In Living Color

Mountainside M Logo By Mountainside

I was full of renewed hope the day I left Mountainside in October 2015. It was my 2nd rehab in the same year! This time felt different because, at Mountainside, they helped me find ME.

I was a recovering alcoholic, wife of another recovering alcoholic, mother, and a new Nonna (grandma). Life ahead looked and felt good. I was excited but still had some fears as to what my future held. I was to do intensive outpatient treatment at Norwalk Hospital in the evenings. On November 19th, between 5: 15 PM and 5:20 PM, crossing the road to attend my 4th meeting, I was struck by a vehicle.

After 24 days in Yale ICU, 2 months at Yale Hospital, and 2 months in a rehabilitation center, I finally went home. My injuries were severe, and I should not have survived as my aorta was torn and my spine was detached. But by God’s grace, I was, and now 26 operations later, I am in recovery. My sobriety date is August 16th, 2016. I relapsed due to depression and pain – 1 drink! But I had come so far that I realized that it was not worth going back.

All the above has not stopped my outlook on life because I am a survivor. I have survived breast cancer, a terrible accident, and Covid 19. Why?
I realized I could share my story and help others.

I wanted to give back, so I became a recovery coach then a recovery coach professional. I have taken mental first aid courses to try and have a better understanding. I have given over 100 hours of virtual volunteer hours helping those with a dependency that frequently go to the ER at Norwalk Hospital.

Today, I do modified CrossFit. I am an artist in my spare time. I garden. I play with my three grandchildren. I am actively involved with Mountainside.

I recently came back from visiting my family and grandchildren in Southern Italy. We celebrated my 60th birthday there. I tagged on a trip to Rome where I managed to visit the Pope very closely, and I touched him. I also climbed the 316 steps to the top of the Dome! Insane and in pain, but I am truly blessed in my life as it is precious.

As I gear up for another operation (hip replacement – part of my injuries), I continue to appreciate every day, every sober day with clarity and enjoyment and live every moment in a grateful, upbeat way. Taking one day at a time.

Thank you, Mountainside.

Staff Highlight: Courtney Hulse

Hey, Alumni! Courtney from Huntington here, reminding you of the great work you are doing! It might not always be the easiest or smoothest of journeys, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t rich in experience and full of opportunities for growth. The challenges you face today become the growth of tomorrow! Stick with it, breathe through the discomfort, and remember how amazing you truly are!


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.