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James B.

January 16th, 2020

As I walked into Mountainside I had no idea what to expect. I knew things were going to change but I never believed that this experience would have changed me in so many positive ways. Though it is just the beginning of my journey of recovery, Mountainside has given me an amazing start. The first couple of days were very emotional. On the third day I broke down, started to cry in front of all these men. This was my first great experience. The outpouring of love from these men was overwhelming. They helped me through this and it was so awesome how a bunch of tough men could do this. The first week was a roller coaster of emotions, and it was the staff at Mountainside who encouraged me and gave me insight to deal and accept these emotions.

In the first week, I hurt my knee, which turned out to be a turning point in my Mountainside journey. The entire staff showed empathy and also showed me that I had to come to terms with this on my own. The routine I grew comfortable with changed because I was on crutches and movement was very limited. It threatened my self-reliance. I had to turn to others for help. With the encouragement from all the staff, it made every day a little easier and more hopeful. I looked forward to every single day, even with all the pain I was going through. The staff was always there asking about me, offering their guidance and wisdom to help me through this. Everything from my meals, getting my medicine, my therapy, group therapy, and the groups helped me to grow. The leaders always made my day better and more hopeful. I grew to love and enjoy meditation and yoga. I even do these things to this day.

Frank, my clinician, helped me in so many ways. He helped me learn to cope with life and find out who I was and can be. About halfway through my treatment at Mountainside I had to leave because of my knee. Once I heard this, once again I broke down. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was filled with fear; fear of not knowing if I could make it, sadness because I was leaving all these phenomenal staff members. Before I left they set me up with a sober life coach. Little did I know this was going to be the second best thing in my life. Before I left I met this person over FaceTime. I didn’t know at the time how much this person from Mountainside in Chelsea, New York, was going to affect my life. This person, Alex, helped me to do things I said I would never do. I never thought I would go back into AA. Now I go to 7 meetings a week and I have a sponsor, do step work, and have a home group. She even helped me go to a refuge recovery meeting and I do that twice a week. I even have a refuge mentor! I’m now 51 days clean and doing sober activities with sober people I have met through Mountainside. Every Monday night after my meeting, I take a workout class and a mindfulness class at the Mountainside Chelsea location. I owe all these great experiences to you, Mountainside. I would not be here if it wasn’t for everyone there. I wake up every day with a new appreciation of life. I’m finally free. I deeply love everyone from Mountainside and everyone will always be part of my life. They are my second family. I would like to thank everyone there for everything they have done for me. I know it’s their job but to me it’s way more than that. I owe my life to Mountainside.

Voting period is on February 17, 2020 up until March 9, 2020.