Archive for Always Hope

My Addiction: No Judgement

judgement

No Judgement

As someone who was 110% against the idea of rehab I cannot say enough good things about Always Hope! From the moment I met Roger and Shauna at the airport they made me feel like part of the family and no judgement was made.

Working through the 12 steps with Jim’s guidance not only taught me some valuable lessons and helped me heal, but was also done in a way that was “kinda fun”

My stay at Always Hope really was like a mini-vacation with therapy. It was nice to be surrounded by people who been where I have and in an environment where judgement doesn’t exist.

Always Hope has changed my life and I’m lucky to also now be able to call Roger, Shauna and Jim my friends.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today to talk with Always Hope

Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

addiction

Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

I am a cocaine addict.
In fact, I am proud when I say that now. (in this new life of recovery).
Thanks to @Always-Hope.ca, I am slowly finding new ways of living life in sobriety, thanks to the tools I have now been given to handle situations that truly used to baffle me.
And the best part is – I am loving each and every moment of it!

To be eternally grateful for a life I could only imagine in my addiction; has turned out to become one the biggest gifts I have come to experience.

A new life in recovery.
With god.
I call it a miracle, or some may call it a blessing – whatever it is, it is magical. For somebody who never had faith in God, it seems almost surreal that a higher power of some sort could restore (people like myself) from a completely hopeless state of mind, body and soul. Especially when I resented the very thought of such an entity.

In fact, I hated god in the early days of my life.

Standing at the edge of the world – it came down to two choices when I had hit yet another rock bottom in my addiction.

The two choices were:

  1. I could jump off
  2. I could turn back

What would it be?

I was so far gone from the world I once knew and loved, that I had become perfectly fine living in the dirtiest dumps I had come to see and believe, would be my new home.
To not only lose my sanity in the process, I became someone I truly did not dream of being as a child. In fact, people used to call me “S.Y.N” in my early days of being out on the streets, that I have now come to truly realize the meaning behind that name I was given:
“Someone You’re Not”.

Chasing something that was never there to begin with, was truly my interpretation of what we call a “fool’s gold”. I had become so desperate in my addiction, that I truly thought I could not live life sober. Without another hit? This was something I truly thought was impossible.

With the help of Always-Hope.ca, my new life is now filled with endless opportunities.
And I am not just saying that.

I am loving life as I write this.
I am living proof as I write this.
I am giving hope as I write this.

I made a decision that I had to go to any lengths to get my life back, even if that meant losing everything I loved. (thank god I didn’t, but I was at a point in my life where I was ready to).

And you may wonder:

Why?
(Would I give up my addiction and love for it – to trade it in for something I had no clue about)
Specifically, this was the hardest question I had to ask myself in treatment. It was particularly scary for me at first – because I was so comfortable in my addiction that I had come to enjoy the excuses, the lies, and the fairy tale life I had been getting away with for so many years. But, Was I being true to others?
More importantly, was I being true to myself?

By the end of it, I had to ask myself:
“How much is my life worth?”

Thank god, now I know

My life is worth each and every second I breathe.
My life is worth each and every moment I live.
My life is worth each and every person I have crossed paths with to show how much love I can give to the world through my eyes.

That my brother/sister to me is:       Priceless!

How?
1. [H]onesty starts within myself first and foremost
2. [O]pen-mindedness to learning a new way of living, because I was living my last life all wrong
3. [W]illingness to go as far or wide to get my life back. After all, didn’t I go the same lengths to get another high?

Each and everyday in this new life in recovery is just getting better and better.
And I am only on day 49!
And everyday I feel less of a slave to the chaos I created in my life, and now I am slowly getting closer to a new freedom, cut from the ball and chains I had been locked in for far too long.

I can’t imagine how I am going to feel on day 365. Absolutely amazing I presume.
But all I have is hope, courage, and for that – I am grateful for this new life that I have been given.

I call life in sobriety the biggest gift in my life.
I call life in addiction the biggest curse in my life.

What choice would I make?
The gift and the curse as I call it now, has given me the courage to be true to myself. I now choose to live my life labelled as “a recovering addict” who has now sacrificed his old life to be of service to others who are in dire need of help. I can choose to be the boulder in the path, or I can be the guiding light to the end of the tunnel.

