It has been one of the most enlightening experiences that I could have ever been a part of. My transition from being an overly aggressive, very inconsiderate individual has now been transformed into a person of love. It didn’t come without hard work, because it damn well wasn’t easy. I overcame two addictions. One was cocaine, and dealing my debilitating thoughts to use. And with the help of staff and the love and support of just being able to heal in a healthy environment made it that much easier to have a good experience.
And then the second part was, I quit smoking. Everyone thought I was taking on too much, but I couldn’t have picked a better place to get rid of that addiction, as well. Searidge has been a helping tool to my sobriety.
Psychologically, issues that I have experienced that are now in the past— debilitating thoughts. I was holding onto thoughts of feeling no self-worth. A controlling family that would take things away if I didn’t conform to their demands. Example, if I didn’t mow the grass or snow blow the driveway they would re-evaluate the will. If things didn’t go their way and I put up walls, they would basically threaten to disown me or they wished they had never adopted me. So they would threaten, they would take away love. “I love you today, but I can’t love you tomorrow”. Just hurtful things. Showing up for events with my daughter and them walking right by my daughter. Those things used to really cause the main trigger for me to use, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. After working with Dr. Reid, Drew, Alnoor, Lydia, Lindy, all the support staff, Dale and Al, the night staff. I was able to process those negative forces and make it something more positive. Embrace the change, that I don’t have to take their words and make them my own, I can make my own words now.
Would I recommend this place to someone else? I think everyone should come here. I can think of many neighbors that are dealing with depression. I don’t look at this place as a rehab, I look at this place as a health and wellness center. An amazing place just to finally find yourself, and people should be happy to come here. We all have some type of struggle. I drove myself here, because I wanted something better in life. Now that I see what it’s like to feel love and have care, that’s what people should want out of life. And this is the place you can come to get it. If you ask for help, you get it back. I asked for as much help as I possibly could, after I got through that initial withdrawal stage. Once I had a clearer head, I was able to focus on myself. Basically, you need to give yourself time. If you need time to sleep, you sleep. If you need time to eat, you eat. If you need someone to talk to, there’s 20 people here. The biggest people I got a lot of information from, was clients. Because they’re going through the same problem you are going through—and that’s addiction. The counsellors can say there things, but until you ask a fellow client, it’s like going to AA. A fellow addict can help a fellow addict.
How do you feel about going home?
Scared, but I’m at peace. Going home is leaving this place of beauty. We’re in this little bubble, as we describe it here in class. Everyone is happy, and is supporting you. And you’re going home to the unknown. My analogy was that when I left on day one, me and my wife were on the same path. Thirty-seven days later, I’m now at the finish line and she’s still on day one. The only thing I can do is send pictures of myself to my wife, who says that I have more colour. What I have now, is that I know I have her in my corner as a cheerleader. That’s the only person that matters now. Before, I was focused on too many different people. Now, I’m just focused on the ones that share the same passion of living.
What do I plan? Taking things slow. Now that I have a clearer head, I’m not rushing this. My sobriety is worth more than 40 hours a week.