Ms. LaRue and the Magnificent Gift of a Lifetime Received at “The Magic Show”

Hi….  I have been expecting you…  I really look forward to your arrival…  so don’t forget that we have arranged for a regular meeting together, right here.  I will be watching for you!

Today, as I promised I would, in the first blog, “The Magic Show”, I will try to describe the indescribable during our time together.  Words are indeed powerful instruments, but sometimes, even they are not adequate!  This is one of those times, but words are all I have, so please try to understand!

I had been coming to the Doorway “Magic Show”, I for about nine months, when Mark Burchell, my counselor, first suggested we close the “show” with a prayer.   Being a religious doubter and wanderer, which Mr. Burchell was aware of, my usual response was to say, “No thanks, I do not find much meaning in that, so let’s just move on.”  But something was very different about that day, about 4 o’clock, May 16, 2016.  Some vague force nudged me into participating in that prayer, in that moment!  I mean fully participate as I had never done before!  My mind was open, exposed, and free of any other distracting thoughts.  Very, very unusual for me, as I always like to keep control…  always!

There we were, two people being connected by a prayer!  Mark began, and his words spilled from his heart and out through his mouth, and they engulfed the room like a sweet, light mist filling the entire space.  His voice was the only sound behind those closed doors, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had not heard a prayer in many, many years.  These beautiful, soft, reassuring words of gratitude enveloped me…  I was transfixed and frozen in that moment!  And then it happened!  The most splendid, magnificent bonus of a lifetime!  It was as if I was suspended in that space, in that time…  I was a complete captive of the moment!  It was impossible to let anything else in that space or my mind.  I was being visited by the Holy Spirit!  It was tender, gentle, peaceful and overwhelmingly intense!  Warmth surrounded me… it was as if I was being cloaked in a warm wrap!  I experienced a sense of love in its purest form, and it was beyond anything we understood on this earth.  I was engulfed by it all.  It was very intimate, but not sensual, and it was just for me.  Again, I am trying to relay to you, my friend, the indescribable…  I was scared straight!  A wonderful scared…  I could not get enough…  I never wanted it to end, but then He was gone leaving  me in complete wonderment and joy!  His duty accomplished… a job well done!  It was truly a moment of Paradise… miracles do occur in the strangest of places!

That happened on a Monday, and the following Sunday I was in church for the first time in over 40 years.  I have been there every Sunday since then…  what a beautiful bonus of a lifetime from “The Magic Show.”  I firmly believe that this only happened because the right people were in the right place at the right time!  Somehow, over time, I had moved away from my early, strong Christian training…  I was wandering, but apparently not lost!  I knew home when I saw it!  My joy light was lit!

Come dream with me…  it can happen to you.  Believe!

Boom-Boom-LaRue Asks, “Where Is Your Spot for “R&R”

Do you have a favorite spot for rest and relaxation…  “R&R”  My favorite is “that place” known as Torch Lake in Northern Michigan.  I was showing a friend some photographs, and included were some stunning aquamarine shots of the lake and “that place.”  She was reflecting all the dazzling glory she could muster, in honor of The Great Creator…  He is known to us as God!  The photos were beautifully ethereal in nature!  Spectacular!  Sometimes, when I cannot actually be there, I recreate “that place” in my mind.  A perfect spot to have a private chat with God and some personal reflection.

The natural beauty, the serene and magnificent lake, the evening hush, the stars, the crisp air, and the forest will always be there…  a technicolor testimony to God’s power!

When I have to leave, I leave filled with joy… joy because it happened and because it is on loan to us from God!  Joy because it has the power to rejuvenate me, both in reality and in my imagination.  I have learned an “intense and absorbing respect for life” in “that place” and for He who loaned it to us to treasure while we are here.  Thank you God.  It has been a great run, with you, in “that place.”  I have been so lucky to have shared in the glory of your loan!

Boom-Boom-LaRue, Passenger on our Train

My friends at Doorway to Recovery and I hope that the wonders of that first Christmas will be with you throughout this holy season and always!

We also hope the coming new year will bring you and your family the blessings of opportunity, peace, hope, good health, and love.

Give yourself a gift and wrap yourself in His Word.  Believe it and live it!  Cherish life.  Keep gratitude and kindness with you as close companions, and share these beautiful virtues every day.  Someone generously did that for me when I received the following message.  Now I would love to share it with you… pass it on!  We all want to thank you for being a passenger on this… our train!  God bless you!



