Below are just a few of the stories our participants and alumni have chosen to share with us
Alumni – That wasn’t me
My mind and being was totally out of control! My entire life was like I was watching a movie – nothing was real and I had no idea who I was or what I stood for. I was living in shame and guilt, and I was full of resentments! I knew I wasn’t living by my true morals or values – that wasn’t me.
I am so grateful to have XXXX as my counsellor – she relates to me and she was with me on a personal level every step of the way! She helped me through many tough and frustrating situations, helped me to really feel and understand my emotions, and she gave me hope.
Alumni – Grateful
Coming to iRecover was the best thing I have ever done. I have never in my life felt as free as I do now. I heard somewhere that I am not supposed to share this but I will tell you that I haven’t had any cravings whatsoever. Although I know that I can’t fully trust my brain, I think at this point my brain understands that alcohol is poison, like drinking bleach. I’m not letting myself forget the hell that I was in and I know that “my cup”empties a thousand times faster than those who are not alcoholic and I have to work my ass off to fill it up every day and that visual in my mind is very helpful.
I wake up every morning before my kids so that I can think about all the things I am grateful for, and I make the decision every day, not just to stay sober but to live my life as honestly and as simply as I am able. You always said that if you forget to think about what you are grateful for, it makes for a s**** day…so true! Actually a lot of the things you say randomly pop up in my head at times. I have learned so much from you!
Alumni – Self forgiveness
Cancelling out the “what ifs” has been a big part of self forgiveness. When guilty feelings arise, I just have to remember that if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have made those decisions. It would be nice to make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s knowledge and experience, but life isn’t like that! Praying for others really does help me forgive them because it helps me see them as humans who make mistakes, just like me.
Also, a huge thing for me is that I learned and practice daily is identifying and accepting the the scope and the limits of what I can and cannot control in my world. Truly understanding all of this has made my life much easier. (I think I truly understand the serenity prayer).
Alumni -Single Mother
35 years old – single mother – divorced – great career – two academic degrees – huge family – and an Alcoholic/Addict.
Family of five – an alcoholic father who didn’t like me – experienced physical abuse – verbal abuse – sexual abuse – spousal abuse – promiscuity – and family dysfunction
I partied . . . it was fun, life didn’t feel overwhelming or difficult, and though I was sad, drinking allowed me to laugh. It developed into an every weekend occurrence from one day to two and so on.
Eventually I had to start to get new “drinking friends” because my friends “tapped out” they were “maturing” . . . I thought they were boring! It was at this time that I was introduced to cocaine. This was three years ago. The cool thing about cocaine for me was that it would sober me up. I loved this drug. Beginning with weekend use that escalated to the point that I was using it everyday.
iRecover has taught me so many amazing things about myself. I learned that in order to successfully enter the realm of recovery, I needed to find my Higher Power. I choked at that one cause it was, after all, my Higher Power dragged my ass out of the cold that afternoon – I thought to myself, well if I can’t find him at least I know he always finds me. I learned I was living in denial and my entire soul was filled with toxic shame from past experiences. I had learned that looking back to the past is the only way to heal, (though I was very reluctant to do so) Right Sensei? I learn that a great wall of china that I have built around myself was the result of fear, and facing these fears was the only way to let go
Letter from a family member
My partner ***** just graduated from your program at iRecover. I wanted to thank you directly for your hard work and devotion to such a critical and lifesaving program. Other than *****, I have had no direct contact with an alcoholic and had quite a time wading through what was happening, and how I would deal with it.
***** was in a group of four men, counselled by AB. He thinks his counselor is wonderful, and has the utmost respect for her personally and professionally.
I wanted to let you know that from my perspective, the counsellor is an angel. I was a little lost Jim. I am a fairly strong woman and have had my share of heartache, but this situation was very troubling. His counsellor and I emailed back and forth a few times. I asked questions, she had suggestions. Her common sense and kindness gave me a lot of peace. For that I am grateful.
***** is doing well and has attended a meeting with his home group. Life is good!
Alumni – The Hardest week
What brought me to treatment was that my life started falling apart and becoming unmanageable and I didn’t even realize it, but everyone around me could see it. Yet I had no clue, nor did it even cross my mind that I had a huge problem. I mean the emotions were there, tired all the time, depressed, insecure, world was out to get me, list goes on and here I am today.
My first week here… was probably the worst week of my entire life it was a roller coaster ride that was for sure. I felt angry, alone, mad at the people who cared the most and I admit if I had my vehicle I would have left. I never in my life had felt so alone, worried and just a mixture of emotions.
To the newcomers my word of advice: don’t dwell on the past don’t dwell on the future. You are here, worry about fixing yourself and I promise you your past, your future, family, friends, spouses or life in general will all fall into place. No one said it’s easy it’s not as I told myself. 28 days of up and downs of hard work and dedication to better myself. A lifetime of happiness and sobriety sounds GREAT to me. You are here for a reason, because people need you, people care about you, if you weren’t cared about you would not be here. Think about your life and people that mean the most to you but most importantly do it for yourself!