After over 35 years of problem drinking, I thought I had had enough. Mountainside appeared a good fit for me, and it was. I arrived in November of 2009 and I vividly remember how difficult it was for me to walk through the door. Similar to two magnets pushing each other apart, except inside the building, Mountainside was welcoming me. I learned so much during my 28 days in North Cannan, but, as I realized later, I wasn’t quite ready. Three and a half years of suffering remained. Then, on May 16, 2013 I had finally had enough. I checked in on that day and have not had a drink or drug since. I was ready and Mountainside was there to help me get started.
Now, almost ten years later, I continue to make use of the wonderful tools I learned here, most especially the Mind, Body & Spirit program. I remain connected as an Alumni Ambassador and a frequent guest speaker and alumni event participant. The key factors to my recovery have been connection with others and taking things in small blocks of time…just for today, just for this hour, etc. I identify as a free-thinker and my path of recovery is multifaceted. I make use of everything that is available to me, including, but not limited to: 12 Step meetings and fellowship, SMART Recovery, Y12SR, Dharma Recovery, service work, a meditation practice, hiking and a connection with nature and animals, an exercise program along with sensible eating and not smoking… you get the picture.
It’s not work, it’s how I want to live my life. The larger my toolbox, the greater the chances of me not using today. I make no promises about what might happen tomorrow, but I can say that nothing can happen today that will cause me to drink before midnight tonight. It has long been a dream of mine to work in the recovery field in some capacity. My therapist was often suggesting a recovery coach course might be a good path for me. I procrastinated about this for several years, then covid struct.
I was home with time on my hands and the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy was offered online. I had no excuse. I took that course along with a few others. Following retirement from my longtime profession last winter, I commenced work at Aware Recovery Care, an In-Home Addiction Treatment Plan. Now, I am doing something I truly have a passion for, something that gives me purpose. As I tell all the clients I deal with, “I have no magic answers and no great wisdom. I can only share what has worked for me and what I have witnessed working for others.” It’s wonderful seeing folks getting on a better path of life. It certainly helps my recovery and reminds me of my most important lesson: I can not do this alone.