Category Archives: Always Hope

Honesty and addiction

Many of us began our addictions out of curiosity. But if we truly look at it with honesty we can find a way to recover. Some of us became involved because of a justifiable need for a prescription drug (such as my story) or as an act of deliberate rebellion. Many began this path when barely older than children. Whatever our motive for starting and our circumstances, we soon discovered that the addiction relieved more than just physical pain. Our drug of choice provided stimulation or numbed painful feelings or moods. It helped us avoid the problems we faced— or so we thought.

For a while, we felt free of fear, worry, loneliness, discouragement, regret, or boredom. But because life is full of the conditions that prompt these kinds of feelings, we resorted to our addictions more and more often. Still, most of us failed to recognize or admit that we had lost the ability to resist and abstain on our own. 

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Rarely do people caught in addictive behaviours admit to being addicted, this is the very nature of the disease of addiction. It tells us we can handle it. To deny the seriousness of our condition and to avoid detection and the consequences of our choices, we tried to minimize or hide our behaviours. We did not realize that by deceiving others and ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions. As our powerlessness over addiction increased, many of us found fault with family, friends,  and even God. We plunge into greater and greater isolation, separating ourselves from others, especially from our loved ones.

When we, as addicts, resorted to lies and secrecy, hoping to excuse ourselves or blame others, we probably became isolated physically and emotionally from those who could not understand us. With each act of dishonesty, we fell deeper into the depths of our addiction, using more to hide our feelings. Then a time came when we were brought face to face with reality. We could no longer hide our addictions by telling one more lie or by saying, “It’s not that bad!”. We call this our bottom and it is a place where we feel totally alone, helpless, hopeless and useless.  A loved one, a close friend, a doctor, a judge, or someone else we trust may have told us the truth we could no longer deny. That addiction was destroying our lives.

Honesty with ourselves first

When we honestly looked at the past, we admitted that nothing we had tried on our own had worked. We acknowledged that the addiction had only gotten worse. We realized how much our addictions had damaged relationships and robbed us of any sense of self-worth. At this point, we took the first step toward freedom and recovery by finding courage to admit that we were not just dealing with a problem or a bad habit. We finally admitted the truth that our lives had become unmanageable and that we needed help to overcome our addictions. We found the courage to ask for help.  The amazing thing about this honest realization of defeat was that recovery finally began.

Honesty with ourselves is possibly the hardest thing. It may be because we can and do get away with lying to everyone else. But we always know our truths. 

Am I completely ready to be honest with myself to the very best of my ability!

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”

Denial and Addiction

ALWAYS HOPE DENIAL

One of the most frustrating factors in dealing with alcoholism and/or addiction, as a relative, friend or professional, is it is almost always accompanied by a phenomenon known as “denial”.  In the long path the addict/alcoholic takes toward mental, physical and moral decline, usually the first thing to go is honesty. He or she simply lies about his drinking. These may be little lies at first, but they grow fast. How many times have you said something like  “I only had two … I haven’t drank (or drugged) in a week… I don’t drink as much as others do…” these are our ways to keep using, it give us permission!

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

As we, the addicts or alcoholics begin to use more drugs and drink more alcohol, and maybe more often, we begin to hide this fact from those around us. Depending upon our circumstances we may drink or use openly, but usually we will conceal the amount we use or drink, or not using or drinking around those who are close to us and lie when or if we are asked about it.

If someone tries to discuss his drinking with us, we simply refuse to talk about it, or dismiss it as not a real problem.  After all, we are adults now and we can drink or use if we want to, it’s nobody else’s business, what I do, it’s not hurting anyone but me and it’s not as bad as everyone thinks it is.

Clues to a Problem

But these simple acts of denial, lying about our drinking/using or refusing to discuss it, are clues to us that deep down inside we know that we have a problem.

If it’s not a problem, why do we lie about it to anyone? Are we protecting the ones we love, or work for, or associate with?  But as true addict/alcoholics, we know there is something wrong, we may not know it is a disease, but we feel that there is something different about us.  We cover up and deny our using or drinking out of our own feelings that there is something different or “wrong” about it or maybe there is something wrong with us. Somewhere inside we realize that our drinking or using means more to us than we are willing to admit.

Even though our sprees have gotten us into some real trouble, we still deny that it has anything to do with us.  Some say this is purely a defense mechanism. How is this possible? Usually by the time the disease has gotten to the crisis point, we have developed a support system of family and friends who unwittingly enable us to continue in our denial.

Because they love us, they act to protect us by covering for us, doing the work that we don’t get done, paying our bills that we don’t pay, rescuing us from scrapes with the law, and generally taking up the responsibilities that we have abandoned.

Protecting the Addict/Alcoholic

Have your loved ones ever lied for you such as “__________ can’t come in to work today, They have a virus” or “We’ve got to get him/her out of jail, he’ll lose his/her job! Then what will we do” or even “It was my fault, officer, I said some things I should not have said”

By doing these things, our loved ones are protecting the addict/alcoholic from the consequences of their own actions. We never have to feel the real pain caused by using and drinking. They rush in to put “pillows” under us so we doesn’t hurt ourselves in the fall. Consequently, we alcoholics and addicts never find out how much it hurts or feels to fall, and thereby never feel empowered to make it right either.

Although our drugging and/or drinking has placed us in a helpless and dependent position, we can continue to believe we are still independent because we have been rescued from our troubles by our well-meaning family, friends, co-workers, employers and sometimes clergymen and counsellors.

The roles these enablers play to “help” the alcoholic can be just as hurtful and harmful as the addicts/alcoholics behaviour, but that is a story for another day.

With these enabling devices in place, we addicts/alcoholics are free to continue in the progression of our disease, with our denial intact, until we perhaps reach the point of hitting our bottom, at which point even the most dedicated drug user or drinker must finally admit there is a problem. But there is no way for us to ever hit bottom when it’s always covered with pillows.

Are you willing to admit that that you are struggling and willing to receive help so you can stop hurting yourself and those around you? parents, children, friends, co-workers and anyone else who is affected by your destructive behaviours? If the answer is yes we at Always Hope can help. Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today.



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

Recovery, My Loved Ones Perspective

In  the past seven plus years since Roger has been in recovery from his addiction to pain medication, I (his wife) have noticed such a positive change in his overall character and personality. This is my testimony or testimonial into how life has changed and this program works.

Call or message 1-829-932-0123 today to speak with Roger or I.

First of all, especially in the five years and since we have moved to the Dominican, he portrays a scene of calmness about him. Very laid back and so easy to talk too. Even participants who spend their time with us, will sit and talk with him about anything and since he can relate they seem to be comfortable around him.

He has a certain peace about himself, a quiet content spirit that is very welcoming. Almost like he has reorganized on the inside.

Another big change in our family life is that Roger is more available as a husband and a Father. Emotionally and physically he gives more of himself. Emotionally his patience has returned, willing to listen and communicate with us.

Physically he works out with our son and I, also playing basketball and street hockey with local friends as well as our boys. And doesn’t hesitate to help around the house a lot more to make my job easier. Our lifestyle change as well as his recovery has played a big part in that. 

recovery
recovery

The ambition I see in him is unbelievable, My husband got his spark back, everyday we grow closer as a couple as well as a family. Our relationship is the strongest it has ever been. The trust between us took years to replenish but I now I give him a huge amount of respect for what he has given us as a family, after coming back from the ultimate rock bottom.

They say the strongest men come from the darkest places and I believe to be true, that if you can turn your life around and rise, after being at the bottom you can conquer anything.

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.