Age: 31, first time in treatment
Drugs of Abuse: Opiates and Alcohol
Length of time in treatment: Residential 45 days
What led me to seek treatment?
My doctor prescribed opiates for a health issue. After 12 years, I never even considered that there was a problem. I was in absolute denial. When I stopped taking my prescribed medication, I went into full-blown withdrawal. Had I been able to jump out of a window I would’ve — anything to make the pain stop. I was terrified and realized how out of control my life was. I initially went to Bayside for detox and stayed for the residential program.
What attracted me to Bayside?
They take each individual and take a complete look at them to come up with a treatment plan that is so customized for them. Their approach is holistic and comprehensive rather than just 12 Step-based. There are a lot of options available like yoga, tai chi and acupuncture to work on your overall health, not just your addiction.
What was most helpful about treatment?
It’s hard to pick one piece of the program that was most helpful. Participating in the entire program, from when I woke up till I went to bed, was really important — being willing to try everything whether or not I thought it was a good idea — because then I found what worked for me.
The most significant piece was the relationships I formed with other clients and staff members. It’s like its own little family where you can be completely open and honest with total strangers. I needed that support system I could come back to that is incredibly supportive and incredibly available. No matter what you’re going through, they’re there to push you forward.
The treatment team is just incredible — bright, consistent, relatable. Treatment is so comprehensive, they leave no room for error. Even many of the housekeeping and gardening staff are in recovery. We’re all there for the same purpose — one lending a hand backward and one reaching out for help. Knowing they understood made me willing to trust in the process.
How did treatment affect my life?
I feel like it was the beginning of my life. No matter how much I wanted to do things differently, I didn’t have the tools to function properly. Bayside gave me an incredible foundation and forced me to look at things I didn’t want to look at so I could move forward instead of staying stuck.
There is a quality to my life that I didn’t know was possible. I’m really present and mindful of everything. Before, I didn’t know how to be in a relationship that was authentic. Now I have people in my life that are absolute friends and I can show up for them and honor my word and be dependable and reliable. Now my life is stable and complete.
What is my advice to others struggling with addiction?
I know how absolutely empty and worthless the world can feel. I spent my entire life feeling like that. Those feelings can go away, you actually can get better, but it takes hard work and a willingness to change. Being willing to take the first step — terrifying as I know it is — is all it takes.