1. What is your role at The Magdalen House, and what does a “typical” day look like for you?
I am a Program Coordinator with the Next Step program. Next Step is a non-residential, three phase program that gives alcoholic women the tools to grow in their recovery. A typical day might include phone screens of women who are interested in the program, preparing for my groups, and facilitating a Next Step group. A day often includes texting and phone calls with the participants as well.
2. What is your favorite line in the Big Book?
I really love where the Big Book says that alcoholics should have chocolate available to them at all times!!
“He thought all alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available for its quick energy value at times of fatigue”
– Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Page 134
I also love in Bill’s Story when Bill states
“Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.”
– Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Page 13-14
I have found this to be true in my recovery; at different times I was lacking either willingness, honesty, or humility. Once I was desperate enough, I found it easy to be willing, honest, and humble.
3. What’s something you’ve witnessed at The Magdalen House that inspires or moves you?
Whenever I see a woman helping another woman, it always moves me. The peer-to-peer support is part of what makes Maggie’s so special. No one has to stop and comfort a crying woman, help someone understand a part of the Big Book, or offer to sponsor women in the house. However, whenever there is a need, there are usually several women who eagerly seek to be of service in different ways.
Additionally, I get to experience women beginning to develop new behaviors in their lives. I get to hear, “Normally I would have done ___, but now I know to do ___.” I feel so honored to be a part of that journey.
4. How has working at The Magdalen House impacted your life?
Working at The Magdalen House has given my life meaning. It is so powerful to witness women change their behavior and thinking so that they can lead productive lives. Working here also inspires me to work hard on my own recovery. When I see women working hard on their recovery, it motivates me to do the same.
5. What are some of your hobbies, or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I enjoy reading, spending quality time with my family, watching true crime and documentaries.
6. What’s something that we may not know about you?
I started working at the age of 14, and I’ve had a wide variety of jobs. I’ve demonstrated vacuum cleaners at Sam’s, made muffin batter for a muffin shop, waited tables, worked retail, taught high school, and worked in college campus ministry. Each job has taught me something important! For instance, while waitressing, I learned how to carry 3 glasses in one hand, and that was an important skill to have when I had kids.
I also ran a marathon without training properly. My longest run prior to the marathon was about 10 miles. I don’t recommend that! I was in my 20s so I didn’t do the damage that I would have done if I tried to do that today.
About Michelle Killian
Michelle Killian grew up in Omaha, NE, and moved to Texas to attend college. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, and later a Master of Theological Studies, both from TCU. Michelle has worked in college campus ministry and was a high school teacher for 10 years.
Michelle first came to the Magdalen House in 2019, where she came to understand the 12 Steps and the Big Book like never before. The gratitude she felt for her experience at Maggie’s has kept her close to the house, serving as a regular overnight volunteer.
In her free time, Michelle loves to carry the message to the still-suffering alcoholic woman. Michelle lives with her husband Aaron and two daughters, Anais and Amelie, her dog Myla, and two guinea pigs, Daisy and Ibuki.