained sober for the past seven years. The God of my understanding took something so tragic and used it for good. He did this by increasing my faith, teaching me humility by being willing to accept a job at Goodwill when no one else would hire me and by being willing to be of service to other sick and suffering alcoholics.

I have sponsored women, taken meetings to detox units and even taken over leadership for a 12-step book study that has been meeting every Thursday night for four years.

In 2015, I took the next step and made helping other alcoholics and addicts a vocation at Samaritan Recovery Community. During that time, I applied and was accepted into the master of arts of addiction studies: integrated recovery for co-occurring disorders at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies.

Last year, I was hired to work at Still Waters for Women, a 12-step immersion program under the umbrella of Cumberland Heights, and was recently hired as a case manager.

Today, my life’s goal is to help the next alcoholic and addict at the treatment center that gave me life again.


K HeadshotKatrina Cornwell is a case manager at Cumberland Heights, a motivational speaker, blogger and three-time, first-place award winner in the annual Tennessee Press Association contest.

In her presentations, she speaks about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and how those habits led to a drunk driving accident which killed a man in October 2009.

Admission is FREE and includes skate rental. Coffee, Hot Coco and Cookies will be available as well.

cumberland-heights-smashville-outdoor-ice-skating-event-for-february-2017-page-imageThe Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) invites everyone to participate in our Outdoor Ice Skating party! Join us at the Smashville Outdoor Rink on Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 1:30-2:45pm for a private outdoor ice skating party.

  • Saturday February 18th 2017 @ 1:30PM – 2:45PM
  • Admission is FREE and includes skate rental.

Coffee, Hot Coco and Cookies will be available as well. Skate sizes range from Toddler all the way to Men’s – size 14.

Click for more details: https://www.nhl.com/predators/fans/smashville-outdoor-rink

Please RSVP below so we know you’re coming!

Alumni Event Registration & Ticket Purchase

  • STEP 1 - Personal Information

    The cost is $10.00 per person/ticket. Please also provide your name, email, cell & credit card information to hold your reservation. Please note tickets are non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund.

  • Ticket price total: .00

  • STEP 2 - Credit Card and Billing Information

    We accept MasterCard VISA American Express & Discover

    There is a required of $8.00 reservation per person that is non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund.

    Please fill out your name, credit card number, expiration month and year, and mailing address.

Summer is host to some of the year’s most festive holidays and events. Parades, fireworks, barbecues and parties are iconic summer traditions which can be stressful for a person in early recovery. Cumberland Heights staff compiled these 5 recovery tips for summer fun to help you enjoy all the season has to offer.

1. Plan ahead

Don’t let an event catch you off guard. Bring your own beverages to ensure you have non-alcoholic options, and prepare a response if someone offers you an alcoholic drink. Plan an exit strategy in case you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Make certain you have reliable transportation, and bring a sober friend for support and accountability.

2. Do your own thing

Be the party planner. Create a fun barbecue or party so you control the environment. Planning your own event will ensure you’re not put in unwanted circumstances.

3. Mentally prepare

If you’re attending a party or event where alcohol will be served, evaluate your motives before going. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. Ask yourself on each occasion, ‘Have I any good social, business or personal reason for going to this place?'”

4. Attend meetings

Go to a meeting every day of the week leading up to and through the event or holiday weekend. If you’re going to be out of town, check local meeting schedules in the area. Meeting makers make it, and a holiday is just another day to stay sober.

5. Ask for support

Don’t be afraid to call your family or friends and ask for support. Ask someone you love and trust to check in on you throughout the weekend.

The Recovery of Mother's Day

On my 56th birthday this year, I woke at dawn to breakfast in bed served from my 16-year-old daughter and a call from my 81-year-old mother singing “Happy Birthday.” Neither of these things would’ve been possible prior to my treatment of alcohol and drug addiction.

Like so many other women impacted by addiction, I had cut off, damaged or strained all of my close relationships. At 25, I was avoiding my parents like the plague, except when I needed them to bail me out, I ruined my marriage of less than two years, and my job was in jeopardy. My friends were also addicts, and we used each other mercilessly. I certainly didn’t talk to my mother on her birthday, let alone Mother’s Day. I felt Mother’s Day was a holiday designed for guilt, and I wanted none of it.