But ultimately, it came down to me. A choice I would have to make for myself, and myself only. No one could make this choice for me, except myself.
And forever into eternity, the decision I make will be something no one in the entire world could take away from me. I will take this to the grave.

As each day passes, I find myself successfully completing my regular day-to-day activities that used to take me weeks to get through – I am now getting done in a day.

Wow, what an amazing feeling one could have..

But one day at a time.
But one step at a time.
But one moment at a time is the thy new way of life I live by.

It’s all I have to give, and truthfully, it’s all I had left.

What choice will you make?          Call Roger at Always Hope today for help.

1-829-932-0123

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

lost in addiction

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

I was at the very tip of a very steep dark powerful, cunning & baffling slope, lost, full of fear, some lies, resentments and a relapse. I had know idea what to do, but knew i needed to get away. A handful of opportunities that i have worked hard towards right in front of me and if i didn’t deal with all that was within right away within no time I would have hit the bottom of that slope which could have easily been death.

It was truly a blessing when i was sitting in my vehicle with a very special person who has worked with me and my addiction issues for the last few years, I was crying confessing to my feelings and were I was and how scared I was to quickly loose all. i said I just need to find my self, redo my steps the way they are to be done and not my way lol…. She suggested I call Roger from Always Hope and explain my situation, where I am at and what I would like to accomplish within the program. He said they are able to help please come.

I left within 4 Days for Always Hope to work with Jim Maclean Head Counselor. Long story short it was more that I could have ever expected in all ways it was more than I could have ever hoped for. I found myself again. Ive regained my hope and faith in myself i haven’t truly had that in a very long time. I am sticking to the program and my exit plan, I haven’t been able to do that in 15 years, and it’s not a struggle not to use. For those who are still suffering/struggling with addiction or even just lost or need to get back to the basics please do not hesitate call Roger, talk to Jim and go !!! It could save your life !!! It sure has mine !!

Call 1-829-932-0123 today!

Tough Love: Enabling Parents of Addicts/Alcoholics

tough love

Tough Love: Enabling Parents of Addicts/Alcoholics

From my perspective of once being in the position of trying to manipulate, making excuses or lie to prolong getting the help I knew I needed. To also witnessing this happening when adult children lie, manipulate and make every excuse as to why they are now ”cured” and don’t need any help or counselling. It breaks my heart seeing these “kids” convince their parents to rescue them again or “bail” them out of rehab. Tough love is sometimes neccesary. Many of these parents have spent a lot of emotional and financial effort to give their child a chance at getting professional help and are trying to save their children’s lives.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your child acting like they are entitled to things or your money, or demanding things?
  2. Do you feel like you are living from crisis to crisis with your child?
  3. Are you sacrificing too much while your child takes no responsibility?

Parents face a difficult situation when trying to figure out how to help their children with their addiction issues. We all want to help our loved ones through their struggles in life, but it is often hard for a parent to understand the difference between helping or enabling. Enabling is helping too much and allows the destructive behaviour to continue, fixing problems for others that they could do themselves and doesn’t allow the child to grow or gain responsibility. Tough love is quite often the only way to save your child’s life.

As the child (often adult children) progress into the grips of addiction the lies and manipulation increase. They will make their parents feel shame or guilt and use every excuse to try and get you to “help” them. Giving them money and absorbing the consequences of the addicts actions just prolongs active addiction and delays the addict from accepting the help that would truly benefit them.

What can you as an enabling parent do?

  • Tough Love
  • Don’t be persuaded by the lies, manipulation, excuses or stories your child makes up.
  • Loving your child doesn’t mean you can’t say “no”
  • Offer helpful options such as a counsellor, 12 step meetings or possibly an addiction treatment centre.
  • Realize that your child may say and do things to hurt you, but don’t give in.

It may feel like you are the only ones in this situation but your not alone. There are support groups available to help you through these difficult times and know that it isn’t you, its the addiction taking over your child. Tough love may be the best option.

