For years I had been plagued by my addiction. I would lose possessions and morals and regain them only to lose them again. I told myself life was manageable but I was naive. I thought one day I could put the drugs and alcohol down for good. After receiving a college degree I realized that all my dreams and ambitions had gone out the window and that did not bother me. I was more content struggling day to day to get my fix rather that apply myself for a better chance at life. I was perfectly fine with surrounding myself with the wrong people and because of that I did not see anyone beat their addictions. I thought that is where I belonged and I thought that I would die that way. The hope rose for me once I was introduced to the 12 steps at The Brook Retreat, for the first time in my life I met people that I could relate with. These men had learned to curb the mental obsession to use, something I had never been able to do and I was intrigued. As I went through my journey at The Brook Retreat I learned the necessary tools to not feel the need to get outside myself and to be content. With this relief I was able to stop thinking of myself and to be a more selfless active member of society and that's truly all I've ever wanted. Without this program I don't know where I would be today, but I am happy to say I am overly grateful to be a part of this amazing community
Sheila Mother of Alumnus
We began seeking help for my son's anxiety when he was in elementary school. We went to many doctors and various programs over the years only to get more prescriptions. Being a quiet and well behaved kid no one would ever have thought he would become an addict. But because he wanted to feel normal just like everyone else he began self medicating which led to his addiction to both drugs and alcohol. The Brook Retreat provided a structured program and guided him through AA's Big Book of Alcohol Anonymous and taking steps to recovery. With their support my son found the solution to his recovery and a true understanding of who he is as a person. The Brook Retreat did for my son what no medical doctor or other program could give him. He now has over 1 year in recovery and is not on any medications. The Brook Retreat is committed to helping others find recovery. Words cannot express the how grateful our family is to the Brook Retreat.
Not only was my life unmanageable due to drugs and alcohol, my life was unmanageable due to myself. I didn’t know how to live a “normal” life like the rest of my friends and family and turned to drugs and alcohol to escape from reality. I had tried all of the medications, counseling, psychiatrists and doctors but none of these things ever helped me in the least. After many failed attempts of trying to get sober by these methods, I felt completely hopeless and was content dying a drug addict. As a last effort attempt, my family put me in the Brook Retreat. I entered a completely broken person. I didn’t know how to live my life without drugs and needed to learn. I was skeptical at first because every other attempt at sobriety had failed me. But something was different about the 12 steps. They addressed the problem as being me, and not being my drug of choice. They showed me how to live without drugs and alcohol, which at one point I honestly believed was impossible. But more importantly to me, they showed me how I could be happy in sobriety. And being a drug addict that’s all I really wanted, was to be happy and be happy with myself. The Brook Retreat has saved my life and made me into the man that I am today. I am forever grateful.
Before I came to the Brook Retreat I had spent over a decade struggling with addiction. I’d attended many detoxes, rehabs and intensive outpatient programs but I was never able to stay sober for more than a few months at a time. I tried medication assisted therapies and every cutting edge treatment I came across but to no avail. Upon entering the Brook Retreat I was first struck with the similarities in the expereriences of the staff and my own. It was easy to begin trusting them because they were addicts and alcoholics of the same kind as myself. They talked, acted and thought like me but they had turned their lives around and were living meaningfully with a new sense of purpose. As I progressed through the program I came to understand that I wasn’t unique, that I could be helped, and that the staff had a proven track record of winning in a battle I had believed hopeless. Today I’m proud to be a part of the community surrounding the Brook Retreat and happy that I can continue to see others go from hopeless to whole.
All my life all I have ever cared about was making myself comfortable. Doing whatever I could to make myself feel good, whether it was acting out in school for attention, or not taking blame for my wrong doings, it was all about me and my concerns. I didn’t care how my words or actions affected anyone. I was raised with good morals, but I always strove for what made me comfortable, and that was being lazy, being a slob, and doing everything the easiest way possible. All the morals I had went out the window when I discovered pot, finally I could feel comfortable without facing any of my doubts and insecurities, I finally found comfort in being outside of myself. My life quickly became unmanageable after that and stayed that way for years through varying stages of alcoholism and drug addiction. I didn’t know how to live life, I didn’t care how much I hurt my family or friends, as long as I could get high or drunk. I never wanted to face myself, and to stay comfortable I never paid bills, stole, lied, cheated, and manipulated. Where did those morals I grew up with go? They were locked away. Finally my life looked like, treatment centers, homelessness, and an addiction to shooting heroin. I wanted to stop but I couldn’t I didn’t know how. I would get clean but I would constantly obsess over using, when i was sober I was miserable and when I was high I was also miserable, I was too afraid to live life on life’s terms. I was in a terrible place of living but all i wanted to do was die. Everyone would ask me Justin why cant you stop? I could not give them an answer because i did not have one, I simply could not stop. I was 24 years old when i moved into the Brook Retreat, it was a long road but what i learned at this house has helped me recover from a hopeless mental state of a constant obsession to use mood and mind altering substances. It all started with a look inside myself, the problem was me and I had to face it, that entailed a house cleaning of all the resentment, fear, and harm I’ve caused others that for years i refused to let go of, was finally able to see my part in all of them, and leave them in the past, and from there I learned how to live a life where others come before my comforts wants and needs. My whole life I lived for my comfort, and it literally got me nowhere except for self-hatred, pity and lack of success, so the only solution I was taught was the complete opposite, a life based around helping others. Today I can face my fears and let go of resentment I harbor against others, I pay my bills on time even if that means I don’t get to go out to eat an extra time that week, I’m present for my family and friends, I don’t call them just asking what they can do for me but, what i can do for them. I don’t live a lavish life where I’m “rolling in dough” but today what I have is enough for me, i have everything I need and for the first time in my life thats enough for me.
I walked into the Brook Retreat a broken individual. An individual who found drugs & alcohol at a young age as a way of coping with my problems and distancing myself from reality. Every time I tried to get sober before I tried to deal with the drugs but ignored the real issue, myself . So wrapped in my self pity my own dellusion almost cost me the ultimate price , my life . The Brook Retreat helped me deal with the problems that caused me to turn to alcohol & drugs, giving me the tools to deal with them on a day to day basis. Dealing with my problems in turn gave me happiness, without the need of alcohol & drugs. The Brook Retreat saved my life , helped shape me into a better person, and for that I'm forever grateful.