Age: 19, relapsed after previous treatment programs
Drugs of Abuse: Opiates, Benzos and Marijuana
Length of time in treatment: Outpatient 7 months
What led me to seek treatment?
I’ve been using since I was 9. In the past 25 years, I’ve tried AA, exercise, spiritual programs. I’ve had a total of 10 or 11 years of sobriety but have never been able to keep long-term sobriety for more than six years.
I overdosed twice, first at Thanksgiving. I was literally dying. I promised I’d get sober but went back to using and overdosed again at Christmas.
What attracted me to Bayside Marin?
My sister found Bayside and wanted me to go there. They don’t expect you to spend your time cooking and cleaning. My whole life has been about taking care of everyone else; that wasn’t part of what I needed. Thank God I went.
What was most helpful about treatment?
Bayside literally saved my life. Words can’t express it. One of the reasons I couldn’t stay sober was the underlying issues would come up. After six years sober in AA, my therapist and I decided to delve into sexual abuse issues from my past, then I relapsed.
Sobriety has never felt the way it feels now. Everything has been miraculous. What I have now that I never felt before is self-esteem — for an addict, that’s nearly impossible. You feel like a complete failure and can’t understand why you keep relapsing. Bayside taught me that this disease isn’t who I am. They are so knowledgeable and made me realize that relapse can be part of recovery.
I cannot say enough about this program. I’ve learned so much about the disease. Group therapy has made me feel so different about myself. I’ve met so many wonderful people all trying to get sober. I love yoga and adore the yoga teacher. They really look at you biochemically, socially and spiritually.
My therapists have been helpful and loving. These people really care about me and reach out to me. They’re not just doing a job. Every single person there has been kind, caring, gentle and knowledgeable, but they also give me a little push if that’s what I need. With gentleness, you can go deeper into the underlying issues.
I’m grateful I’m alive and that I have a team that works together to help me. They know me really well and offer all the services I need to support the deeper work.
Plus, oh my God, the food and the accommodations. Holy smoke. It’s the Four Seasons of rehab.
How did treatment affect my life?
I’m going for my master’s degree in counseling. Because of this program, I’m doing what I always wanted to do.
Bayside referred me and my husband to a marriage counselor. This disease really does progress even while you’re sober — my husband had to call the police during my last relapse. This program has helped us so much.
What is my advice to others struggling with addiction?
As an addict, there have been a lot of other addicts in my life. If I could get everyone to go to Bayside … This is not the way other places do it. It’s a beautiful experience.