By Bryce E.
On Oct. 9th I will be 43 years old and 2 years and 5 months SOBER! On Mother’s Day 2021, my wife dropped me off into the care of Mountainside. She was terrified, and so was I. I had tried to detox and go directly into an OPP without success, shocking I know! I was physically and mentally very ill, though I didn’t know it at the time. I spent a better part of my early teenage years and adult life revolving around drugs and alcohol, 27 years to be exact.
I could “take it or leave it’ when it came to drugs, but alcohol was not something I was willing to budge on. Ten years prior, I had tried to get sober but only lasted about seven months. Fast forward to May 9th, 2021 and my marriage was falling apart, along with my physical and mental health. My career was basically non-existent. I suppose, somewhere in the back of my mind, and/or heart, I knew my life would improve if I could just control or stop drinking.
Somewhere along the line, I accepted my alcoholism as my destined fate, a part of who I was. Honestly, when I agreed to go to Mountainside I really wasn’t totally sold on the idea of actually getting sober. I thought, if nothing else, it was a necessary reprieve from my at-the-time hectic home life. My first days seemed like a blur in detox and then I was off to Resi West for part two of my journey. I was so scared to have a roommate but acclimated quickly.
During my first session of acupuncture, I had an incredible spiritual experience. I experienced streams of unstoppable tears, and intense waves of energy, and afterward, the facilitator sang to my heart and that was nothing short of beautiful. Little did I know that this was just the beginning. For me, the wellness opportunities at Mountainside were paramount to the success of my recovery journey. I took advantage of all opportunities to meditate and bathe in the sounds of gongs and crystal bowls.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some pretty awful moments where I was struggling mentally along the way. I wanted to leave and I definitely drove my wife nuts during my stay with phone calls wanting to come home. I decided to go on the camping trip and it did not disappoint! Meditating next to the waterfall, mindful hiking, grounding in nature, campfire bonding, and sleeping next to the sweet sounds of the babbling creek were pure medicine for my soul.
I left my fears on that mountain and came down renewed with a sense of confidence I hadn’t worn in years. I also completed a walk across the “high ropes” with legs like spaghetti and tears of pride. It all came full circle for me while having a session with Bruce (Mountainside’s Yoda) when I was explaining a vision I had of a hand moving towards me with a tree in it. He said “See Bryce? You gave yourself that gift.” I had given myself the gift of sobriety and the ability to grow as an individual.
My wife was amazing and still is. She got rid of all the alcohol-related items from our house and hasn’t had a drink since, I’m so lucky to have her support in this. The first year was pretty difficult, I broke my ankle that September (trimalar fracture) and it was really bad- drove my wife crazy again. But, we got through it. I had a lot of time to dive deep into meditation and I swear I almost floated back to work. It was so peaceful. Turns out I’m pretty “worky” and I’ve excelled in my career over the past couple of years. I’ve gotten multiple raises and they fought to keep me when another company offered me a job. Things have never been better with my wife, family, and, really, every relationship in my life.
I continued my spiritual journey, frequently meditating in the salt caves, and sound baths, and getting out in nature whenever I can to put my feet on the Earth. I love being in the ocean and reading with my wife. I have gone on many adventures with my family and have many more planned! I’m eternally grateful for Mountside Treatment Center, Project Courage(Old Saybrook, CT), and all of the blessings that have come from my continued sobriety! The new car is nice too!