Click to learn more about Robert White
CEO & Founder
Click to learn more about Logan Herring
Click to learn more about Matt Lowman
Director of Operations
Click to learn more about Matt Gideon
Community Relations Director
Click to learn more about Tyler Rives
Alumni/Volunteer Coordinator and Mentor
Robert White’s Story
I was born on April 11, 1988, and raised in Odessa, Texas. My dream was to excel in all aspects of my life. At least that was my dream before I met alcohol/drugs. My drinking career started when I discovered liquor in my dad’s cabinet at around the age of 12, the alcohol was what kept me sane, or so I thought at the time. I began experimenting with drugs (mainly marijuana) at around 14, which I honestly believed was normal to do at that age. I never had any problems in school and was an athlete, so I did not see any reason to stop smoking or drinking because I had not run into any consequences yet. I swam on the varsity swim team my freshman year through my junior year and excelled as a place kicker and a punter on the varsity football team at Permian High School my junior and senior season. I began experimenting with many drugs, but alcohol and marijuana never left my side. I got into trouble for the first time in my senior year in high school. A car pulled out in front of me while I was intoxicated and that was the first of many legal consequences I endured during my addiction. I received a DUI, and that is when my parents started to notice I was spiraling quickly out of control. The summer that I was to graduate from high school, I had the opportunity to play college football but instead chose to party. Little did I know or failed to admit that I had no choice whether I was going to use alcohol or drugs. By this point in my life, I was completely powerless over my addiction and began to lose all control once I started drinking or using drugs.
This way of life became normal for my family and me. I ended up in my first treatment center at age 18. My parents sent me to a treatment center in California, and I learned much about myself but refused to admit to myself that I was the real alcoholic/addict. After this treatment, I continued to justify that I was too young to be an alcoholic or addict and proceeded to partake with my insane lifestyle. I would move from city to city blaming the people around me for my actions and consequences. After my third treatment center, I was introduced to heroin and began to see that I was hopeless and defeated.
Heroin addiction is something that I do not wish upon anyone, but I am grateful for it because this substance would allow me to reach a place of powerlessness that I had never experienced up until this point in my life. I could not function with or without heroin, and soon I would encounter more legal consequences, sleepless nights for family and friends, and more institutions that I would not take seriously. I went back to treatment in 2010 facing five years of prison from the life that I had decided to live. Due to my actions, I pleaded guilty and received thirty months in prison. My family was heartbroken. Never did they once think that the man standing before them, with such great potential, promises of having a successful and productive life would be going to prison. What would others think of him? What do we tell our friends? What do we say to the rest of the family? How did we fail as parents? These are the thoughts that plagued my mom and dad.
Even this severe consequence of going to prison failed to keep me sober. I did not get it. Why could I not just live life without people thinking they knew what was best for me? I continued to justify and rationalize why I was unique and different. This delusional state brought me to yet another relapse while I was in prison. I was in prison for seven months and used drugs and alcohol for the last four months. This experience taught me that no amount of human power or consequences could keep me sober. What a powerful truth to swallow. I was defeated and hopeless. Could I be willing to try a new way of life honestly? Would I take the necessary action to recover from addiction? Or would I continue to justify and rationalize why I am different than others and continue to cause wreckage in my life and those around me?
I cannot thank God enough for intervening and saving my life. The experience in prison was a real Godsend. Near my release date in prison, I began thinking of how I could get back on the path of recovery. There were so many people out in the community that I might be able to help if I were to get sober. I began daydreaming about assisting others to find a solution to their problems. When I got released, I had a different attitude than I did in past recoveries. I finally admitted sincerely to myself and others that I was an addict/alcoholic.
My family and I opened a sober living home, Any Length, in 2012 and I met a group of men that were passionate about helping others. I followed their direction and began to live a life based on three principles, willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness for the first time I to action in all Twelve Steps of Recovery. I began to feel free from the bondage of addiction and set out to make amends to those that I harmed in the past. Finally, all my old ideas were gone, and I began to allow God and others to help guide me in a new direction.
I can’t explain in words why recovery was different from 2012 to 2013 than in the past. What I can say is that it takes someone and myself to continue to be willing to go to any length for victory over any addiction. It took the same amount of willingness I had when I was using drugs and alcohol. When I was using, I was willing to go to any length to get whatever substance would change the way I felt, whether that meant lying, stealing, and manipulating. I and others in recovery must have this same willingness if we are to retreat our lives. We must be willing to live a principled life, help others in recovery, and be present for our family and friends.
My team and I continued to grow Any Length by being of service to the men and families who came to our sober living home. In 2016 we opened up Any Length Retreat, a men’s recovery center. We have created a place where men have the opportunity to find a permanent solution to their addictions. I have fun with my family, and they can go to sleep knowing that their son is alright. Recovery has given me a beautiful wife and two dogs that I get to be present with every day. Recovery has given me peace and freedom to go anywhere in the world without worrying about using drugs and alcohol. Today, I get to wake up and be a productive member of society and go to sleep knowing that I get to be a part of something special. My sobriety date is April 28, 2012, and I never thought that I could recover. Recovery has taught me to stop doubting myself and instead take the next right action, get quiet and listen for guidance, reach out to my brothers in recovery, and stay engaged in recovery.
