Hi, I am an addict named Josh. My life to this point has been anything but peachy and quite a tad bit rough. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, which is a smaller city per capita compared to a lot, with only about a million people comparatively. I started using drugs when I was twelve or thirteen. Since then I have had life become all but easy. Me getting high has contributed to many mishaps and misfortunes in my life to date. To start I have used my addiction as a big crutch partially because of some big triggers I have such as me being sexually abused when I was younger, my father being gay, as well as a number of environmental factors that have influenced me to act, think and feel the way I do.

When I was fourteen years old, my good friend Joey’s mother clearly had a crush on me or thought I was cute. One night I was over at his house partying with his mom, him and two other friends. We were all drinking and getting high together. They all fell asleep and I was still awake. His mother came in and proceeded to ask me if I would come into her room and smoke a bowl with her. I knew immediately what she was after and thinking back on the situation I may have actually wanted to do it myself. In hindsight I wish I would have known how it was going to affect me later in terms of relationships as well as how I look at and treat women. If only I knew the problems I was going to have. Using the skills I have learned here I can more easily confront this and deal with how to handle it in the future, whereas every other rehab I have talked about it and dealt with it mostly in terms of the past tense. This approach is more proactive for the here and now as well as the future, and dealing with this problem and feelings as they arise.

Another second issue I have learned how to overcome is the issue with my father being gay. I have learned how to confront and suppress the feelings of resentment, frustration and anger towards a father that flip flopped on me and is now homosexual. Growing up I always looked up to my dad as a role model and somebody that I wanted to be like. Knowing that he is gay is a pill that is hard for me to swallow, however I am learning to deal with this whole issue in a new approach.

In addition there are a vast number of environmental factors that influence me to think, act as well as react the way that I do. To start I have gone to nine or ten different schools throughout my schooling days, therefore I was always the new kid and I was constantly put myself in crazy situations or positions to gain friends and/or be liked. This also played a role in how I acted here when I first got here. Yeah I will admit I acted a straight fool when I first got here, rebellious and disruptive in behavior. On the other hand that is why I have grown to like this place after all, they put up with all my shit, problems and I have acquired tools for life that I would have put little or no value in what so ever.

This place, the very nature of this place that I once protested so adamantly against, yes I will be the first to admit has helped me probably more than I could say that any other rehab has. One day I hope to be able to give back what I have learned and the skills I have acquired because I have had a rough life. The things that I have seen, done and partaken in are not fit for a hardened convict let alone a twenty three year old whose parents are not poverty stricken or from the hood, but from a decent middle class home. I had a chance to be a cookie cutter kid, go to college and play sports behind a white picket fence, however rebellious in nature I cared less than those around me. I have been shot, seen, ran and sold heavy amounts of dope, grown weed for a number of years; overdosed and seen friends overdose and die. To say the least I have experienced the fast and furious lifestyle. I have also been through some pretty intense criminal activities, burglaries, robberies, thefts, bad check cashing and other despicable things of the nature. I believe my experiences are valuable and would be beneficial to helping others. This program is full of valuable knowledge, skills and tools that I honestly can say have helped me to turn it around. I hope one day I could use this to help and intern ultimately helps me!

When I first arrived here I seriously thought this was a straight joke and did not want to put any effort into trying it or even giving this place an honest shot, as I knew what these programs are all about. Needless to say I have stuck it out and I have learned that most of what I had heard or known to previously be true was all based in fantasy or a fanatical version of what these people knew to be true. I have gained nothing but knowledge that I had forgotten about and new datum to apply to the real world. I have learned how to apply this data to improve my life as well as how to confront and deal with my issues and suppressive people. I now can begin to put these tools for life into practice and use them based in reality instead of theory and see how they actually work turning a once punk ass kid into a man and make a one hundred and eighty degree turn around.

It is like this, this program has had a lasting effect on me and definitely helped me to change my ways. I hope to be able to pass these things along to another recovering addict, or a punk ass person like me who, great as they may be, just wanted to be a rebel without a cause. I see good in everyone, potential as well as, hard as it may be for me to look at the glass half full instead of half empty, however I believe that I am accomplishing something for the betterment of the masses. I also have gained valuable friends up in this place I once looked at as an insane asylum, although I guess a bunch of addicts under the same roof is pretty insane. To say the least I want it this time and I have met some good friends here that I probably have and will keep forever. Even at another rehab I attended this past year, I looked at the people I met as people to pass the time and expendable. I now have a different outlook, hope to be able to succeed this time as well as do with my life what I see so many other happy, successful people doing. Sharing experiences from one addict to another is without parallel.

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