First let me apologize for the ton of emails I flooded you with! That's what I get for "fixing" something lol . Now onto our story...Errrr My story.
I talk a lot about my mental health and what I am doing to better myself with that, but I realized I don't talk a lot about the addiction component of it all.
While I was hospitalized for my suicide attempt I was also detoxed off of xanex, and adderall. When people think "addict" they think, the homeless guy downtown, or something dark and sinister. And while yes, some addict do become homeless, and many go to jail for for crimes they commit on or for drugs, ( They are not sinister by the way, they are battling a disease ) But rarely, if ever do they think about the Mom in the minivan whos abusing prescription drugs. This isn't a rant about big pharma I promise. I hold myself accountable for my addiction. Are there outlying components that contributed? Oh FOR SURE. But I am here to write about being a survivor and not a victim .
Something things start simply enough. Injury = pain med, Anxiety = Xanex, Tell your Dr you can't get anything done and can't focus = Adderall. Then it's well if one dose feels this good lets try two. Or maybe the effects aren't working as well as they use to so now its two, or three, or four. It's getting a script for one of your kids for Adderall, in case you "run out". Then it's noticing the little label on the bottle that says " alcohol may increase side effects" So then its, "Okay, back down to one, with a glass of wine" Which turns into a bottle of wine, which turns into shots of hard liquor starting in the afternoon, " Just to get through til bedtime " Addiction very often times starts slowly. VERY slowly.
So what am doing now? I am attending meetings ( Coming up on 5 months sober ) and I am being honest with my family. Somedays its HARD. OMG are some days hard. I gave up all my coping skills ( very bad coping skills ) and I make sure I have a loving but very firm support system. But what happens when people don't have a support system, or the one they have just isn't working for them? I wondered the same thing! So I started doing my research.
In that research I came across the most amazing local program.
It's called THE OTHER SIDE ACADEMY
Their tag line is " We save lives by changing behavior " and that's exactly what it takes to be successful at getting sober. Show me an addict and I will tell you all the excuses they give you. This is from their about us
"The Other Side Academy is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit organization where criminals, homeless, and substance abusers can change their lives, free of charge. Our comprehensive two-year residential program offers vocational training, education, peer counseling and mentoring, leadership training and transitional services. We are not a “re-hab” in the traditional sense nor are we in any way a residential treatment facility. Our emphasis is not on drugs or alcohol. Rather, we focus on behavior and on learning how to live a life of honesty, empathy, and accountability. We are a peer community for learning life skills. Participants in our program are called “students” and they represent our society’s most serious social problems—and yet, remarkably, as a group they provide solutions to one another’s challenges. We do not have doctors, clinical therapists, or counselors at The Other Side Academy. We are not a program based on counseling or therapy. Instead, there is no distinction in the backgrounds of leaders and students other than more time and experience living in The Other Side Academy community and influencing others to change their lives. All have been in and out of jail or prison repeatedly and ultimately, left hopeless for a decent life. Faculty members at The Other Side Academy are living examples of the efficacy of the program. They themselves have done everything new students are asked to do. Thus they have credibility to show others how to change as they have done."
I love that they mention, not being a rehab, or sobriety being their main focus. Do not get me wrong, rehabs are great, but they are not the complete package. Organizations like The Other Side are a complete package. No ones is born an addict. Things go on throughout of lives that get us to this place. Their program untangles all of those are changes behavior, so they can make positive long lasting changes in their behavior.
I actually get to see this in action, and it's how I found out about them. I love thrift store shopping. I love a good deal, I love shopping more eco friendly, I just love it lol. So when a new store opened up I had to go check it out. Okay so I have been in more thrift stores then I can count, this one was so nice and CLEAN. Employees were super friendly and helpful. As I was checking out , I noticed some brochures with their name on them and grabbed one. This is how I learned about their program, and the proof of what they were doing was obvious in their employees. If you are in Utah and know someone that can use their services, please give them the information. It looks to be that they also have one in Denver! If you need help finding help in your area, please feel free to email me, I am always happy to help.