Today, I view Mother’s Day as a celebration of the ways women bear life in all forms. Nurturing and protecting on the material and spiritual plain; listening and witnessing deeply to dreams as well as losses; sustaining with the essentials of life during hard times; holding the space for tender new growth during the better ones.

It’s those things my mother did for me at the height of my addiction, especially when I was least aware of them—saving a place at the table for me to come home whenever and however I arrived,  the prayers I never knew about yet received anyway. It’s the Big Book she read cover to cover to understand my disease, and the way my very reserved and private mother cried in front of a group of strangers during the Family Program in order to save my life.

It’s the things many women have provided me in my journey. Mothering is the memory of Anne Marie, the nurse who admitted me to treatment and treated me with grace and dignity when I felt I deserved neither. It’s my counselor who said she’d been hopeless too and the clear light of day in her eyes when she told me about the freedom of admitting I needed help. It’s the evening shift tech who sang Amy Grant’s “El Shadai” when I said maybe I could use that phrase to begin my way back to a power greater than myself. It’s my sponsor who listened to me at all times of the day and night, held me while I cried over a lost love, and celebrated with me at my marriage and the birth of my daughter.  It’s the women of Cumberland Heights, along with my faith community, who carried me through my husband’s bypass surgery, feeding me spiritually and literally, until my refrigerator was overflowing with food.

Because they taught me, I have been able to mother my daughter with a heart more open than it would have been. I know that she is more important than the Cherokee vase she broke when she was three. She is stronger today because I know she can take risks, fail and get up again. She takes adventures to other places because I know where to go and what to do to walk through the fear. She is driving now, and we are both safe and sane. All these things are possible because of the women who mothered me in treatment and throughout my recovery. They love me, feed me, protect me, sustain me and teach me how to give it back to my daughter, my mother and the other wonderful recovering women in my life.

If you are one of us, I invite you to celebrate your recovery and mothering along with all the women who have mothered you. If you are not here yet, hurry up! We’re waiting for you. We need you. Let the women of Cumberland Heights love you, because, really, that’s what Mother’s Day is about love. Simply, only, always. Love. And Love transforms lives.

2010 CSF Headshot sm 2

Cinde S. has been with Cumberland Heights for 25 years. Cinde is a bachelor’s prepared nurse with a master’s degree in counseling. She served on the Board of Directors at both AWARE and Thistle Farms. She is an Oral Examiner for the Tennessee Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors and a Qualified Clinical Supervisor for the LADAC.

Cinde received her bachelors in nursing from Western Kentucky University and her masters from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Nationally Recognized Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center Begins Its Year of Celebrating Half a Century of Helping People to Recover Life

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Feb. 17, 2016 – Cumberland Heights drug and alcohol rehabilitation center will spend much of 2016 celebrating its 50th Anniversary and highlighting success stories from thousands of Nashvillians who have received treatment.

50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after "sober coins" that are a fixture of recovery.
50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after “sober coins” that are a fixture of recovery.

“We are honored and proud to have been a trusted provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment for five decades,” said Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights. “Fifty years of experience brings us so many positive examples of helping patients and their families – we hope to be able to share some of these with the community throughout the year.”

In addition to events, Cumberland Heights will open a new intensive outpatient facility on Music Row in Nashville, expand its “Recover Life” communications campaign, produce a 50th Anniversary booklet and increase outreach in various ways.

The official kick-off event took place today with a staff-wide, kick-off party and Coin Ceremony where staff and board members received 50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after “sober coins” that are a fixture of recovery.


50th Anniversary Events and Initiatives Planned To Date Include:

  • Feb. 13 – Alumni distribute “Valentine kits” to homeless community
  • Feb. 17 – staff Kick-Off Party and Coin Ceremony
  • All year – “Recover Life” campaign, story sharing and commemoration coins
  • 50th Anniversary history booklet release
  • April 6 – “The Women’s Luncheon” with speaker Liz Murray, best-selling author of “Breaking Night” on which “Homeless to Harvard” was based
  • May Opening of Music Row IOP (Date TBD)
  • Sept. 17 – Alumni & Staff Picnic with guest speaker Paul Williams
  • Fall – Fundraising Concert at the Ryman (Date TBD)
  • Fall – “Shelter at the Pond” commemoration ceremony (Date TBD)
  • December – Endowment Society Reception

Patients’ families are often included in the recovery process because success depends on a strong support system once they leave Cumberland Heights. “That’s why,” Crosson says, “friends and family are included in many of our 50th Anniversary events.”

