A Bismarck woman has made it her mission to help others get sober. She is the force behind many sober living homes opening across the nation.
In this Remarkable Women’s story, Megan Frankl is the executive director of the National Sober Living Association wants to share the message inside the mess.
Frankl says, “Everything that I was holding on to told me I wasn’t an alcoholic, right? If I’m going to school to be a doctor, then I must not be an alcoholic. All of that was stripped away and I was left without an identity.”
She grew up in Dickinson, graduated from NDSU with two degrees; a bachelors in psychology
and a master’s degree in clinical psychology.
Frankl explains, “I was going to school to get my doctorate in clinical psychology and that’s when my alcoholism really got the best of me.”
Despite the rough beginning, Megan Frankl is the current executive director of the National Sober Living Association based out of Bismarck, but it took years to get that title.
After being terminated from her doctorate program, she moved back in with her parents at the age of 29. Her disease eventually led her to treatment in Florida then back to North Dakota to Hope Manor Sober Living Homes.
Judith Roberts, director of Hope Manor Sober Living says, “Well, when I first met Megan, she was fresh out of treatment, she had been unable to work for about three or four years due to her alcoholism. Her life was in shambles.”
But there was a message in the mess.
Soon after becoming a resident of Hope Manor, she dove into the program of recovery and began volunteering her time to help with administration duties at the house. Soon after, she became a house manager.
Roberts adds, “Hope Manor is part of what is called the National Sober Living Association.
And through that, we have been trained, we have been certified, we’re inspected. So what has happened over the years is that Megan has been hired by the National Sober Living Association
as the Executive Director of the association, which is a huge honor.”
Even though she’s not a practicing psychologist, she’s been able to use her training to help spot others in need of their own help. And it’s also helped her have the knowledge and courage to speak to people across the U.S. as she’s training and inspecting potential sober homes.
Since her office is located inside The Hub Recovery Community Center, there’s daily access to people seeking sobriety.
Joe Westerlund, owner at 321 Coffee at the Hub says, “When I first moved up here one of the first things I had the pleasure of doing was going on a ride with her to Grand Forks and it was to pick up a young man that needed help and was desperate and reached out to Hope Manor. So we drove
all the way over there and picked the fellow up and brought him back to Bismarck so that he could enter into the program and change his life.”
Frankl says, “I try and let people know that they’re not alone, that there’s a way out and in any way shape or form that I can do that and extend my hand and say ‘I’ve been where you’re at, let me show you the way out’. It’s kind of become my life’s mission.”
And that’s what makes Megan Frankl remarkable.