Noelle went through a difficult divorce and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and why she felt the way she did. “I had a breakdown and ended up in several different hospitals and centers. I was even hospitalized when I was really struggling, ” she remembered. Her father found Centerstone and had her admitted there. While there, she was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
“Finally, I began to understand what was wrong. But I didn’t always take good care of myself, and a lot of the medications would make me sick, and we’d have to try something else.” Then the Centerstone doctors found the ones that were right for her, “I learned to accept that I need to take those meds, and I probably will for the rest of my life. And that’s ok. But I also learned I can’t just pop a pill and I’m better. I have to have balance.”
Through counseling at Centerstone she learned to love herself. “Then, I learned to take accountability for myself and ownership of the illness,” she explained. “I’m learning time management. I live on an organized schedule that includes regular sleep. Now I’ve sharpened my living skills and have a healthy balanced life that includes sticking with important routines, caring for my darling dogs, holding a job and even volunteering as a Sunday School teacher.” She renewed relationships with family and friends, deepened her faith and made healthy new relationships.
“My faith has made a great difference in my life as well. I realized that if someone is lost or doesn’t have a higher purpose driving them, it makes the illness worse,” she said. “But I believe I was given this pain and suffering to make me better prepared. Now my goal is to continue to help others and hope that my story inspires them.”
Ken in the annual Run/Walk for Life
Ken had an impressive career as a financial advisor and Chief Financial Officer of a foundation. He had family and friends and all the right symbols of success. “But without realizing it, I was prioritizing my life around drinking.” And slowly the drinking took over. His employer sent him to several different addiction facilities, and he went to Centerstone. But he never took the programs seriously. “I’d come home with the recovery material in one hand and a drink in another. I even tried to be my own sponsor!” Not surprisingly, his decline continued.
He hit the bottom when he ended up in a coma in the hospital and the doctor told his mother to make final arrangements. “I woke up in intensive care and realized that it was the end—either the end of my life or the end of the addiction.” Ken chose life.
“Centerstone took me back. They gave me the tools and the hope.” This time he decided to really try the steps. “It was working, and Centerstone was with me the whole way. They followed up on me,” he said. “I learned I had to develop my own form of recovery. I lost everything, but I focused on my recovery. As I did that, the rest of my life came back.”
Now Ken works in the Centerstone Addiction Center. “I share the tools of recovery: the coping skills and relapse prevention. I am learning to adapt to another lifestyle.” For those in recovery, it’s a matter of changing little things each day. Centerstone respects the humanity and individuality of each client and patient and treats everyone with dignity.
“I am not a recovered alcoholic. I am an alcoholic who is in recovery.” Each day he gives that hope to others at Centerstone.
“I was drinking 24-7. Stress was my trigger,” said Mark. He describes his life as a “complete disaster.” It seemed hopeless. One Sunday afternoon his girlfriend brought him to Centerstone “before I died.”
During his stay, “Centerstone gave me the tools and life support skills to cope with life on life’s terms. The staff was great!”
Mark continues to use what he learned at Centerstone. “I am living a happier, cleaner and productive life. I am more focused and calm.”