Recovery has taught me there are a few simple requirements for permanent recovery. These requirements are— Trust God, Clean House, and Help Others. With the help of God and the fellowship of the spirit, I hope to be able to guide others in the direction of recovery that myself and others have been able to experience. To help show others recovery is life, and we can have the best experience we want as long as we remain willing, honest, and open-minded.
Logan Herring’s Story
My name is Logan Martin Herring and I was born on January 9th, 1992, in Houston, TX. People sometimes ask me, “What happened? What event in your past caused you to want to abuse drugs?” My truth is there was no event. I was raised in a loving family, that provided for me and taught me the difference between right and wrong. I never experienced abuse or neglect. In fact, the only thing I ever experienced growing up was unconditional love and support.
So then why? Why would I turn to drugs and alcohol? Well, for no apparent reason from a young age I never quite felt comfortable in my own skin. Growing up I always felt like something was missing and I had a hard time connecting with others. It was this nervous disposition that didn’t seem to go away as time went on. From Kindergarten to High School I went to a Baptist Church, and I remember seeing people with their hands in the air during worship and people tearing up talking about the power of God. I on the other hand, felt nothing but this nervous disposition.
Freshman year of high school a friend of mine invited me to his parent’s ranch in Buda, TX, where I was introduced to Tanqueray Gin. I took five shots chased by some warm Budweiser beer. For the first time in my life I felt completely free, I felt comfortable in my own skin, and I felt truly connected to the people around me. I had found, what I thought was the solution to all of my problems.
For the next couple of years my drinking became more and more constant. Junior year of high school I was kicked out for drinking on campus and was forced to move to a public school. Shortly after arriving at the new school I started experimenting with other drugs and continued to drink. Around Senior year, friends and family began to suggest to me that maybe I had a problem, but to me it was just “normal partying”. I graduated from high school in 2010 and went to the University of Alabama, where I studied Political Science. My goal was to graduate with a high GPA and go to law school so I could eventually take over the family law firm. I did well Freshman year, but the drinking and drug use had become an everyday thing.
After Freshman year I transferred to Texas A&M University where I continued to pursue my degree in Political Science. During this time, the wheels really began to fall off. I was drinking and using drugs every day and started to get in trouble with law. I was arrested my Sophomore year for a DWI and possession of a controlled substance after driving my car into a ditch. After bailing me out of jail, my parents drove me straight to inpatient treatment. This was the beginning of a three-year stint of being in and out of treatment and jail. I attended four more treatment centers, was arrested multiple times, and worst of all the drugs and alcohol had stopped giving me the peace and contentment it once did.
On December 21st, 2015, I had reached a point where I couldn’t imagine life with or without alcohol and drugs and I finally wanted sobriety for myself. At this point, I checked into a 90-day facility in Austin, TX completely broken and hopeless. Shortly after arriving I was introduced to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Growing up Baptist and getting kicked out of a Baptist school, had kept me from participating in a spiritual program for years, but at this point I was willing to try anything. I began to work the 12 steps and my condition began to change. I started feeling the same peace and comfort that the drugs and alcohol used to give me when they still worked. I began to feel comfortable in my own skin, and for the first time in my life I truly felt connected to God and the people around me without having to put a substance in my body.
After treatment, I continued working the steps and stayed in Austin. I got a minimum wage job, was taking the bus around Austin, and attending 12 step meetings daily. Although my external circumstances seemed unsuccessful I was the happiest I had ever been because I was putting my recovery first. Quickly after getting sober and working the steps my external circumstances began to change as well. About a year into my sobriety I was working at a law firm, had purchased my own car, and was happier than I had ever been. A few months later I heard of a position opening up in the recovery field working as a mentor at the Any Length Retreat, which I knew was a 12-step intensive program. I reached out to Robert White and he hired me as a mentor.
Finally, I had found my purpose. God had brought me through all of my struggles with addiction so that I could help other men dying from the same struggle. After working as a mentor for 6 months I was promoted to Director of Admissions and Business Development, then 5 months later was promoted to Executive Director. Today I get to do what I love and use my experience to help others, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Matt Lowman’s Story
I was born April 15th, 1988 in Virginia Beach, VA. My family loved me, provided everything I needed, and I was in great health. As I began to grow up, I realized that I did not like life very much. School was very tough for me in the social sense. There was no place for me in the world and I wasn’t like these people. This kind of mental state put me in constant tension with everything around me. I found myself getting into trouble continuously during my early childhood years. After years of acting out and getting in trouble in school, my disobedient behavior began to escalate.
