Robin Trotter: Making a Difference
Meet Robin Trotter! Robin is our new women’s admissions coordinator at the Branson recovery center. She stepped into the job when Jen Brinkmann made a lateral move to our finance department. As the point of contact person for our female clients, Robin now has many important responsibilities.
We recently had the pleasure of spending several hours talking with Robin in preparation for this article. Our original intent was to focus on her addiction and subsequent recovery but, for obvious reasons, our conversation kept gravitating toward her new job, and especially her hopes and dreams for the women under her care.
Robin works at CORE because she is talented and has a heart for God. In this sense, she is similar to all of our employees. Nevertheless, while she is gifted and spiritually devoted, our interview uncovered one curious detail that definitely sets Robin apart from the rest of our staff. This little known fact has to do with her morning commute to work.
Every morning, our employees travel from all over the Tri-Lakes region to get to our Branson location. Once we’ve put on our sunglasses and messed with the car radios, our trips take several minutes or more. For some, the drive takes more than a half-hour. Robin’s morning jaunt, by contrast, is on an entirely different scale.
When Robin puts on her seatbelt and checks to make sure she has everything needed for her busy day ahead, her commute takes – wait for it – seven seconds!
It takes longer to put on shoes and socks than it takes Robin to drive to work, owing to the fact that she lives right next to our Branson recovery center. Her trip is faster than a TikTok video. But please don’t assume this means she gets to sleep in. Robin actually gets up each morning before the sun does. She has important duties to look after even before she leaves for work.
Robin also manages CORE’s intake residence for our women in Branson, and one of her formal tasks happens early each morning. She leads the whole house in a morning devotional which sets a positive and spiritually-focused tone for their day ahead. She shared with us a rare glimpse into this event, which we think is well worth repeating. As she relates:
“Every morning, all the girls meet downstairs in the living room for a devotional. We sit around in a circle and read out of different books. They take turns doing that, and then we talk about it. After that we go around the room and hear what everybody has planned for the day. We finish by circling up.”
Within the house circle, Robin recites a series of positive affirmations for the ladies. They include things like, I am blessed, healthy, confident, motivated, a child of God, and so forth, and the group repeats these affirmations. The devotional is concluded by the whole house saying the Lord’s Prayer together.
We think what Robin describes is a great way to begin the day – for any house, for anybody! And it’s after this devotional that Robin prepares for her famous excursion to our Branson recovery center. “I grab my keys, phone, and coffee, and head off to work. I get in my car, drive a few feet, and I’m here,” she laughs.
Once she arrives, Robin’s office gets busier than Grand Central Station. She serves as the point of contact for our female clients, communicating with them about CORE’s rules, expectations, and services. “Being able to be the go-to girl for over one-hundred women is exciting,” Robin says, and we agree. There’s never a dull moment in her day.
She’s already well-acquainted with her job. Multi-tasking is a must, for example. Robin might be found speaking with a client, taking a call, and typing a letter – all at the same time. Clients also bring family, medical, and legal issues to her. Unforeseen crises also arise that must be attended to. On top of this, Robin is responsible for doing screenings, determining eligibility, and guiding new clients through the intake process. And she must be prepared to provide immediate support and guidance to handle every situation effectively.
Robin describes her life today as full and rewarding, and we can easily see why. Still, she will be the first to point out that this wasn’t always so. She arrived to CORE very much like so many of us do – at rock bottom. “I was at the lowest of my lows when I got here,” she says. Nearly her entire adult life had been wasted in abusive relationships, and on drugs and alcohol. She had no contact with her parents, and she didn’t have a friend in the world. Even worse, she had no relationship with God, and she felt too ashamed to even approach Him. CORE turned out to be exactly what she needed to begin turning things around.
For the first time in her life, Robin heard about the 12 Steps. She also listened to others sharing their experience, strength, and hope. Robin met other women at CORE who had returned to health and wellness even though they once were as hopeless as her. Encouraged, she wasted no time in working her steps. By the time she completed her 5th Step, “I started to feel myself again,” she remembers, “really wanting it, to just keep continuing, to get better and better in my program, and become closer to God”. By sticking with her program, Robin recovered. Looking back on her experience, Robin primarily credits two things for her success.
First, she very much wanted to get right with God. She tells us, “I wanted a relationship with God. I’d been so depressed and miserable, and I worried about my future and what might happen if I didn’t change.” Working her steps made this relationship a reality for her, and along with this came the miracle of recovery and the promises of the Big Book. She tells us, wide-eyed, “once I started doing the right thing and began seeking Him, I accomplished more in one year than I had in thirty“. Robin also got baptized, which she proudly declares “was an act of obedience that shows I’m living for Him now. I am a Christian.”
Second, Robin purposely avoided romantic relationships, a distraction that so easily hinders people from finding recovery. She says, “There was great freedom by not having to deal with that. People just don’t realize that. They think they just have to have a man but, how can getting into a relationship ever work if we don’t fix ourselves first? So, when I got here, I had no intention of looking at another man. Nothing was going to distract me from my recovery program.”
Robin’s enthusiasm eventually led to her becoming a house manager. On social media, she became outspoken supporter of faith and the 12 Step program. At this point in Robin’s testimony, we interrupted and pointedly asked if CORE helped her recovery, to which she nodded, saying “Yes, in every way. I didn’t escape my past until I came to CORE. It gave me a safe place to be while I sorted out my life. CORE showed me the 12 Steps that got my addiction under control. Everybody here has become like my family. I’m very grateful for everybody.”
We at CORE are so pleased for Robin, her new faith, and her new life in recovery. She has friends who love and care about her today, and she has been reunited with her mom and step-dad. We’re especially happy she has become part of our organization. As an added bonus of Robin’s addition to the CORE family, at a recent staff luncheon she introduced many of us to the Korean dish Bulgogi, which was delish! And there also was Kimchi, sticky rice, and egg rolls to round out our dining experience. All in all, we really have to give Robin brownie points for her culinary skills.
So, where does Robin see herself in five years? She thinks a moment and says, “I want to keep achieving and believing, and growing in this job. I want to see these girls make it in their recovery programs.” She then adds, “I love having a job where I can make a difference in other people’s lives. Not everybody gets this opportunity, which is what makes it so exciting!”