Category Archives: Dominican Republic

Forgiveness and recovery

ALWAYS HOPE – FORGIVENESS

Forgiving is difficult, but perhaps we make it more difficult to forgive ourselves or others because we don’t understand the task. It is not necessarily to bring ourselves to the point that we can agree with the person whom we feel injured by, or to say that what we experienced was really alright, or that the other person did not make a mistake, or injure us in one way or another.

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Forgiveness is really freeing ourselves of bitterness and resentment, and thus allowing ourselves to cultivate our best impulses as well as the best impulses in others.

Forgiveness is a “letting go”. It feels like a relief, a new serenity, and a sense of spiritual power that assists us to deal with emotions that poison our own personalities and relationships.

To “let go” doesn’t mean to stop caring but to realize what we are responsible for and what we are not responsible for. I am responsible for my own thoughts, actions, attitudes and feelings. I am not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts, actions, attitudes and feelings. It is only when I realize this truth that I am able to respond to others in a truthful and responsible manner.

I cannot learn for another, or control another and it doesn’t help me to blame another, or try to force another to change. My attempts to fix another’s problems will end in failure and it doesn’t help me to sit in judgment upon another, or to deny another’s reality. Destructive criticism, nagging, scolding or arguing never serves to heal my own or others’ hurts.

Letting Go

Letting go often means allowing others, as well as myself to learn from the natural consequences of actions. If I can accept reality, recognizing that being human means being imperfect, I may find that I can be supportive and encouraging to another person, even if I am unable to understand their actions. If I can see my own weakness and strength then Ican be more tolerant of others shortcomings and more appreciative of their strengths.

There is evil in this world. It is not possible to be aware of myself without recognizing the things that are destructive to human society, and that often affect me or someone I care about in a personal way. If I hold bitterness and resentment I contribute to this destructiveness, and have less, if any, positive influence on my world.

If I can let go of my past disappointments and hurts, and begin to live for my present moment I can, by invitation, have some influence, however small, on the future of the human race.

Forgiving is hard work and it requires us to search ourselves, honestly, but gently. It takes some time, but needn’t take a whole life time. It begins with a decision to make the effort, and it requires that we forgive ourselves first. Guilt-ridden people are not able to be very flexible or receptive to new ideas. Human growth requires an open mind, a flexible attitude and a belief in the ultimate possibility of goodness. This, in essence, is what love stands for. Love does not eliminate sadness from our lives, but neither does sadness interfere with joy. These two emotions can abide within us side by side, and still allow us to experience the fulfillment that comes with a purposeful life.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for assistance

Forgiving is not forgetting, it is letting go of the hurt!

There is a line in “The Prayer of St. Francis” that goes like this “In order to be forgiven we must forgive”

Willingness and Hitting Rock Bottom

Importance of Willingness in Recovery Determination to Stay Sober:

If people do not have a strong desire for sobriety, it will be hard for them to maintain it. It is possible for the individual to get sober to please other people, but such recoveries tend to be short-lived. This is because staying away from alcohol and drugs is hard if people are not fully willing to do all that it takes. In order to build a successful life away from alcohol and drugs, the individual needs to be prepared to put in a great deal of effort. Those who lack willingness will not be able to summon the necessary determination. My personal experience is that willingness was key.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 for more info or help

Willingness Defined:

Willingness can be defined as being eagerly compliant. It means doing something out of choice and not because of coercion. When people become willing to do something, it means their minds become more open and receptive. They may consider doing things that in the past may have appeared objectionable. Willingness means embracing change rather than fighting it.

Lack of Willingness and Recovery:

It is not possible for people to find success in recovery unless they are willing to put in the necessary effort. This is because such personal change will not occur unless the individual gives their permission for it to happen. Addiction is driven by a strong urge to escape reality and hide in chemical numbness. In order for recovery to take hold, there needs to be a powerful driving force supporting it. This power is provided by the willingness to change.

Reasons for Lack of Willingness in Recovery:

There are a number of reasons for why the individual may lack the willingness to stay sober:

Some people will enter recovery because they feel coerced in some way. They may have decided to accept help because of pressure from family and friends and not because they really want to be sober. This usually means that this individual will be using recovery as a way to buy time. As soon as they feel that it is safe for them to return to their addiction they will do so.

