Greenestone's Alumni share their stories and journeys through recovery at Greenestone...Read some of the Greenestone Muskoka alumni's stories about their journeys through their own personal recovery and battle with addiction and the road to recovery. We believe that sharing these stories will help inspire more people like them to seek the help they need to begin the road to healing and recovery with Greenestone Muskoka!
Amanda's Greenestone Story
I reached out to get treatment because I realized that I couldn’t quit drinking by myself. I promised myself and others many times that I would stop but I always ended up disappointing myself and my loved ones. Every business meeting, social gathering, sports event, and even nights at home alone involved alcohol. I needed a safe place where alcohol wasn’t everywhere I turned.
Once I decided that I needed a residential treatment facility I sat down and made a list of my needs. I knew I needed to be admitted quickly, before I changed my mind again, so waiting months or even weeks before being admitted was not an option. I had abused my health for so long that I wanted to start my new healthy life in a beautiful setting with comfortable living conditions. Having had serious health issues in the past and also having been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, I wanted and needed medical and psychiatric staff on the premise. I wanted a holistic approach to treatment. From past experience living and breathing the twelve steps just wasn’t good enough for me. Also, I knew I had to replace my maladaptive behavior with new healthy habits, including exercise, so a gym on site was important to me. Finally, I had a hard time detoxing by myself so a facility that included a safe detox program was necessary. I searched online for two days, made many telephone calls and finally found Greenestone. They offered everything I wanted and needed and more. Four days after my initial contact with Dr. Teslak at Greenestone I was picked up at the airport and brought safely to Greenestone.
I attended another treatment facility twice before which was an institutional setting. It is difficult to compare the two facilities because they are so very different. The one previous to GreeneStone had approximately 50 plus residents there at any given time. At the other treatment facility I had shared a room with one other person and a bathroom with three other people. The beds were uncomfortable at that facility, the food was very average and there were many rules and regulations that everyone had to follow. The rules were strict and they applied to everyone. There was very little individualized care. I can’t emphasize enough the difference between an institutional setting and a place like Greenestone.
I liked many things about Greenestone. I loved the food, the gym, reading in the sun by the pool, meeting new and interesting people, but most of all, I loved playing guitar and singing around the bonfire in the evenings.
At times my stay at Greenestone felt like my first alcohol-free holiday where I learned various coping skills and techniques required in order to live a more meaningful, healthier, and happier life. But it wasn’t always easy. Living amongst approximately 15 to 20 other drug/alcohol dependent individuals can be quite a challenge at times. But with every challenge came a sober victory. It would be a lie to say that there were not difficult times but I can say that the staff at Greenestone handled every difficult situation professionally and promptly.
I loved the organized activities on the premise and off! I think that it is very special to make a point of teaching drug/alcohol abusers how to enjoy healthy activities. I thought that when I gave up alcohol I would be giving up my ability to have fun. Greenestone’s organized recreational activities helped me relearn how to have fun, smile, and laugh without the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Who would have thought that alcohol-free I smile and laugh more than I ever did while drinking.
I find the Alumni gatherings very beneficial. Greenestone Alumni have something very special in common and I can’t help but feel a type of bond with almost anyone that has experienced such pain and then fought and yes sometimes suffered in order to become a better, emotionally and physically healthier version of them selves.
Mary's Greenestone Story
Living at Greenestone was an amazing experience. It is a safe and nurturing place to heal. The daily groups and activities kept me focused and I enjoyed all the amenities in my free time. The rooms are clean and spacious and the food is healthy and delicious.
My drinking became a problem and then eventually my drinking was out of control. It was ruining my life and everyone else around me. I needed to get out of the horrible cycle I was in and was ready to make a change. I chose Greenestone because of its location and reputation. It’s not too far from where I live and I love the Muskoka area.
I went to two other treatment facilities in the past and Greenestone was by far the better place. The staff and therapists were more qualified and personable than the others. The grounds are beautiful and the amenities are great, nothing like the others I have been to.
All of the programs offered at Greenestone were beneficial in different ways. The group education is a time to learn about various topics relating to treatment and addiction and learning how to live with it. The group therapy is a very intimate and private setting where residents can share personal stories, struggles, and words of encouragement with the therapist and the others in their group. The individual sessions are great for talking about any issues in detail with the therapist which you may not want to share with the group.
I liked everything about treatment. I knew I desperately needed it. I needed to learn about addiction, learn how to live with it and most importantly, learn about myself.
The most challenging thing for me was being away from my family. I was able to see them on some weekends, which did help. I had to keep reminding myself that I needed this time to heal and to address issues that needed to be dealt with.
I used the gym 3-5 times a week. I played a lot of tennis and walked the paths on the property. I went on the day trips into town.
Meetings and support are essential for me in my recovery. I have a sponsor and a home group which I found while I was still in Greenestone. I wanted to have that set up before my discharge. And the Alumni program is wonderful. It’s a great way to keep in touch and find out about upcoming events.
If someone asked me what treatment was like at GreeneStone and wanted to attend, I would suggest they go and I would drive them there myself. Greenestone changed my life. It was the best decision I ever made and it offers everything you need in a safe and nurturing environment. The staff is very professional and supportive. Their profound insight and knowledge was helpful and enlightening.