My journey began on a chilly Sunday morning in the backseat of a rental car. My brother-in-law was driving. We headed into the beautiful Berkshires — a place unlike any other that I had ever been to. My mind still in a fog from my final bender the night before. It seemed so surreal yet not. It was really happening. I was really doing this.
You are often asked in group what sent you to rehab. I cannot pin it down to a single incident. I was not ordered by the law or by my family. I had not hit a ‘rock bottom’ as it is traditionally defined. I was laid-off, but due to organizational reasons. It had been a blessing, and it allowed me to decide to change my path. The previous decade was filled with telling incidents. The blackouts and emergency room visits were becoming impossible to ignore. Eventually, my luck ran out. And with my severance, a door had opened.
Thanksgiving was the turning point when I decided that it was time to get help. My sister told me it was the last one she would spend with me if I showed up inebriated again. Panic about frantically finding employment gave way to a firm resolve. At this point in my life, I could afford to take a couple of months off. I had the means and no encumberment of a boss or work deadlines. New employment would find me when I was ready. There was no excuse.
Mountainside was a strange new world, but I immediately felt welcome. I felt like I belonged here, and I had a purpose. Even though I fantasized about relapsing on my first night in detox, I knew that it wouldn’t happen. I was immersing myself in the process with both my mind and body. For the next five weeks, I learned about myself.
I learned about others and connections. At first, it almost seemed like I was a different person, but I realized that I had become myself for the first time in decades. I learned how to meditate and love it. I took acupuncture. What I learned opened up a whole new world to me.
A lot has happened in the 18 months since I left Mountainside. I went straight to IOP and then promptly relapsed. It was bad and nearly killed me. But I continued to remember what I had learned at Mountainside, and once again, was able to channel the sober, better version of myself. I went back for a second IOP. And I have been in regular outpatient for well over a year.
I found a new job, and I am in a position where I am thriving. While I have not kept to all of the new practices I had pledged to when I left Mountainside, I have developed others. I love being sober. It’s as simple as that. I love being able to feel things – even bad things. And even with the bad things, I now know that I can figure out how to overcome and not head to the liquor store. And I still make my bed every morning.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
Click here or call (888) 833-4676 to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.