Many addicts suffer from ambivalence.  This means that they have feelings, thoughts and attitudes that are contradictory. They may have a strong desire to enter recovery and escape the pain of addiction while at the same time having a strong desire to continue with the alcohol or drug abuse. Until this ambivalence towards substance abuse is resolved, it will be difficult for the individual to summon enough resolve to finally quit their addiction.

Some individuals have un-realistically high expectations of their recovery, and they become disappointed when things do not happen as expected. This disappointment may mean that their willingness to stay sober begins to wane. It takes time to rebuild a life away from alcohol and drugs, and if people have expectations that are too high, they will be let down.

The individual can become stuck in their recovery, and this is a drain on their willingness. The usual reason for why people become stuck is that they are faced with a problem that they do not want to deal with. Until they face this challenge, there can be no further progress. Instead the individual either relapses or becomes a dry drunk.

Sometimes, people in recovery will start off with a great deal of determination, but then run out of steam. This can occur if they develop the “pink cloud syndrome”. What happens is that people can become so joyful at escaping their addiction that they lost touch with reality. Staying sober begins to feel effortless, so the individual begins to take it for granted. When the pink cloud ends, and people are once again faced with reality, they can find it hard to summon up the willingness to get back on track. If the individual has expectations of recovery that are too low, they may be willing to settle for very little. This is a real shame because sobriety offers some wonderful opportunities for those people who have enough willingness and determination.

Memory can be a treacherous thing sometimes. People can forget how miserable things were at the end of their addiction. They can start to think back to those days when it felt like alcohol or drugs brought them pleasure. This is known as romancing the drinking or drugging, and it can sap the willingness to stay sober if it is allowed to continue unchecked.

Some individuals will have other mental health problems as well as their addiction. If people have untreated depression or another dual diagnosis, they will find it difficult to maintain their willingness to stay sober. This is because this other condition will make recovery unsatisfying and prevent progress.

Willingness and Hitting Rock Bottom

Rock bottom is sometimes described as reaching a point where the individual is, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. There is no reason for why people need to lose everything in order to hit their rock bottom. They just need to reach a point where they have had enough. Some individuals will hit their rock bottom without losing very much at all. It is like going down in an elevator. It is up to the passenger to decide where they want to get off. There is absolutely no benefit from staying in the lift all the way to the bottom, because this means death.

Once the individual has fully decided that they have had enough of addiction they will have be willing to do what it takes to escape. This willingness is a force that provides them with the energy to take the correct steps to end the addiction. It means that they will be ready to make use of available resources such as rehab, therapists or addiction fellowships.

Willingness and the 12 Steps

In 12 Step groups such as A.A., N.A., or C.A, they emphasize that the member needs to be willing to go to any lengths to stay clean and/or sober. It is not possible for the individual to complete the 12 steps unless they have a high degree of willingness. This is because it involves taking action that the addicted mind would rebel against. The member never graduates from these 12 Step programs, so this willingness will need to be something they are able to maintain indefinitely.

Willingness and HOW, HOW is an acronym for what is needed to find success when using a self-help group. The acronym stands for:

  • Honesty
  • Open-mindedness
  • Willingness

Here, willingness is viewed as being ready to change and take risks in order to find happiness.

The Key to Willingness in Recovery

Willingness can insure success in recovery from addiction. These are its major components:

If the individual is truly willing to escape their addiction they will do whatever it takes. It involves having an open mind about any potential resource that can help them. Those who are truly willing do not have a long list of recovery options that they are not even prepared to consider.

Willingness involves a degree of humility. The individual no longer believes that they have all the answers. They are prepared to listen and learn from the experiences of other people.

If the individual is willing to stay sober, they will make this their number-one priority in life. This is because they realize that making a life away from addiction requires a great deal of effort. It will not be achieved overnight. The willing individual will be prepared to devote however long it takes to rebuilding their life.

Those who are willing to escape addiction will want to make the best use of all the available resources that can help them. They will take responsibility for their own recovery and see addiction specialists as partners there to help them. The willing individual does not passively wait for other people to fix them. They take action to make this happen.

Willingness does not mean becoming passive. The individual still needs to question things and make decisions. It does usually mean being a bit more open-minded about possible solutions.

Change the Way You Look at Things

Change is possible, and even though this guests first language isn’t English I didn’t change what he wrote and only fixed some spelling to make it more readable. So happy to have had a guest so willing to accept the process and embrace recovery, this is his testimony or testimonial.