Or call or text 1-829-932-0123 for assistance

Suboxone Withdrawals and Detox made easy

suboxone-detox-1

Suboxone Withdrawals and Detox

were Easier than Expected

I am a heroin addict, now addicted to suboxone. I had been taking suboxone for two years when I tried to quit for good. I lasted a week then relapsed. I knew I needed help and could not do this by myself. I searched around for rehabs. I had no Insurance and not a whole lot of money, at least not as much money as rehabs in the states wanted. That is when I found Always Hope.

I came here excited but scared, excited to see a new country I have never been to but scared I was going to have to kick the suboxone again. I saw the doctor upon arrival and we set up a plan for my inevitable detox. To my surprise it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I got settled in pretty quick I had my own room and started counseling with Jim the next day. Roger took me to play basketball and get some exercise that night followed up with some coconut water, and I felt pretty good. I had to fight through a couple days of not feeling my best but I must say, I felt way better this time then I did alone at my house.

I got into a routine, waking up early, working out, playing basketball, going to the beach, seeing things and places I have never seen in my life. A week had past and I really felt great. This was turing more into a caribbean vacation. I was still doing my counseling during the day but I was seeing beautiful beaches, and amazing waterfalls it was a real treat. These days out really made me forget about everything and just enjoy life. I am very grateful I was able to come here, get clean, and leave with a solid plan for my future. Not to mention a great tan!

Thanks Roger, Shauna and Jim.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 to see how Always Hope can help you.

Skeptical and Hesitant but Eventually Grateful

skepical

Skeptical and Hesitant but Eventually Grateful

the-scepticalIf you asked me 3 months ago what my thoughts were on rehab, I would have most likely gone on a diatribe about all the actors and other “famous” folks who check themselves in to a luxury treatment facility like most people check in to a hotel on vacation. No more benefit comes out of this than some fresh press for their careers.

I was however at, what I drunkenly conceived to be, the bottom. As a long-time ex-pat living in the Dominican Republic (originally from New Jersey), my options were substantially limited in terms of help. Until today, I am still not one hundred percent sure about how I came into the care of the team at Always Hope, but I am very grateful that it happened.

I was skeptical and hesitant at first, only because of my more than eleven years’ experience with various clinical facilities in the DR, but Always Hope turned out to be more like a home away from home. The team, led by counselor Jim MacLean, delivers a treatment model founded on friendship, professionalism and dedication to the mission of helping their clients recover. The real-life experiences of the team at Always Hope, their personal drive to help addicts recover and the amazing surroundings all come together to create an atmosphere of success and, as the name implies, hope.

Presently, I am one week from living three months in sobriety and I reflect daily on my time at Always Hope. I consider all of the events that transpired to deliver me to their care as well as my physical, mental and spiritual experiences there. With these elements in mind daily, I am able to go forward leaving behind a horrible addiction that had controlled my life for thirty years.

Thank you Always Hope!

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 now

to see how we can help you or a loved one.

 

Targeting my Emotions, Not just the 12 Steps

emotions

Targeting my Emotions, Not just the 12 Steps

At first just like many people, I was very scared to commit to recovery so far away from my home in Vancouver to the Dominican Republic. I have not left my home for more then a week in my life, and it was a very tough decision. Being 23, I am used to being around my family and girlfriend. I also have never quit drugs in my 9 years of using, never been to a long term treatment centre, gone to meetings or even seen a councillor.

After a lot of thought, my mind was made up, I decided to jump in to my recovery with both feet. Choosing to be away from home was hard, but the positives outweighed the negatives greatly. Firstly, I would not have access to the narcotics I was used to using. Secondly, I would be able to get away from my usual habitat and all the people and problems that came with it. This allowed me to have a clear mind through out this critical month. Although I have to go back home now, I am confident I have learned the skills to deal with my emotions and the scenarios I will inevitably have to face.

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How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

detour addiction

How Addiction took my Life on a Detour

Growing up on a Central Alberta dairy farm I never imagined that my life would take the detour that it did and that I would end up living on a beautiful Caribbean island. This is my my journey from cold and snowy Canada to the Dominican Republic; from dairy farmer to starting an addiction treatment facility in another country.

