A time to recover...
My name is Rachel and I am currently 24 years old. I started using at age 14, but I had problems from an even earlier age. I suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. Fast-forward a couple years to the peak of what I call “my alcoholic phase”. I was doing things I was ashamed of when I was drunk, and when I woke up, I would have to drink to forget what I did. It was a vicious cycle that seemed to never end. I was impulsive. I never knew what I was going to do. Its no wonder why people didn’t trust me, I couldn’t even trust myself. An old friend introduced me to heroin, and it became the love of my life. I had finally found the answer to all of my problems. Within 2 months, I was living in my car so I could have more money to spend on drugs. The next two years took me to depths of hell-on-earth that I never knew existed. I stole from anyone and everyone to support my habit. I completely lost who I was. I did things I said I never would, and I completely abandoned all morals I had. Heroin had a hold on me and wasn’t letting go. I had accepted that I was going to die with a needle in my arm. I welcomed the thought. After an arrest in 2017, my parents convinced me to go to rehab.
After 7 days of searching and making over 300 phone calls, I got Mr. Trost’s direct line. He told me to come in immediately for an assessment. I was admitted to Harbor House that same day. Harbor House gave me the tools I needed to finally get clean. I stayed 90 days in primary and went on to stay another 60 days in secondary. As of today, I have been clean for a little over 9 months. I am slowly getting a better life than I have ever had. I have a relationship with my Higher Power for the first time. I bought a new car, I have a place to live, and people can trust me again. I can finally trust myself. I don’t freak out anymore when bad things happen because I can be at peace and trust in God’s work. I no longer have that pain and that void I was trying to fill with drugs and alcohol. I have an amazing relationship with my family. All of these things are from what I have learned at Harbor House and carried with me into my recovery. If Mr. Trost had not accepted me that day, I don’t know if I would be alive today.
Thank you, Harbor House, for all you do. Thank you to each and every one of the employees who came together and endured my attitude in order to save my life. It takes a very special kind of person to work with addicts and alcoholics, and Harbor House is filled with those special people.
I am 38 years old and it is a blessing to be in extended treatment sober. I have been using alcohol and drugs since I was 19 years old. Little did I know that it would turn on me later on in life. Crack cocaine is my drug of choice, along with alcohol. The disease of addiction progressed so fast in my life that I found myself doing anything and everything to support my habit. Even if it meant hurting the people closest to me. It didn’t matter that I had to steal and lie to people to get what I wanted, that’s what I did to get high. I asked God to help me and He led me to Harbor House. That was on April 26, 2002.
I spent the next six weeks in primary treatment and then transferred into the sixty-day secondary program. Phase III, the new extended treatment program, was just opening up and I was able to enroll as one of the first clients for the one-year plan. I am closer to my Higher Power today than I have ever been. I’ve set goals for myself and have already begun to meet some of them. I now have a job and am saving money for the day that I complete treatment. Also, I have been able to recognize and take responsibility for some of my obligations to my family and others that I’ve hurt over the years.
Thanks to God and the Harbor House, my counselors and my peers (that I’ve grown to call my brothers), I am sober today. I have a choice today, and it’s good to be clean and sober. I thank God for leading me to Harbor House.
I came to Harbor House Secondary Residential Treatment after being court ordered to the state hospital, at 50 years of age, for drugs and alcohol. I had no idea the impact it was going to have on my life nor the journey that awaited. I was broken, defeated and lost but with the guidance of my counselor, honesty and an open mind, I was able to begin building a foundation of trust and willingness. I discovered new insights about this disease and myself. I was able to re-join the work force at a slow pace and start feeling like a productive member of society – I was given this opportunity, and I became determined to show my appreciation for all the things a surrendered life was giving me. Showing up for work on time, being trustworthy and “earning” my paycheck instead of feeling entitled weren’t attributes I strived for before coming here. It was structure, new ideals and faith in something greater than myself that I needed, and Harbor House made that possible to achieve. As my exit date from secondary was approaching, my counselor discussed “sober living” with me and guided me into that process. The light bulb had finally clicked “on” for me, and I don’t believe it would have ever been possible without the resources and tools that were given to me during my stay at Harbor House. Life has taken on new meaning, God is at the forefront of all I do, relationships are being restored, and I am able to give back to the recovery community in helping others who are still suffering. I finally have hope and a purpose! Without Harbor House’s dedication and service to people just like me, I truly believe I would have died from this disease. There REALLY is a solution!
The Women’s Transitional Program at Harbor House has given me a new life! Secondary treatment has helped me develop a basic foundation for living in a supportive, spiritual environment. I am learning to value financial independence and my return to the work force.
As part of this phase of treatment, I have begun to establish personal goals and work on the skills required to reach them. Reuniting with my family means practicing cooperation, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Managing my home means developing organizational, budgeting and parenting skills. Here, in the transitional program, we also learn to share responsibilities and to make good use of our time.
My most important goal, however, is preventing another relapse. Much of what we do in secondary treatment is directed toward that goal. In addition to individual and group therapy, we attend in-house and outside AA meetings as well as weekly Aftercare sessions. We learn to look at ourselves honestly and take responsibility for our actions. Self discipline, boundaries, awareness, and acceptance become part of our daily life.
Spiritual growth is the ultimate goal for all of us. We “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God …” and we now seek to develop a concrete spiritual foundation. By learning to recognize and share our feelings, to love ourselves and others as children of God, we are able to find hope, comfort, and courage as we let go of drugs, alcohol and all the insanity of our addiction.
Although I grew up with loving parents and an older sister and a younger brother, I always felt like I was missing something and as if I didn’t really fit in. I spent my life trying to be like everybody else and not knowing who I really was. I believed I was the person(s) that I portrayed myself to be. When I had my first drink I finally believed I had found the cure to all of my problems. I immediately knew alcohol was going to be huge in my life – I had found the magic I was missing! I no longer had anxiety when speaking to people and felt as though I was one with everybody else.
My drinking escalated, and I quickly became dependent upon alcohol. I’ll forfeit the war stories of my years in active alcoholism – time spent in psyche wards, emergency rooms, dark spaces and strange places. The more I drank the less I felt like I belonged… anywhere. The magic was long gone. I was alone and hopeless.
In my last detox, I was offered a list of local residential treatment facilities as further treatment. In my fogged state of mind, I chose Harbor House because the name sounded safe. I urgently needed much more than I realized but a “safe” house was an excellent place to start.
My stay at Harbor House was very positive. Everything that I needed was provided for me without question. The facility was clean, and everyone treated me respectfully in spite of me. Most importantly, Harbor House gave me hope and introduced me to recovery.
When I left Harbor House after some 40 days of treatment I was hopeful. I truly thought I would stay sober. When I drank again, I was so disappointed in myself and ashamed. Shame and pain kept me drunk for another four months until, in desperation, I reached out again for help.
I haven’t had a drink since that day. I’ve been blessed with more than nine years of sobriety. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the hope and guidance of Harbor House, and for that, I am forever grateful.
In closing, I wish all who read this the same sense of serenity, unconditional love, and hope that this program has given me.
And know that there is hope – no matter how hopeless you may be right now, there’s always hope!