Addicted to percocet and living in the back closet of his job, Jay’s life was unmanageable. It got to the point that he didn’t want to live this way and he knew that it was either die or get help. When someone recommended, he try DreamLife Recovery, he knew he had to make the right decision.
Back in the building, Jay simply says, “this building grounds me.” In his time spent at DreamLife Recovery, Jay learned a lot of grounding techniques. One of those techniques is to lay in the grass and just feel what’s going on around you. “I feel at peace, like I’m in the moment and aware of everything going on.” These are techniques that he continues to use every day in his life outside of treatment.
An Amazing Experience
Recovery isn’t an easy experience for anyone, but it sure is easier when you are surrounded by people you can count on. Jay was able to find comfort from the smaller groups and staff alike.
Smaller groups allowed for the creation of not just a community to form, but a family. “When you’re in the same groups with people all day long, that helped me get to know them better and feel more comfortable.”
“The staff here is amazing,” said Jay. “It’s like they really care. I have had my worst days here and my best days here and no matter which one it was, they were there.” Between small groups and an amazing staff, Jay created more friendships at DreamLife than he has going to any meetings.
Discovering New Passions
Jay, a fitness enthusiast, was able to benefit from a number of activities at DreamLife, both fitness related and not. For one, he found playing volleyball to be a great stress reliever. Although he never practiced it before and was opposed to it, he grew to love meditation. He even started looking forward to it daily. By adding in yoga twice a week, it was just what he needed.
The craft room was a great escape. Whether it was playing board games or learning how to make bracelets out of rope for himself or his kids, it helped put his mind to something other than being in rehab.
“This place isn’t like a rehab to me, it’s like a fun place to go to release energy that has been pent up inside of me and work on at the same time,” Jay commented.
Located in beautiful Westmoreland County, Jay found peace and solace in nature, especially in the hikes. Even though he claims himself to not be an outdoors type of guy, the hikes gave him a new perspective on what the outdoors really mean.
Another activity he began looking forward to was equine therapy. At first, he was super standoffish, and therefore, the horse was too. The powerful thing about horses is that they can sense your energy. Once he became calmer, the horse did too. He enjoyed this aspect of the treatment program so much that as he leveled up, he was able to go on the weekends and do extra help.
Creating Daily Routines
For someone who is into fitness, the gym at DreamLife is able to provide more than just a few treadmills. Every morning Jay would use the gym and had the equipment he needed to do dumbbells, chest presses, squats, and lunges.
After completing his workout, it was time to head to the sauna. For Jay and many other fitness enthusiasts, the gym and sauna go hand in hand. The sauna is a chance for your muscles to recover after a good gym session.
The aquachair was a favorite before bed. Located in a separate room, it was a chance for more relaxation and a good massage in a peaceful spot. Hearing the water rushing under him and the calming murals on the wall prepared Jay for a good night’s sleep.
“These things all helped me in the times when I felt like I didn’t have the outside things that I needed.”
Jay’s Biggest Takeaways
During his stay at DreamLife, Jay realized he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from what he wants in life. Instead of letting negative energy overcome him, he learned how to take that negative energy, work through it, and turn it into a positive mindset and source of motivation. Through therapy and small groups, he developed an understanding of how to identify negative thoughts before they even happen.
“I truly believe that if it wasn’t for the things that I learned here and the life skills that I learned here, I wouldn’t be where I am now.” At DreamLife, Jay didn’t feel like just a number. This was the second time he had gone through treatment. The first time, at a different recovery center, he felt like he was just a number moving through a building.
“When I’m here, I feel like a person,” he commented. He also always knew that he was free to go at any point and it was his decision to stay as long as he did. “It’s not like you have to stay here because your insurance is paying for it. It was more like, we want you to get better and come back for alumni association stuff, you gotta get this.”
A New Beginning
“Today my life is completely different than what it was,” said Jay. As a result of the “I can do it” attitude he learned here, Jay has been able to strengthen his relationships with his children and their mothers, and even bought his dream motorcycle.
He currently is living in a recovery house, which is something DreamLife recommended. The first recovery house didn’t work out, so he moved into the one he still lives at now and is happy there. Treatment taught him that when he’s not comfortable, it’s okay to say so, and then make a change.
“One of the biggest tools I learned here,” he says. “Recovery is a day at a time.”