I had a normal childhood, Mom and Dad were dairy farmers and always around. My brother and 2 sisters were my closest friends growing up as we didn’t have neighbours close enough to play with. School, sports and anything I set my mind to were easily accomplished, it felt like the sky was the limit. In 2000 at the age of 22 and after a couple years of post-secondary education in the field of business I decided to marry my high school sweet heart and come home to the family dairy farm.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 for more info

It was shortly after coming home to farm that some injuries I had back when I was partying during high school flared up and became chronic back pain and headaches. I had fallen in a bar when I was drunk and smashed half of my teeth, I had fallen of a small cliff when some friends and I were hiking in the mountains. What I thought were just normal injuries at that age due to drinking and smoking pot, turned out to become a major pain when I was just starting to be an “adult”. And that is when the beginning of my detour took place although I didn’t know it at the time.

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Small Rehab: Size Does Matter

small rehab and drug and alcohol addiction

Small Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addicition

At Always Hope we feel that limiting our size to only 5 guests at a time comes with great benefits. Having a small rehab allows us to offer a welcoming environment and more relaxed atmosphere. It prevents the institutional feel of the larger clinical rehabs.

small rehab and addiction Our goal by keeping our facility a small rehab is to offer the individual support and attention that all addicts deserve and require. This way we can provide a comfortable learning atmosphere where individuals aren’t overwhelmed by groups of large people. This also allows guests to truly connect with us and to engage in more tailored therapy to their specific needs. In larger groups and rehabs you may be one of 25-40 people listening to a speaker, which tends to make you feel like an audience member rather than being in a small group which usually leads to interactive discussions. With the smaller groups there is more time to express your opinions, thoughts and feelings and to get feedback.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today to find out more about Always Hope

Individualized program – A small rehab can create a program around the input, circumstances and needs of the patient. This means that the traditional one-size-fits-all program approach for each guest goes out the window.

Smaller group sizes – The # of guests enrolled at any given time at Always Hope is much smaller and manageable. This not only makes the setting more intimate, allowing guests to get to know everyone much faster but helps to increase comfort levels. This also means that each guest receives the treatment and focus they need to make a full recovery.

Personalized attention – This offers a safe zone, a place where our guests can unwind without associating with others who actively abuse illicit substances. Each patient receives thorough, personal attention in order to treat his or her individual problems. Also the many hours of daily 1-1 counselling is highly beneficial.

A sense of connection – It is much easier to connect with other clients and staff in a small, private addiction treatment program. Even though this is not necessary, it will ensure that our guests don’t feel alone with his or her problems. Feeling connected and feeling that you have someone to talk to or lean on when it becomes difficult is often beneficial, especially during those stressful early days of sobriety.

No waitlists – Many of the larger public rehab centres have a long waitlist before a patient can enrol. Time is usually of the essence and it is important to move quickly. We at Always Hope have a very small or no waitlist for admission, and very minimal requirements.

Are there Drawbacks? Of course, there is no one particular recovery option that has all benefits with no downsides. There are two minor drawbacks to opting for a private small rehab:

Cost – Private rehabs may be unaffordable for some people. We at Always Hope understand this and try to be as flexible as possible with cost and length of stay. Due to the fact we are located in the Dominican Republic we can keep the cost down because of lower expenses and we pass the savings on to our guests.

Location – This may be a drawback for some and a benefit for others. While some people prefer to go rehab close to home to hopefully have the close support of friends and family, being close to home also allows for an easy escape if commitment issues come up. Going to location further away can be beneficial because of the change in environment, the feeling of a brand new start and also to show their true commitment to sticking it out.

All in all we believe the benefits of attending a small rehab are worth it.
Call us at Always Hope to check availability or to find out more about our program.

1-829-932-0123

Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

addiction help

Addiction Help and Advice for the Families

addiction help familyQuite often family and friends are burdened and negatively affected by the actions or behaviours of those struggling with an addiction. Living with someone in active addiction can be burdensome and draining emotionally, physically and also financially. I would like to offer some addiction help to all of you who may be affected. These are based on my own experiences and from lessons I have learned from others.

Remember 3 things to start with

  1. You didn’t cause the addiction. In life sometimes “shit happens”.
  2. You can’t control the addict/alcoholic or their addiction.
  3. You can’t stop drinking or using for someone else.

Addiction help for the addict/alcoholic:

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