My Letter To You

While on a daytrip from Searidge Foundation, Adam found a 1953 PM Rocket chainsaw. Although in a state of disrepair, Adam saw the great deal of potential it held. With time, commitment, and TLC, Adam was able to restore the saw during his time at Searidge Alcohol Rehab, using vice grips and a toothbrush. He saw the transformation of the chainsaw, as he brought it back to life. The dramatic improvement was reminiscent of the changes he was seeing in himself. By coming to Searidge, he gave himself the same opportunity to start anew, as he gave the chainsaw when he found it in a barn of antiques. Now, Adam sees that chainsaw as a sentimental reminder of the journey he has been through, and how far he has come.

My name is Adam, I’m from PEI and am now married and live with an angel in Pictou, N.S. She has to be an angel to have put up with my bullshit, and throughout it all she saw a gem. Can you imagine that, a gem. A few months ago I would of pronounced myself as dirt.

This sad lifestyle I lived ………full of hurt, pain and sadness. I have worked hard all my life but my disease of alcoholism was able to destroy my home, my family and my career. My possessions became my self-worth and dignity. My disease was always there when no one else was.

I came to Searidge broken, full of resentment, anger, rage and depression. I paced back and forth in this room. I yelled, screamed, threw fits, cried a pool of tears…. then I laughed, something I hadn't done in a long time.

I thought, this is a waste of money and time and then something clicked. It took some deep soul searching and surrendering, these things you can’t buy or find at any treatment facility. I became grateful and in becoming grateful I became positive, with these two feelings I became hopeful. Wow, “hope” I love this. I became honest with myself. I’m in tears now writing this and they are truly tears of joy.

Where I live and what I drive doesn't make me who I am.

I don’t know you, but I certainly feel for you because I REMEMBER where you are, I hold those memories dear to me because if I forget the pain my disease has caused me, I will be on my way to a relapse. Please don’t forget. You will get out of this great place what you put into it. Do some soul searching, what do you see?


Addressing the Roots of Opiate Addiction

Young woman in addiction treatment centre for opioid addiction meditating. Young woman in drug rehab for opioid addiction stretching after yoga class. Group of women providing support for each other during group therapy session at drug rehab. Young woman sitting on the beach, finding some peace and quiet during opioid addiction treatment. Young woman reading book and relaxing during drug rehab for opioid addiction. Young woman sitting in the sauna, finding solace from opioid withdrawal symptoms during drug rehab for opioid addiction and dependence.

My experience at Searidge has been phenomenal. The support here, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Everyone is so caring. I’ve learned stuff I never could have imagined learning before. Things I never knew before. I thought I knew everything—but I didn’t.

What I like about Searidge, is that they find the roots of your addiction and that’s what you work on. You’re not just working on “Okay you have a problem, here’s how to fix it”. They dig deep into what you need, and that is very valuable.

My addiction was opiates, I was a needle addict. I did conquer that at Searidge two years ago, and I came back to get off Suboxone, the opiate treatment program that I was on. I was very afraid of the unknown. People in my life were telling me things, that it is was going to be very, very hard to come off of Suboxone after being on it for two years. But once I got here, all the support systems and care that is here, I was out of it within seven days. My head is so much clearer now. I really did not think that I would ever get to this position in my life. I thought that I was stuck in an opiate place forever. But no, I can see the end of my path now, and I really never thought that I would. It’s very exciting!

Anyone struggling with addiction right now, some advice that I would give them, take it day by day. Do not let people influence your recovery—that’s a major key part of recovery. You need to be focused on yourself.

For people who are terrified of withdrawal, because I totally was terrified, it was not that bad, at all. I’m a little tiny girl, who doesn’t seem to have much fight in her. I have no pain tolerance, I was always looking for that quick fix, looking for that quick fix. I would go 30 minutes, and need more. But now, 10 days off Suboxone, and I’ve never felt better. Get through the first week, and you’re well on your way. Just take it day by day. Drink water, go to the yoga classes, go the gym, go to the sauna. And here I am now. I’m clean. I never thought this would happen.

I’m here. Searidge has saved my life, literally, and I am just very grateful for that.

Overcoming Two Addictions

It has been one of the most enlightening experiences that I could have ever been a part of. My transition from being an overly aggressive, very inconsiderate individual has now been transformed into a person of love. It didn’t come without hard work, because it damn well wasn’t easy. I overcame two addictions. One was cocaine, and dealing my debilitating thoughts to use. And with the help of staff and the love and support of just being able to heal in a healthy environment made it that much easier to have a good experience.

And then the second part was, I quit smoking. Everyone thought I was taking on too much, but I couldn’t have picked a better place to get rid of that addiction, as well. Searidge has been a helping tool to my sobriety.

Psychologically, issues that I have experienced that are now in the past— debilitating thoughts. I was holding onto thoughts of feeling no self-worth. A controlling family that would take things away if I didn’t conform to their demands. Example, if I didn’t mow the grass or snow blow the driveway they would re-evaluate the will. If things didn’t go their way and I put up walls, they would basically threaten to disown me or they wished they had never adopted me. So they would threaten, they would take away love. “I love you today, but I can’t love you tomorrow”. Just hurtful things. Showing up for events with my daughter and them walking right by my daughter. Those things used to really cause the main trigger for me to use, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. After working with Dr. Reid, Drew, Alnoor, Lydia, Lindy, all the support staff, Dale and Al, the night staff. I was able to process those negative forces and make it something more positive. Embrace the change, that I don’t have to take their words and make them my own, I can make my own words now.

Would I recommend this place to someone else? I think everyone should come here. I can think of many neighbors that are dealing with depression. I don’t look at this place as a rehab, I look at this place as a health and wellness center. An amazing place just to finally find yourself, and people should be happy to come here. We all have some type of struggle. I drove myself here, because I wanted something better in life. Now that I see what it’s like to feel love and have care, that’s what people should want out of life. And this is the place you can come to get it. If you ask for help, you get it back. I asked for as much help as I possibly could, after I got through that initial withdrawal stage. Once I had a clearer head, I was able to focus on myself. Basically, you need to give yourself time. If you need time to sleep, you sleep. If you need time to eat, you eat. If you need someone to talk to, there’s 20 people here. The biggest people I got a lot of information from, was clients. Because they’re going through the same problem you are going through—and that’s addiction. The counsellors can say there things, but until you ask a fellow client, it’s like going to AA. A fellow addict can help a fellow addict.

How do you feel about going home?

Scared, but I’m at peace. Going home is leaving this place of beauty. We’re in this little bubble, as we describe it here in class. Everyone is happy, and is supporting you. And you’re going home to the unknown. My analogy was that when I left on day one, me and my wife were on the same path. Thirty-seven days later, I’m now at the finish line and she’s still on day one. The only thing I can do is send pictures of myself to my wife, who says that I have more colour. What I have now, is that I know I have her in my corner as a cheerleader. That’s the only person that matters now. Before, I was focused on too many different people. Now, I’m just focused on the ones that share the same passion of living.

What do I plan? Taking things slow. Now that I have a clearer head, I’m not rushing this. My sobriety is worth more than 40 hours a week.