A Story of Life

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel at our side.  However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.  As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.  Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum.  Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats.  This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.  Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is:  We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down.  So, we must live in the best way – – love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.  It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

We wish you a joyful journey on the train of life.  Reap success and give lots of love.  More importantly, thank God for the journey.  Lastly, we thank you for being one of the passengers on our train.

Boom-Boom LaRue Talks About Kiss N’ Clean

Yes, it is true, even “rockers” choose to stay “clean.”  Gene Simmons, lead singer from the popular group, Kiss, was quoted in the L.A. Times as saying, I’ve never been drunk or high.  I am not here to convince anyone of my lifestyle.  This is what I want for me.  He further sated he “does not understand why someone would choose to hamper their ability to succeed, by drinking and doing drugs.”  Simmons claims that his drug of choice is his own accomplishments!  Despite being in an industry that practically demands and expects participation in the drug and alcohol culture, Simmons has abstained from that destructive world to honor and respect his mother.  (5th commandment:  “Honor your mother and your father, that your days may be long upon the land, which the Lord, your God, is giving you.”)  She survived the unspeakable horrors of a Nazi concentration camp but most of her family lost their lives there.  Simmons is her only child.  (Leviticus 19:32  “Stand up in the presence of the elderly and show respect for the aged”)

Kiss is the #1 American Gold Record Award winning group of all time.  Simmons given name is Chaim Witz.


“It is better to walk alone, than with a group going in the wrong direction!”
Diane Grant, Canadian playwright and screenwriter.


The Magic Show

Hi…  It is so nice to see you again.  As I promised, I am meeting you here to share some of the magic secrets I have learned at Doorway to Recovery.  Would you like to know what brought me there?  Well, I wandered in the front door seeking some much needed direction with my then 23 year old grandson who was serving yet another prison sentence.  I carefully lugged in a large cauldron of simmering, toxic emotions, known as my mind!  The situation had reached a crisis level and it was slowly eroding away my emotional foundation.

The fire under this simmering pot was fueled by guilt.  The guilt was constantly being stroked by inappropriate thoughts, which led to inappropriate and irrational behaviors.  It finally boiled over, affecting my very being and daily existence.  I was slowly being poisoned by my own thoughts and actions.  I was stewing  in my own juice!  It was violent, sad and crippling!

Further, I was the World Champion Enabler, which I had honed into a fine art!  I grew up with an alcoholic father and Grandfather, and alcoholic step-mother and stepfather, 7 of my 9 uncles were raging alcoholics and eventually my dear mother became drug addicted.  Her drug of choice was Percodan!  They all, every one of them, died from a direct connection to their addictions.  And yes, I am unfortunately all too familiar with the blood, the guts, the mud, the tears, the beer, the fights and abuse, more martinis and lots of Percodan!  These things, and worse, always keep close company with addiction.

In the middle of all this chaos and depravity, I contracted a nasty virus which left me paralyzed from the neck down.  I did eventually recover, but only after months of painful and lonely rehabilitation built around the philosophy of “never give up, never quit, never say you can’t, and I can fix anything!”  How about that for perfect training for a lifetime of enabling!  I proved I was a star pupil… teachers pet!  The clouds were gathering… the perfect storm was approaching!

Fast forward to many years later and there I was standing on the doorstep of Doorway to Recovery with a heavy load of baggage.  I had showed up for the 3:00 performance of the Mark Burchell Magic Show!  I was filled with elation to have found this resource as I fully expected, it would be here, that I would finally uncover the one thing that I must have overlooked that would be the magic to “fix” everything, including my grandson!  I reasoned that this magic show would pull that information and instructions out of a hat, and my eternal and destructive search for a “fix” would finally end!

Needless to say, I got the shock of my life… but I was not disappointed!  The magic proved to be nothing at all like what I was expecting… illusion was transformed into reality.  What a relief… and one of the secrets of this magic show was how to spell “relief”…  it is spelled B-I-B-L-E!  Read it and live it!  I also learned some of the tricks to a more balanced life… I gained my emotional eyesight back and it came with an excellent GPS system to navigate life and all the perils.  I also gained a magnificent personal bonus, a gift of a lifetime, but I will share that particular information when we meet again.  It is a story in and of itself!

