Serenity Graduates Share Stories of Hope

Recovery from addiction takes a different path for everyone

Addiction is a problem that can affect anybody. There are no boundaries that addiction respects. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, education, or economic status, drug and alcohol abuse can take control over any person’s life. Each person that comes to Serenity Recovery is a unique individual who has traveled his or her own path through life.

Because of the unique qualities that our patients have, each will also travel their own path through the recovery process. No two patients will respond in the same way to any particular method of rehabilitation, and each will find different things to be more beneficial in a treatment program. At Serenity, we offer a wide variety of program options, stepping away from a single-track “cookie cutter” method of rehabilitation. This gives our patients the ability to find the path to overcoming addiction that will work best for their individual needs.

Even though the goal is the same for everyone – finding the ability to lead a healthy and positive lifestyle – each patient will take a slightly different path towards that goal. There is no “one right way” to overcome addiction, and our graduates are proof of that. By exploring all of our treatment options, they found the recovery strategy that was right for them. Here are just a few of the many success stories that Serenity Recovery has helped to write.

Finding Balance

Any person that has experienced the effects of addiction in their lives, whether through their own struggles or those of a close friend or relative, can tell you that life during substance abuse is hectic and full of chaos. For Alanzo, a contractor who had let alcohol and cocaine take over his life, it was a case of being too immersed in his job. Even though financial security is very important, Alanzo had lost sight of some of the other things that are also vital to finding personal harmony in life.

“Overworked, staying late, normally at the bar,” Alanzo says. “I was all about my work, money, money, money. I realized I was hurting other people, and hurting myself, and I made the decision to come to Serenity.” That decision helped him to find a healthier balance in life – an understanding that while work and handling responsibilities is very important, we must also take the time to be human. I knew I was unbalanced,” he explains. “I didn’t set boundaries, I didn’t like to say ‘no,’ and those are some of the things here at Serenity that impacts me.”

Personal Connection

Addiction will often lead people to isolate themselves from the people who care about them. It can damage friendships and family bonds, and feelings of pain, guilt, or anger can make it hard to face others. Josh was isolating himself from his family, and it was part of a vicious cycle – he felt alone, so he would use drugs to numb those feelings, which made him feel guilty, which led to more isolation, and so on and so on. “Things started going downhill with spending money, avoiding family,” he says. “I didn’t want to hear the truth.”

Through his time at our treatment center, Josh learned that even though those relationships had been damaged, there was always the opportunity to repair them. “They’ve been really motivating,” he says about his family. “They keep telling me they want their son back. They’re just like ‘No matter what, as long as you’re sober, you’re living a healthy life, that’s all that matters to us.’”

A Strong Support System

Even with support and encouragement from family, sometimes a person in recovery from addiction needs the support from someone who has been where they are. People who have been down the path of addiction and come out on the other side have a deeper understanding. The support that they can offer can often be the difference between staying clean and sober or relapsing back into substance abuse.

Johnny thought he had good friends his entire life, and he probably did. But the connections he made at Serenity are some of the strongest and deepest bonds he has ever known. “(Rehab is) totally different from what I expected,” he says, smiling. “I’ve made some of the best friends ever, better friends than people I’ve been friends with since five and six years old. The counselors here, everyone – you can tell they really care about you.”

Taking It Slowly

Danielle had struggled with alcohol abuse for many years, and, like many people, she had made unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation before. This is not unusual, and nothing to be ashamed of. Recovery is a difficult thing, and sometimes people will stumble. But it is important to realize that when something doesn’t work, we have to try something else.

One of the things that make our treatment strategy to effective is the time frame for completing the program – there isn’t one. We don’t rush anybody out the door. Instead, we give our patients plenty of opportunities to work through their issues at their own pace and get the maximum benefit out of their time with us. “When I went to other rehabs, they were only for two weeks,” Danielle says. But, without feeling pressured to get through it, she is finding a better understanding of herself and her addiction. “I’m finding more things going on with me personally,” she shares. “I’m starting to realize what was really going on with me, why I was drinking.”

Getting To The Bottom Of Things

At Serenity, we don’t just focus on getting clean and sober. We help our patients dig deep to discover the causes of their addictive behaviors – the “why” behind their substance abuse. Once they understand the underlying issues contributing to their drug or alcohol use, they can start to work on finding ways to remain substance free once they graduate and return to daily life.

Connor was stuck in a cycle of alcoholism and sobriety because he didn’t understand what was causing him to drink. “I needed some way to stop that, and I didn’t know how ” he admits. “Since being here, I’ve been able to work on that. It’s really made a difference. It’s up to me to apply it, but without coming here and learning what to do, there was no way I could apply anything.” Today, Connor has a better understanding of his alcohol abuse, and the tools to break the cycle he was stuck in.

Personal Spirituality

For many of the patients, we see at our recovery center, the most important part of overcoming addiction is finding or rediscovering a sense of personal spirituality. We don’t view this as adhering to any particular religion, but rather an understanding of the connection we all have with each other and with the world around us. Many people lose sight of that through their addiction. Our program offers several different spiritual pathways, from Christian Faith-based recovery to Indigenous Native Spirituality.

Through his program at Serenity, Jesse began to realize that he was missing something in his life, which led him to use drugs to fill that void. He chose our Native 12-Step program option, and it completely changed his outlook on life. “I started reading the book ‘The Red Road to Wellbriety,’” he says, “and within the first 15 pages, I cried tears of joy because I found what I was looking for. It’s made all the difference in the world because I had no connection to the creator. I had lost my spirit, and it helped me find that. It helped me find myself and set me free from addiction.”

At Serenity Recovery, our patients find much more than sobriety. They find ability – the tools and skills they need to stay clean and sober. They find understanding – the “why” behind their substance abuse. They find connection – strong personal bonds and support from each other. But, most importantly, they find hope – seeing the world in a positive light, with a sense of purpose, and an appreciation for life and all of the beauty it holds.

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