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Reflections on Gratitude and Giving Back

January 20, 2014  |  By Abby Greenup

As we settle down to business in  the New Year, I have had time to reflect back on the many ways Duffy staff, the community and our clients all worked together to make the holidays a time of gratitude for what is right in the world.

The holidays make me nostalgic for the days when my family came together to give thanks and to celebrate the goodness in each other, and also give support to people who are less fortunate than we were. I’m sure this is true for many people, but before the holidays at Duffy this year I heard one woman’s story that put the season on clearer perspective for me.

While in the midst of trying to pull many projects together like the Homeless Person’s Memorial Day, Santa’s Elves and the Giving Tree at the Church of the Messiah, I had the pleasure of sitting down and having a conversation with a young woman who exemplifies the spirit of giving back not only during the Holiday season but also on a daily basis. I saw her walk through the doors at Duffy, scared, desperate and hopeless. Watching her journey out of the dark and into a brighter place has given me hope and a sense of gratitude for both the patients and the Staff at Duffy Health Center.

Before I walked through the doors at Duffy I was a mess. My life was falling apart around me. I felt that every aspect of my life was unmanageable. I was hopeless. I had been through a few detoxes and psych facilities yet still felt lost. I knew there was a bit of a wait to start the OBOT program, but I was desperate, and wanted to change my thinking, behaviors, and overall health. I made a commitment to follow through with my weekly appointments and take responsibility for myself and my recovery.

The positive attitudes of the Staff at Duffy are contagious. I work closely with John, Danielle, and Dr. Lisa. My Providers have helped me to attain the personal goals I have, and how to manage when I feel like picking up or giving up. I also participate in a Women’s Group which has helped me to learn patience, honesty, tolerance and how to stand up for myself. Duffy’s warm embrace that I feel as soon as I walk in helps me know that I am welcome and respected here. The care and genuine compassion that I get at Duffy helps reinforce that by making choices that are healthy and productive I can be empowered. I have rebuilt trust and I continue to work on maintaining healthy boundaries within my relationships. In the past I have settled for less. Now I am learning to say no and to fill my life with positive people and things. I can see a light at the end of what was once a very dark and onerous tunnel. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have my family back in in my life and a safe place to live.

With the tools that I have learned at Duffy and also in the Hyannis community, I have been able to volunteer and relearn the life skills which are imperative to my well-being. I am held accountable for my actions and for the decisions I make. I have told many of my friends about the services that Duffy Health Center provides because I know the services have worked for me and that they can work for others as well. People at Duffy believe in me, and want me to succeed. I feel a sense of pride and gratitude. I have a choice. I feel free.


Even though the holidays have passed, please consider keeping the holidays spirit alive consider making a donation to Duffy Health Center. Every dollar helps to provide the care that people like Vanessa receive. Please help others to have success stories like hers.

Click to make a secure online donation through Donate to the Duffy using PayPal