“I found Always Hope when I was searching on the internet for a rehab nearby in the Caribbean because I needed to change and really needed a break to get out of everything because the liquor had taken complete control of me. I really didn’t have it under control anymore, and finally gave in to myself that I had a problem and I was an alcoholic. After hearing it from loved ones a couple of times that I drink too much and too often. It also got to me that I couldn’t lie anymore to the people that i loved and i couldn’t do that any more, because it was hurting me, brought me shame and made me very sad. But I also realized I was hurting my loved ones a lot, and I knew that if I continued drinking like that I would lose their trust in me, and making it difficult for them to love me and support me. If I continued and didn’t change like I was sure I was going to lose them and that I would end up in the gutter. 

So then I took my first step towards recovery, I gave in to the fact that I had a bad drinking problem and that I needed to change my life. I called Always Hope 1-829-932-0123 and they had a bed available. So I packed my suitcase and jumped on an airplane to the Dominican Republic and Always Hope. When I finally arrived there I received a warm welcome. In the beginning I still felt a bit emotional but being together with a happy family made me feel a lot better and the help from everyone around me was really good. Also the beautiful green nature around the property made me feel really good.

change is possible
Change and growth is possible

Very quickly after my arrival I didn’t miss the alcohol anymore, and every day I felt a better, bit by bit. Also the AA meetings which Roger took me helped me greatly, I felt and saw that there was people like me with the same troubles and struggles in their lives. At these meetings I could empty my heart without feeling ashamed of myself, because they understood. The counselor at Always Hope was also really great, in the beginning it was hard and emotional but the further I got in the program the better it got and the tears changed to smiles and joy.

At this moment the month at Always Hope has passed and I am ready to go back to my normal world, back to my loved ones and to my work. I have received a lot more knowledge than when I left home and with a very positive and happy future in front of me without the alcohol. I really recommend every alcoholic or addict to go to Always Hope so they can also find, just like me, the happiness and positive feeling in life. And always remember that you are never alone and that there is always hope

Sober Vacation in Paradise

Always Hope is pleased to announce that we have added “sober vacation” or “recovery vacation”. This is an opportunity to bridge the gap for those completing their stay at rehab or for those looking for a safe and sober place to relax, unwind and get grounded in their recovery.

This sober vacation option allows individuals to share their experience, strength and hope with those that may be currently going through the treatment program with us. It is designed to allow you to put into action what you have learned and decompress while helping others see that recovery is possible.

Private rooms, pool onsite, cool outings to the beach or hiking as well as the availability of 12 step meetings if desired. Stay for a week or choose to extend your stay if you desire. With a maximum of 3 guests at one time it will have the feel of a sober “bed and breakfast”.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today.

1 week stay is US$1,000 (private room and food onsite is included).

Recovery Boys: Video Review about Opiate Addiction

Recovery Boys: Video Review about Opiate Addiction

 
Recovery Boys on Netflix just came out on video and follows the journey of a few opiate addicts as they progress from active addiction to rehab and then life after. From my own personal experience with an addiction to opiates this movie provides a realistic view of the struggles to maintain sobriety and become a productive member of society.
They start by entering a non-traditional farm rehab in West Virginia called Jacobs Ladder. It takes some of the similar approaches such as counselling, 12 steps that many rehabs employ, but it’s facilities allows the Recovery Boys to engage in more real-world activities during their stay. I personally feel the non-institutional environment is advantageous to help transition people from active addiction into society and is the basis of our program at Always Hope. 

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

Too many addiction related movies or documentaries imply that rehabs have to be hospital like and this is a scary proposition for people. I like that Recovery Boys shows raw emotion and struggles, it shows that not all rehabs have to feel like a jail or hospital and it portrays realistic outcomes. Unfortunately not everyone succeeds and recovers but whether it takes 1 attempt or 10+ attempts at rehab or recovery, I believe people make mistakes and need to be given a chance to change.

I’m grateful for the chances I was given to change and hope more people will take the help available to recover. If you or a loved one is interested in our program at Always Hope we can help.