Rebellion against the system started to look like using substances. I stole my dad’s tobacco and began using it when I was 10 years old. Also, I would take sips of alcoholic beverages when adults weren’t looking. No one peer-pressured me into it, I sought to change the way I felt through the excitement of doing something forbidden. At 11 years old, I decided to take it one step further and bought some marijuana from an older kid’s brother. I smoked it, by myself, with a pipe someone showed me how to make. Again, this wasn’t about being social, it was about changing the way I felt.
Eventually, it did turn into something social because I started bonding with other kids through smoking pot. Alcohol was still in the picture, but it was not preferred. Alcohol was more of a tool to use when it came to hooking up with girls. Females were also something I used to change the way I feel. I didn’t realize I couldn’t have a healthy relationship because I was, in fact, internally sick. The sickness progressed, and it turned into harder drugs. Cocaine, Ecstasy, and many other drugs entered my life during high school. Then came the needle.
I was 18 when I went from injecting Heroin in the back of a car to waking up in a hospital room with no idea how I got there. One would think that an event like this would be powerful enough to get someone to stop. I was high the next day. Similar events continued to take place. I began to steal and hurt people on a regular basis. I was in and out of treatment, unemployable, unstable, and unwelcome by most people in my life. My parents finally cut me off after tens of thousands of dollars and multiple vehicles. I stayed homeless, shooting Meth for the last year of my addiction. Finally, through all the misery and suffering in the world, I decided I was going to take every suggestion possible by those in recovery. I was willing to go to Any Length.
God began to open doors and life started to get better. I spent my first period of true recovery living in Any Length sober living. Being in a structured environment with genuine accountability provided the guidance I needed to work a legitimate program. The twelve steps began to transform me and produce an entire psychic change. I began to bring God into all my affairs, not just my drug and alcohol problem. Was I showing up as God would have me as a son, brother, friend, employee, boyfriend, or any other role I had in this life? God had to be everything from when I woke up until I went to sleep at night. However, God, is not about not making mistakes or never falling short. God is about moving forward and making things right when I have strayed from the spiritual path. Living every moment to seek what God would have me be and trying my best to achieve that ideal is real recovery. I was a very real and active drug addict for a decade and a half. Only, very real recovery, was going to set me free.
Matt Gideon’s Story
I was born on September 26th, 1989. My parents split up when I was only a couple of months old, so I grew up constantly moving back and forth between Los Angeles, California and Arlington, Texas. Alcoholism was no stranger to me, seeing as my father had been an alcoholic since long before I was born. That being said, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was going to have to endure as a result of my drinking and drugging.
For as long as I can remember, I carried an unbearable pain and discomfort deep inside of my soul. I would later learn that this was known as the spiritual malady. I had always felt different from everyone else, as if I didn’t know where I belonged or if I even did belong anywhere at all. This pain led to anger problems and many behavioral issues. I spent years going from therapist to therapist, being misdiagnosed with different disorders, and prescribed various medications. Nothing worked, until one day I was introduced to marijuana. I found something that seemed to make all my anxiety, anger, and depression disappear. It also opened the door to a new identity and a new way of life. It didn’t take long for the unmanageability to begin after that. I began getting in trouble with the law, getting kicked out of school after school, and treating my family with utter disrespect. I said I would smoke marijuana, but I would NEVER touch anything harder than that. Before I knew it, I was abusing any substance I could get my hands on. Once I was introduced to heroin, the darkest of my days had arrived. My friends were dying left and right. I would overdose every so often. I was miserable. I tried everything I could think of to get my life together. I would often try a change in location, hanging out with different people, suboxone maintenance, different forms of spirituality, fitness, martial arts, self-help books, etc. Nothing worked. I always ended up using again.
On March 10th, 2016, my family surprised me with an intervention. They caught me at a time when I was absolutely defeated, and I had realized that I was truly powerless over this disease. I had never been to treatment, nor had I been introduced to the 12 steps. With the tiny bit of willingness that I had, I accepted their offer of 90 days at a 12-step immersion treatment center. I had no idea what God had in store for me. I arrived at the facility with no more fight left in me. I told the staff that I would do whatever they asked me to do. I took direction. When they recommended 3 months of transitional living after treatment, I accepted. When they recommended 12 months of sober living after transitional living, I accepted. I continued to get out of my own way and allowed my Higher Power to guide me. It has been a crazy journey, but today my life is more beautiful than I ever could have anticipated. I have a healthy, loving relationship with everyone in my family. I have devoted friends that hold me accountable and want to see me happy and successful. I work at Any Length Retreat, where I get to spend my days using my experience, strength, and hope to help men find the freedom that I am so fortunate to have found. I no longer hate myself. I no longer must suffer. I have found love and liberation.
Mission Statement: “To continuously grow in faith, wisdom, and compassion, and to use my experience, strength, and hope to spread love and light to those who are still suffering.”