New Intensive Outpatient Treatment Facility

Cumberland Heights has had a longstanding relationship with the Nashville music industry. However, it has never had a facility on Music Row. That will change in May when Cumberland Heights opens its first Music Row intensive outpatient facility on 17th Ave. South.

“Recover Life” Campaign

Cumberland Heights recently launched a multi-channel communications campaign called “Recover Life.” The campaign features staff members holding sober coins and saying how many years they have been sober. This month, the campaign expands to include other alumni as well as the families of patients.

A Quick History

Fifty years ago, Robert Crichton Sr. and his personal physician, Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., recognized an unmet need in Middle Tennessee and had a dream. They saw friends, neighbors and patients who were suffering from alcoholism and the disease of addiction. They had a vision of an accessible treatment facility in Nashville. They found a beautiful farm located on rolling hills along the banks of the Cumberland River and said, “What if?” They were, indeed, their brother’s keeper.

It is notable that the charter of incorporation established Cumberland Heights as a private, not-for-profit organization. The founders’ mission was to provide hope and restore patients to the full life of recovery – not to attain personal gain.

Starting with a few alcoholic men, Cumberland Heights gradually expanded to treat women, adolescents and families. Cumberland Heights was a pioneer of 12-Step-based recovery in Middle Tennessee and is now widely recognized and respected as one of the top treatment facilities in America. Cumberland Heights is still true to its original core values that the patient comes first and its greatest assets are its alumni, staff and campuses.

About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding.

For six years, Jason Isbell was drunk at every show he played.

During his tenure with beloved Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers, Isbell planned his drinking to keep him on his feet for the duration of the band’s marathon live shows – barely.

Something More Than Free: Jason Isbell's Journey to His Most Popular Album | Grammy Awards 2016, Individual Class“I had it timed where, by the very end of the show, I’d done just about all I could do standing up,” he told NPR in 2013. “I knew I needed two or three before I went on, and then during the show, we’d just pass a bottle around between the band.” The routine totaled about a fifth of Jack Daniels per show.

And Jack and Jason didn’t get along well: “Some people get drunk and become kind of sweet,” Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers founder and singer-songwriter, told The New York Times Magazine in 2013. “Jason wasn’t one of those people.” It didn’t help that the younger Isbell, a virtuoso guitarist with a proclivity for fast and fiery licks, was also a stellar songwriter, whose finely wrought and frequently heartbreaking character sketches were obviously on par with those of the older and principal Truckers, Hood and guitarist/singer-songwriter Mike Cooley. Isbell, who also managed to marry and divorce then-Truckers bassist Shonna Tucker during his time with the band, left in 2007. At the time, it was portrayed as amicable; in 2013, Isbell revealed he’d been forced out, mostly because of his drinking.

After his dismissal from DBT, Isbell went off the rails a little bit. He was arrested for public drunkenness and at one point accused Dierks Bentley of plagiarizing one of his songs on Twitter. He knew he needed help, and told his then-girlfriend, fellow musician Amanda Shires, he had to go to rehab. Unfortunately, both times he said it, he was drunk. “I only got to do that twice, I think,” he told NPR. The second time, Shires told him, “You’re telling the wrong person.”

Isbell got the message, and in February 2012, spent two weeks in Cumberland Heights, a rehab center in Nashville. Coming out, he started playing live again, dropped 40 lbs. and started writing the songs that would make up 2013’sSoutheastern. That September, Isbell’s song “Alabama Pines” won song of the year at the Americana Music Awards, kick-starting a wave of critical appreciation that Southeastern built upon when it was released in July 2013. The album contains Isbell’s most-streamed song on Spotify, “Cover Me Up,” and the devastating “Elephant” – coined by one music writer as “the saddest song of the millennium” – a quiet ballad about a cancer patient that concludes, “no one dies with dignity.”

