Faces of Rosecrance: Michael Oldenburg

Michael has been with Rosecrance for ten years and currently works as a Recovery Advocate at Rosecrance Harrison Campus. Before coming to work for Rosecrance he was in the military for six years, serving two tours: one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. “It shaped who I am today. When I was a kid in high school, there wasn’t much hope for me scholastically. Being in the military gave me a chance to grow up and get some direction. I would have stayed in for twenty years, but I started a family.” Michael has been married to his high school sweetheart for twelve years and has one boy and two girls. “It just grew on me; I fell in love with the field.”

As a Recovery Advocate, Michael works with both clients currently in treatment and out of treatment to help maintain their recovery.  The “Care On-Call” hotline is available to any client that successfully discharges from inpatient treatment; it’s a support phone number that’s available 24/7 for those clients to speak with a counselor.

“There was this kid, his name’s Johnny. He was a friend of mine from the 12-Step community. He showed up in detox, and I asked him what happened. He said ‘I know what happened: I didn’t go to a halfway house.’ And I encouraged him to go to one. So he went to a halfway house, and showed up again in detox six months later.

“I asked him what happened and he said ‘This higher power thing, I really struggle with it.’ So he went back out and joined an alternative religion. Three or four months later he was back in detox. This happened like six times. The last time he came back, I said, ‘What happened, Johnny?’ He said ‘You know what, I have no clue. I’m done.’ And he’s been sober ever since.”

“I tell that story to the clients because when they come in with good ideas of how they’re going to control their recovery, it goes contradictory to the old sayings of ‘rock bottom.’”

*The name in this story has been changed to maintain confidentiality.