Meet The Team: Lanier Derbyshire

Lanier is a Program Facilitator for Transitional Living at Green Hill Recovery. We sat down with him to learn more about his background and his experience working in our field.

Could we get some brief biographical info from you? Hometown, previous experience, education, etc.?

I was born and raised in Raleigh. I have a fraternal twin brother and a younger sister who I’m very close with. In high school, a big part of my life was running cross country and track for my team. While I was there, we won 3 state championships and placed second one year in cross country. I initially went to Wake Forest for a couple of years and then went to treatment for my addiction. I ended up as a resident at Green Hill and transferred over to NC State where I’m now finishing up my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I’ve been working for Green Hill for a year now and am currently in the process of applying to graduate schools for social work.

What is one thing your hometown could be known for, and why?

I know this isn’t exclusive to Raleigh, but probably late night Cookout runs. That was something that I feel like a lot of high school and college students do here and I still do so today.

What made you want to work in this field?

I want to use my experience to help and make a positive impact on others. Being an alumni of Green Hill, I can first hand say that the impact that it has had on my life has been huge. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help people who are in the same position as I was and to get them back on track.

What do you believe makes GHR stand out in its field, and why?

I think one thing that makes Green Hill great is the organization’s dedication to helping its clients learn to have fun in recovery. Green Hill sets apart time to have a big activity for the residents to attend on the weekends as well as trips like skiing and heading to the beach. Whether it’s a holiday or a resident at Green Hill’s birthday, I see this organization go out of its way consistently to try and make recovery fun for the residents. Learning how to still have fun plays a key part in long term recovery.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day would start with a long run at Umstead park, followed by grabbing some coffee with a friend. I would also enjoy taking my dog to the dog park in my neighborhood. I would end my night by finding a comedy movie to watch while eating some ice cream.

Can you name one role model you have, and why that person has had such an impact?

I’d say one of my role models would be my high school running coach. He made me realize that with hard work and consistency, you can accomplish any of your goals. His passion for the sport of running translated to how I feel about the sport today. I’m grateful to have been coached by him to realize my potential as a runner and a person. Running continues to have a huge impact on my life today by providing me with a community, structure, goals, and a way to clear my head.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? How has that advice affected your day-to-day?

Probably the best advice given to me was by my treatment team in rehab. They recommended that I attended a sober living house after leaving rehab, which is how I came to Green Hill. I didn’t want to do so at the time, but I’m grateful that I did. If it wasn’t for Green Hill or any form of aftercare, I don’t think I could have stayed sober. Therefore, I doubt that I’d be on track to finish college soon, applying to graduate schools, or running, let alone working at Green Hill. Continuing my recovery journey at Green Hill has helped equip me with the knowledge and tools to be successful and live a more fulfilling life.

What is your favorite GHR memory?

My favorite GHR memory would have to be last year’s ski trip. We all shared a cabin and I think everyone got much closer.

What’s one message you wish our clients would always take with them?

As cliche as it sounds, just take life and recovery one day at a team. Being in recovery, especially as a younger person, can be daunting to think about being abstinent for the rest of your life. I can get into that mindset too and it isn’t helpful and just stresses me out. I have to remind myself that all I can focus on is what is best for me right now and not to worry about the future. This saying has helped me get through some of the harder days and if applied to anything, it can make life seem a whole lot simpler.

Quick hits:

Favorite Movie: Silver Linings Playbook
Favorite Food(s): Chicken Parmesan and Ice Cream
Hobbies: Running, Playing Fortnite, and Basketball
Favorite Album: Nothing that comes to mind, but I mainly listen to hip-hop
Favorite sports team: Any team that LeBron James is on
Pets: I have a wonderful dog named Bailey
Dream Vacation: Kenya
Favorite Book(s): Relentless and Can’t Hurt Me
Favorite Podcast(s): Probably anything that includes professional distance runners
What you wanted to be as a kid: A Rock Star