Isbell toured steadily behind Southeastern, backed by a crack band named the 400 Unit – after the psychiatric ward of a hospital near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Isbell grew up – that included his now-wife Shires. (“She has a big conscience, a big heart,” he told Rolling Stone in 2013. “Essentially, she’s just a good person.”)

Southeastern was rewarded with a near-sweep at the 2014 Americana Music Awards that saw Isbell take the honors for album, song (“Cover Me Up”) and artist of the year. But none of that weighed on his mind when he returned to the studio for his follow-up, 2015’s Something More Than Free. “I have so many people ask me… ‘Did you feel pressure to follow up Southeastern?” Isbell told Stereogum in 2015. “That same question every damn time! No, that’s not an actual problem to have. I know people who can’t pay their f—ing bills. Following up a successful piece of work with another piece of work is the most ridiculous first-world problem I can think of.”

Sure enough, Something More Than Free was a mature, confident continuation of the work Isbell started with Southeastern. Anchored by the stellar lead single, “24 Frames,” it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Rock, Top Country Albums and Top Folk Albums charts, and No. 5 on the Billboard200. By way of comparison, Southeastern peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard200.

A Life Unmanageable

By Nick S., Cumberland Heights Alumni

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 1 - Nick Salazar (2)

When I relapsed after treatment I realized I was powerless over my addiction. I had just spent 30 days at Cumberland Heights, and was clean for a couple of weeks. I didn’t accept 12-Step recovery as a part of my life. I was unwilling to take the suggestions given to me in treatment, and when my disease told me I should try using “just one more time,” I had no defense. I picked up drugs again and within a month I was in the same miserable place I had been before I came to Cumberland Heights. I realized I couldn’t stop on my own. My drug use spiraled out of control immediately. My life had become unmanageable.

This is when the miracle happened. The seeds planted at Cumberland Heights began to sprout, and I soon realized I did know what to do. I walked into a meeting, and shared as soon as the meeting was open.

“I’ve been lying. I’ve been using. I’m scared. I don’t know what to do, and I need help.”

Once I asked for help, the fellowship was there for me. They have been there for me ever since. I immersed myself in the 12 Steps, and my life began to change. Working the program is the simplest, hardest and most rewarding thing that’s ever happened to me.

In 2015, Nick celebrated three years in recovery and married his best friend, Megan. He is completing a degree in motion pictures at Belmont University in hopes of pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker.


NASHVILLE, TENN. – (November 12, 2015) – Cumberland Heights drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has launched a new advertising campaign with the theme of “Recover Life.”

The first part of the campaign features staff living lives in recovery. In the ad, the staff members hold up a Cumberland Heights sober coin while saying how many years they have been in recovery. Sober coins are common symbols of years living in recovery.

Helping someone recover their life from the grips of addiction is the most important benefit we provide our patients – and their families,” said Martha Farabee, chief development and marketing officer. “We wanted the campaign to reflect our success and our expertise in helping people live a life free from drugs and alcohol. With many of our staff members living successfully in recovery, they are role models for patients and able to build trust that is crucial for the recovery process.”

Farabee said the integrated marketing campaign targets primarily the families of those struggling with addiction, as well as targeting the patient.

“Cumberland Heights includes patients’ families in the process because success depends on a strong support system once they leave our facilities,” said Farabee.

Future ads in this campaign will feature alumni and alumni families. The Cumberland Heights alumni association has more than 10,000 members in the Nashville area.

We’re proud to have served Nashville for nearly 50 years,” said Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights. “Having been a trusted member of the community for so long, our best source of referrals is from our many alumni – or friends and family of our alumni. Next year will be Cumberland Heights’ 50th anniversary and this new campaign is the beginning of that recognition.”

One of the campaign’s consistent visuals is a coin noting the 50th anniversary. This coin is modeled after the concept of sober coins.

The ads will placed on television, billboards, radio, in print and on various digital channels in middle Tennessee.

About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding.



Jamie J.
I recovered life 7 years ago.

Porter A.
I recovered life 3 years ago.

cumberland-heights-nashville-treatment-revover-life-ads-jaime cumberland-heights-nashville-treatment-revover-life-ads-porter

Recovery is Possible

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