Written by a talented current resident.
I have been struggling with a substance use disorder for a decade now, constantly striving for a sober, well-rounded, and healthy life. While reaching for the person I knew I could be, I continuously got caught up in grief, frustration – or even a plain old good mood – with alcohol always there to tap me on the shoulder and remind me it was only a walk, bike ride or car ride away.
After arriving here at Mahala’s Hope, I’m finally starting to feel what it’s like to live without that constant tapping. Here, I am treated with respect. I have a voice. I am an individual whose past is used to help me understand myself, as opposed to reasons not to trust me, or reasons to dismiss me. After years of being treated as incapable or less than, sometimes knowingly by those who seek to help and support, the mind becomes accustomed to a learned sense of helplessness.
The Mahala’s Hope staffs’ attitude as a whole is nothing less than empowering and encouraging, all while maintaining a no-nonsense, healthy living environment. In turn, each new client quickly falls into the supportive and self-motivated role displayed with dignity by each staff member.
I have never experienced treatment with such an individualized structure, based purely on each client’s needs. The intuition displayed by our leaders, not to mention each phenomenally talented horse, leaves no stone unturned, while still allowing each client to express her willingness and readiness to confront the deep-seeded experiences or feelings of the past.
As I walk deeper into this world of recovery, guided by the staff and my peers, I have a slowly intensifying feeling that the sober, well-rounded, and healthy life that I’ve been striving for really does exist.