The following is some of the magic I would like to begin to share with you, more will follow!  This is just the beginning.  I have found this to be of great value… it is tucked into my brain for future use!  This magic appeared, seemingly out of nowhere during the magic show… abracadabra… it will work for you too!

+    Never make a decision based on guilt!

+    Never postpone joy!

+    Emphasize the part of life you can control – lifestyle and mental attitude!  You can only control you!

+    Don’t do anything until you are asked, and then decide if you can do it, should you do it, and do you want to do it?

+    Love should not be crippling.  Some detachment is a healthy, neutral place to be.

+    Fear and worry are not the same.  Fear is put in us by God and needs to be addressed.  Worry has no purpose and can be set aside.  We create our own worry.

+    If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

+    Open your heart, unconditionally, and let Christ in!  Seek and follow His word… enjoy the magic!

More magic tips will appear in our next meeting.  The joy is in the seeking… the misery is in the denial!


Until we meet again,


Boom Boom LaRue

Greetings from Boom-Boom-LaRue

Hi, my name is Bonnie, (alias Boom Boom LaRue) and I have been wandering into a magic show every Monday for a year!  It was there that I discovered all who wander are not necessarily lost!  I would like to share some of this magic with you.  We could meet right here, at your convenience, and share some of these secrets, tell you about the Lost and Found Department, and the magnificent gift of a lifetime that was bestowed upon me.

I understand how valuable your time is, so we will keep our time together worth your while.  Brenda Dela Casa, author and blogger, once said, Use your time wisely, even when you are alone in the space of your own mind.”  Looking forward to our rendezvous.  I will be here… will you?

Mark Burchell on sober living homes

Mark Burchell, Founder and CEO of The Doorway to Recovery and its sober living homes is pleased to announce that our sober living homes currently have openings for men’s sober living in Livonia, Plymouth, and Westland, and for women in our Redford or Livonia homes.

These Sober Living Homes provide a safe place where men and women are able to work a recovery program, where there is peer support, peer pressure, monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, accountability, and most importantly, a place where men or women are able to work a solid recovery program and maintain freedom from drugs and alcohol!  Our program works, for those who work it!

The success rate is very high for men and women who are committed to a year or more in sober living.  Check out this video, Dr. Michael Fox, on sober living homes and their importance (  In addition to running two private addiction medicine practices, Dr. Michael Fox is the attending physician at St Mary Mercy Hospital’s Chemical Dependency Unit in Livonia, MI.

The Doorway to Recovery has been in operation since 2002, and has been providing superior sober living, a structured recovery program, and an opportunity for continued growth in recovery since it’s conception and first Sober Living Home, the Cooley House ( 

The New Programs offered at The Doorway to Recovery are able to address issues other than drugs or alcohol.  Sometimes it’s a codependency issue; sometimes it is another form of an addiction (gambling, food, etc).  Whatever the case, under our Life Recovery Program, our programs allow for healing from many issues.  Check out our Life Recovery page: (

In the case that an individual is suffering from mental health issues, our staff is able to provide recommendations to local facilities that treat mental health, IF we are unable to address the issue with someone on our staff.  Through our network of referrals, Doorway to Recovery is able to work with dually diagnosed substance abuse patients.

If you have questions about The Doorway to Recovery, its programs, or it’s sober living homes, please do not hesitate to contact our Main Office at any time – 248-987-2696.  Remember, The Doorway to Recovery is always open to you!

The New Doorway to Recovery

To Whom It May Concern,

The Doorway to Recovery Program and Services is pleased to announce our new and improved sober living program. “The New Doorway to Recovery” features new homes, new administrative procedures, and most importantly our new Life Recovery Program, designed to help men and women in and out of our sober living homes achieve continued sobriety.  This letter is to keep you, the in-patient substance abuse treatment providers, in the loop of what we have going on.

The Doorway to Recovery has recently opened a new women’s home in Redford, the Seminole Home, our newest addition to our women’s sober living program.  This beautiful 3 bedroom home is a place where up to 5 women are able to call home, located near public transportation, many employment opportunities, two blocks from the Metro-West ALANO club, and many restaurants and shops.  Currently our women’s homes are located in Redford and Livonia while our men’s homes are located in Detroit (Old Redford), Livonia, Plymouth, and Westland.