 

Insight into Requesting Addiction Help

Insight into Requesting Addiction Help

As I’m the one who answers the phone and returns emails and texts I’ve gained some insight into what people are requesting in their time of need. I’ve been lucky to speak with hundreds if not thousands of people about addiction and thought it might be of interest to reflect on some of what I’ve learned and heard, so far in no particular order:

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  1. Loved ones often notice the problem long before the individual who’s suffering directly with the addiction.  I believe over half of those that contact me for assistance are family or friends.
  2. Those struggling with substance-use disorders or alcoholism often have very little awareness of what options or support is available.
  3. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step groups attract huge stigma, I used to think the same. In my case it was ignorance to what the program entailed and I didn’t want that label attached to me. Once I learned more about AA I realized it was a blueprint for living life on life’s terms.
  4. People tend to reach out at a point of crisis.  Our phone rings when the consequences of someone’s drinking, using or behavior start to have a drastic impact on their life (loss of job, driving license, relationship breakdown, health issues and so forth).  How can ‘we’ help earlier?  What education is available around addiction? (We go talk to students and allow them to drive the conversation and ask anything in regards to addiction) How do we prevent so many from the slippery slope from socially acceptable drinking to problem drinking to dependency or cross addiction into other drugs?
  5. More employers are reaching out to us, which is really positive, they care about their employees and want the best for them.
  6. Some callers are skeptical that rehab can help, and many believe that it will feel like a jail or hospital. Although many rehabs are like that, we and others provide a different option for rehab. You are treated like a guest on a learning retreat. Plenty of 1-1 counselling and homework but also lots outings and moments spent enjoying the gifts of recovery. (Beach outings, hikes, sports or just sitting reading a good book or watching a movie)
  7. The most serious and determined to get help call my phone 1-829-932-0123 , those that are semi interested might text and those that may be only seeing what options are out there usually email.
  8. Addiction and alcoholism does not discriminate and we hear from all ages, nationalities and demographics.
  9. When I share bits of my struggles with addiction in the past they feel a huge relief. For many, knowing that I’ve lived through a similar hell and found a way to recover gives hope that recovery is possible.
  10.  Many are so thankful that someone would listen, too many help lines go unanswered. Wether it’s the middle of the night or if I’m in a meeting or family commitment I answer the call. Giving someone my time and letting them now there is hope also helps me remember when I was in their shoes and I never want to be in that position again.

These are just a few insights I’ve gathered after years of trying to help people recover from their addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling call now, we can help.

Call or text 1-829-932-0123 today

Society Craves 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW!” Pills

1000mg “NUMB ME NOW!” Pills

Wether it’s just an acute (not chronic) case of insomnia, sadness, grief, depression or pain; the answer seems to be to get some form of 100mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills. I know! That was me in the past and I had dappled in anything that would stop me from feeling. If it was prescribed by my doctor or something I bought off the street was of no concern to me, I just wanted something to numb me. It doesn’t specifically matter what the symptoms are and the substance of choice is irrelevant. It just seems socially acceptable now a days to either get drunk or pop some pills to try and get some reprieve from the stresses of life.

Call 1-829-932-0123 today for help.

NUMB ME NOWSociety is moving towards an attitude of instant gratification and “a pill for all ills”. It is becoming far more important for all to become educated on “what and why” we are putting into our bodies and what the long and short term consequences will be. It is inconsequential what the substance is; it could be alcohol, street drugs or whatever 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills your doctor prescribed. Any of the above can lead you astray and down a slippery slope that may eventually lead you to become dependent and addicted.

I’m not trying to say that prescription meds aren’t effective, but more often than not there is a healthier way to deal with life’s ups and downs and also pain, depression, anxiety etc. There is no “one size fits all” remedy for dealing with these obstacles and challenges but there are many options. The multitude of self-help books and websites on the internet should provide some insight into possible healthy solutions. These can range from natural homeopathic treatments, exercise, meditation etc.

These healthy alternatives may not give immediate relief and will take time to get the desired results, but the long term effects won’t be detrimental to your mind and body. Please think twice before running to a doctor to get some 1000mg “NUMB ME NOW” pills.

Testimony: “I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!”

“I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!”

I came to Always Hope not knowing what to expect. At home some people I knew had worked with Jim (counselor) and knew Roger and Shauna (owners) and had the utmost praise for them. Now, after being here for a month I feel the same way, and this is my testimony or testimonial.

Jim is an amazing counselor with the knowledge and experience with alcoholism that I was looking for. I really could relate to him. His approach to working the 12 steps helped me to fully understand and incorporate them into my life. I look forward to our new found friendship an will be a little more at ease in my recovery knowing he is a phone call or text away.

