From Spiraling to Centered to Soaring
March 13, 2023
Life Before HopeWay
Prior to my time at HopeWay, I was super unhappy, drinking too much, not taking care of myself and binge eating. I thought, “if I died right now, it wouldn’t matter”. It wasn’t until I went through a heart-wrenching breakup from a 10-year relationship that I started to really spiral. After the breakup, my drinking increased, and it quickly became my go-to coping mechanism. One day I got so drunk that I tried to commit suicide and woke up the next morning thinking, “I cannot keep living this way." I decided that alcohol could not be the only way to deal with my emotions, and I talked to my therapist about what I should do next.
Treating Mental Health
She recommended HopeWay, and I did a lot of research on my own to make sure it was a good fit. Luckily, my insurance covered my treatment, and I was able to take a medical leave from work. When I told my parents I was going to HopeWay, my dad was supportive, but skeptical. I knew treatment was my only option to change my behaviors, so I told him to get on board! My relationship with my father had always been a rocky one, as my dad was raised to brush everything off, which made it hard for him to understand the physical invisibility of mental health.
Residential Program at HopeWay
I had been living alone, so entering the residential program with all the rules and people around was a difficult adjustment. But after attending my first group, I felt safe and knew I could open up, and be vulnerable. At that moment, I knew I had to make a decision – either work hard and get better or keep letting life happen around me. From that moment on, I worked really hard. I had good days and bad days, but each day I made a goal; nothing big, but something I could strive for. I realized that my goal was progress, not perfection; 1% change became the intention.
I had good days and bad days, but each day I made a goal; nothing big, but something I could strive for. I realized that my goal was progress, not perfection; 1% change became the intention.
Group therapy made me feel like less of an outsider. I felt heard and supported. Dr. Marra was my psychiatrist and he gave me answers for the first time. He took time to talk to me and get to know my family. He wanted to know my story. He wanted to know how I felt about medication and never made a decision without asking how I felt about it.
Life After HopeWay
There are so many things I learned during treatment that I still use today. I focus on 1% progress rather than perfection. I invest in myself every day by eating healthy, working out, advocating for myself, journaling and not drinking. I now know my self-worth and can say with confidence that I love myself.
I now know my self-worth and can say with confidence that I love myself.
I am also very proud of how my family dynamic has changed. It was not an easy road with my parents or siblings as I always felt like I had a problem but no one in my family could relate. However, through my work I was able to find myself and mend these relationships. Today, I talk about mental health with my parents. My father not only listens but also participates in the discussion, which amazes me. I am so proud of how we both have grown in order for our father/daughter relationship to work. My mother has always been supportive and I am so grateful for that. I am most proud of my parents for accepting my need for professional help, but also being very supportive throughout the process as well as post-treatment.
HopeWay was single handedly the hardest thing I have ever done, as I had to learn to externalize feelings that I had buried deep down, and also be vulnerable in front of a group of strangers. I worked extremely hard during my time at HopeWay and once I got out, I made a deal with myself to take it one day at a time. It has been one year since I was at HopeWay, and I continue to thrive. I am starting an MBA program in marketing and it has been a year since I stopped drinking. I thought not drinking would be the hardest thing, but it ended up being the easiest part of my recovery.
After I left HopeWay, I got two tattoos that have a deep meaning to me. The first one is a “warrior” tattoo and the second one is two hearts - one being empty and the other full, which shows that today I do love myself and I constantly remind myself of it. Prior to HopeWay, life was happening around me but today I am grateful to be alive, as now I am the leading role in my own amazing story.
Prior to HopeWay, life was happening around me but today I am grateful to be alive, as now I am the leading role in my own amazing story.
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