Tag Archives: testimony

Paradise found: a rehab like no other (testimonial)

Paradise found: I came to Always Hope at a low point in my life.  Five days into my two week stay at my house in Cabarete, having escaped the northeast winter as I do every year, I was still living a life which revolved around anticipating, using and recovering from a daily intake of alcohol, much as I had done for the past 25 years or so in the states.  I was in the throes of my addiction,  my life closing in around alcohol, and wanting to stop all the time.  I thought about going to AA, going into rehab, etc., but I did not, could not take the first step.  It was the stage 4 cancer diagnosis I received at the end of 2021 which was my “rock bottom” in which I realized I may very well die, but I will definitely die, sooner rather than later, if I don’t stop NOW!  But here I was in the DR, still doing the same old thing.

 Finally,  one late night I googled “rehab in Cabarete” and came upon “Always Hope”.  I immediately called the next day and was answered by a human ,  Roger, the owner.   He answered my questions about his program, in a measured , soft spoken manner, and did not say too much, though I noted a calm voice, which I found reassuring.  I detected a heart.  Though there was no hard sell here, almost a benign indifference.  “Take it or leave it” he seemed to say.   He told me about local AA meetings which he offered to meet me at.  But I knew I probably wouldn’t get there on my own, and I needed help to get away from the alcohol. So without any real hesitation or investigation, and with no real options (there was no Dr. Bob to lock me in a room), I requested that he take me in.  He came the next day to pick me up.


The location is a well appointed, modest sized villa with a large terraced pool in a luxury gated community between Sosua and Cabarete.  I was immediately greeted by his friendly wife  Shauna and their son,  then shown to my private  room and bath in a separate area overlooking the pool terrace.  I quickly felt at home.  I soon realized I was the only “visitor”, something which at first made me a little nervous, but which I soon came to relish.    It was my first day of sobriety in 25 years and had no idea how it would go.  But I was in a low-key, quiet, relaxing place away from alcohol.  Even there are no locks on the door, I knew I was safe.  And off to my first meeting later that day.  Once I made that first break, I never looked back.

  
 The program at “Always Hope” is deceptively simple, almost minimalist in style.  The structure being daily 1 hour counseling sessions, two or three weekly AA meetings “off-campus, and study guides and literature provided by Roger to take yourself through a kind of self-guided 12 step program.   At first I felt like I needed more help and structure.  Being the only patron (the max is 3), I didn’t have any people to share experiences with and I worried a wouldn’t benefit from the interaction with other addicts in and out of various groups, as you would in a typical rehab.  But I soon realized the peace and introspection that came without having to deal with other people’s baggage, and the ability to really focus on my recovery, in such a pleasant, peaceful space.     ( I also soon realized that I would get plenty of feedback, sharing, and meeting other “people like me” in the AA meetings.).

Roger and his wife are always there, but almost in the background, present and available to talk to when needed, but otherwise pleasantly and “quietly” going about their lives.  Roger is quick to point out that he is not a counselor, but he was a good sounding board and shared his own experiences with addiction and recovery when appropriate.  I soon realized that Roger’s function for me was like that of a host, or tour guide;  helping me navigate through the process of my own new found sobriety in a congenial, unobtrusive, and relaxed  manner.  Going to my first AA  meetings with him was major a life changing experience.  Having avoided and been afraid to go for so many years, I needed that personal escort.  Once there, I quickly embraced and became emerged the AA program.  A life long skeptic and atheist, I  soon realized that AA would be essential to my long-term sobriety.    

Daily  runs and casual chats with Shauna, and movie night, focused on addiction movies, were some recreational highlights.   The unrestricted use of my phone and IPad was also much appreciated, as I did not want to place my life on hold.  In fact, for me, one of the chief therapeutic aspects of the program was the ability  to experience elements of my life and some of the daily stressors sober, within the confines of a safe place.  A kind of “exposure” therapy.    Shopping trips with the host, which entailed walking past the liquor aisles, also served in this regard, as well preparing my own meals, which I had normally done drunk.   Though food is provided and there is easy access to the kitchen, Shauna is happy to prepare meals upon request. This is not the place for 4 star resort service, however, and you are expected to basically clean up after yourself, do your own laundry, etc., which is all part of the process.   

Though most of my time was spent at the Villa, customized outings were arranged.    I was able to visit my house several times and tend to my chores, chickens and dog, without alcohol being part of the picture.  That was hugely therapeutic.  The most important thing was to be able to stop drinking, and begin my AA experience, and I could not have done it without  “Always Hope “.  I will forever be grateful.

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.

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.

My Addiction: No 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. This is my testimonial or testimony to the success of Always Hope.

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?

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 and this is my testimonial or testimony.

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.

Continue reading Was My Addiction a Blessing or a Curse?

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

Lost!! On the Edge of Relapse

My testimony or testimonial in regards to Always Hope. 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!

Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

relapse preventionMy story of arriving at Always Hope may sound familiar to some of us uniquely thinking we are alone.

Áfter over six years of sobriety, AA meetings that tapered off once the raising and caring for family became a priority. A move from one Alberta town to another, becoming involved in community, meeting topnotch folks the excuses abounded and AA became nonexistent. Denial raised its ugly head and I slowly started “socially drinking”.

Continue reading Relapse Prevention at Always Hope: A Testimony

Suboxone Withdrawals and Detox made easy

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 my testimonial or testimony about 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

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. This is my testimonial or testimony about Always Hope.

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.