Call Always Hope 1-829-932-0123 for more info

I can’t say enough about the generosity given by Roger and Shauna. To welcome me in to their lives was truly a blessing. I felt like part of the family and their 2 sons were always guaranteed to make me smile or laugh. Their story also helped me trust where I was because they too know the plight of an addict/alcoholic.

The facility is beautiful and is located in a safe gated community. I had a private room and if I felt I needed to be alone I knew I could. My anxieties about location and safety were quashed the moment I set foot here.

Always Hope made sure I wasn’t cooped up and constantly stuck with my thoughts. We all need an escape on occasion and especially when you are required to look at your horrible drunk self through a magnifying glass. We went to multiple beaches, visited a farm, walked every day and even went to the top of Mt. Isabelle de Torres. The outings were one of the highlights for me and helped me immensely with my recovery. They were a great opportunity for me to sit back and reflect on what was really at work here which was me getting healthy and sane.

The food was fantastic and I even gained some weight (I was very underweight when I arrived). And about once a week we were lucky enough to eat out and enjoy some local cuisine. Make sure you try all the different fresh fruits.

I came here anxious, tired and hopeless. My life had become so unmanageable that my only options were death or sobriety. I made the choice for sobriety because I knew I had so much to live for and wasn’t ready to continue my slow agonizing suicide. I had been drinking every day for at least 10 years or 3600 days and now I feel the best I have in almost a third of my life.

My experience has been fantastic. The 12 steps have really made me open my eyes to understand who I am and what is needed to recover and stay in recovery. I have learned a new level of respect for myself and others and I have learned a most gracious lesson in humility.

My higher power whom I call God is now someone I turn to every day for guidance. I had abandoned Him for so long but I knew he never abandoned me. Spirituality and surrendering to your higher power, whoever are whatever that may be, is in my opinion the foundation of the 12 step program.

I will be forever grateful to Jim, Roger, Shauna and their boys for helping me on my journey of sobriety. My disease is not curable but they have given me hope knowing that the tools supplied to me at Always Hope will make my disease of alcoholism manageable. I love the mantra “One day at a time” and will live my life accordingly.

Thank you Always Hope and anyone seeking a new better sober life please consider Always Hope. It changed my life and I’m glad I didn’t go anywhere else!

Sincerely a recovering alcoholic.

Codependency and Family Program

Codependency and Family Program

Due to the increase in calls and requests in regards to codependency issues and a family program we have adjusted our addiction program to address this. It is very common that family members develop codependency issues as a result of the unhealthy relationship created by the addict or alcoholic. We have also developed a family program that can help them understand the 12 step process and to give them the tools and insight necessary to help their loved ones recover.

The codependency program can be completed in 3 weeks. It will include daily 1-1 counselling and will include much of the same material that is covered in the 4 week addiction treatment program, but the focus will be on how the unhealthy relationship is making life unmanageable. The program will provide you with the tools necessary to start healing and help yourself recover.

At Always Hope we also feel that it is important to help the family understand what the alcoholic or addict has gone through. Our 2 week family program is designed for loved ones that want to gain a better understanding of what the addict or alcoholic has gone through in the past, the 12 steps, the process of rehab and the steps necessary to prevent a relapse. We believe that by having the knowledge to aid in your loved ones recovery you will be more likely to help them heal instead of enabling them to continue in their destructive behavior.

For more information on the details of the programs

please call 1-829-932-0123 today.

Price of the program is similar to what an all-inclusive vacation would cost but includes the benefit of learning life skills that will help you enjoy a better quality of life in the future. Private rooms, beach trips and cool outings are also included.

codependency

Addiction Ruined My Life

Addiction Ruined my Life

Knowing these facts did not stop Miranda, a 35-year-old executive, who was born and raised in Toronto and knew all of the statistics related to the drug and alcohol substance addiction problems. She was under the impression that a little partying with samplings of drugs, or a few drinks a day would not lead to addiction. Her sentiments were that addiction only happened to weak individuals, and she was not weak! “I can stop whenever I want,” said Miranda, however this did not occur! The feeling that addiction will not happen to you is a myth. It can take over a person’s life quickly, without warning or notice. An addiction problem does not discriminate.  It is one reason why it is so threatening since it can consume one’s life before he/she is even aware of its importance. Once this occurs, either the individual must seek help or suffer the consequences. Miranda knew this. However, she was in denial exhibiting the emotions and unrealistic behavior that many addicts so possess.

Continue reading Addiction Ruined My Life