The New Doorway to Recovery’s administrative office features effective case management which monitors and tracks our participant’s progress in our sober living program.  With this data, we are then able to report on our participant’s behalf to referring treatment providers, allowing for effective communication and feedback to better serve those in our sober living homes.

The most important aspect of the “New Doorway to Recovery” is our Life Recovery Program, offering several pathways to a full recovery from drugs and/or alcohol.  Life Recovery’s new programs include:  Back to Basics: an accelerated crash course on the twelve-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Life Recovery Bible Study: a comparative group that examines and discusses biblical scripture and its relation to twelve-step recovery, Weekend Retreats:  monumental healing weekends for men and women who are looking for spiritual growth through the guidance of others, in a nurturing and loving environment plus many other programs that focus on healing and restoration.

We are grateful to be able to share these new programs with our local recovery community, and the treatment providers who make the process possible.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time should you have any questions, comments, or feedback.



Ruben M. Carreri
Office Administrator
Intake Coordinator
248-987-2696 – Office
734-237-8171 – Mobile – Email


Good Monday Morning,

Mark Burchell here just with an updated piece of information about one of our former participants.  I asked “C.B.” (abbreviated for confidentiality) how she has been doing since staying in our sober living home…  We were very pleased to have gotten this response:


“This is C.B. I was in the program at Seminole in case you don’t remember I had gotten your email sorry I haven’t replied sooner. Hope things are going well for you and DTR. Just a little quick update on me… I have been working quite a bit, had two grand-babies on August 18th, bought a car, and get my license on Tuesday. Needless to say things are going pretty well I still have rough days, I believe that is called life LOL God i s good! And the promises continue to come. Still working my program and my recovery. Please tell everyone I said hi and I’m doing well. With me becoming mobile next week and as my schedule allows I hope to be able to come around some. I hope everybody is doing well as I said take care have a great day!”


This is truly a great check-in response, and we’re glad to be able to share that recovery works if you work it!  The Doorway to Recovery is always open to you!



Mark Burchell
Founder and CEO
Substance Abuse Counselor
Family Interventionist

Heroin: What is it?

Doorway to Recovery has been very gifted to have a wonderful intern for the past several months helping out in the office.  I asked him to help us out by writing a blog…  He did a great job laying out information about Heroin and what it does.  If you are a family member or loved one, make sure that you educate yourself by reading through…


Heroin: What is it?
Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, which is naturally occurring from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. You know, the pretty red flowers that are depicted in paintings. These pretty flowers!


As beautiful as these flowers are comes a dark and ugly side of them too. From their seed pod, people use the liquids that are extracted to produce heroin. Heroin usually comes in a white or brown powder or in a black sticky substance called “black tar heroin”.

Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected by the user, all of which deliver the drug to the brain very rapidly. With this rapid delivery to the brain, users have a high risk of addiction, health issues and relapse if the person has quit the drug.

How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?
As soon as the heroin reaches the brain, it is immediately converted back to morphine. While in the brain, the morphine binds to molecules on the cells, which are your opioid receptors. These receptors are located all throughout your brain, body and brain stem- which control automatic processes of life, like breathing, blood pressure and heart beat.
Heroin overdoses more often than not involve the slowing down of breathing and heart rate. With breathing slowing down and heart rate dramatically slower, the brain receives less oxygen, a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia can lead to short and long-term neurological effects, including coma, brain damage and death.

Other Health Effects of Heroin
Heroin abuse can and will lead to a number of serious health concerns. Some of which include fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, hepatitis and HIV. To go along with that, chronic  users can develop collapsed veins, heart lining and valve infections, liver and kidney disease, and pulmonary issues due to the effects on the breathing of the users.
Additionally, street heroin contains toxic additives that can clog vessels that help transport vital oxygen, nutrients and blood to the lungs, liver, kidneys and brain. All of which can cause permanent damage to these vital organs.


The use of heroin during pregnancy can lead to a wide variety of different pregnancy issues. According to drug, low birth weight and other developmental issues can develop. also states that if the mother is regularly using the drug, the infant can be born with a physical dependency on heroin thus suffering from a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS.


Breaking the addiction process is a tough uphill battle. A battle that is worth the fight. With recovery, you receive your normal life back and you get restored to your family, friends and most importantly, yourself.

For more information on the facts of heroin and how devastating it is, visit the following:
For help visit or call the following:
1-855-drugfree – 1-1855-378-4373