The road to long-term sobriety is nothing short of bumpy. Understanding that the ride won’t be smooth, but will be worth it, is essential to putting one foot in front of the other while choosing your own recovery every day. We understand you may feel broken, confused, exhausted and desperate when you walk through our doors, but we also know that you chose to be hopeful in the most trying times of your life and we commend you and support you through the entirety of your sober journey. Alumnus, Mike, chose Baystate to help pull him out of his darkness into a life filled with light and sobriety. Mike believes so much in our mission that he wanted to share his story with the world.
Mike, 33, spent over 15 years in the throes of addiction that began when he was just a teen. He started with both alcohol and drugs and found himself struggling between not wanting to use, while also on a desperate search to find his next fix. He admits, looking back, that it was an extremely unhealthy cycle he was caught in and it felt like there was no way out. He found himself feeling miserable on a daily basis and, at one point, homeless and in and out of trouble with the law. He knew he couldn’t live his life this way forever but had no idea how to get sober and stay that way. He would often work odd jobs and use any money he made to buy the substance of his choice at the time.
Mike admits that he had been in between 20 to 30 detox centers prior to learning about Baystate, while also attending AA meetings and sober houses. He felt as though those places were short-term fixes for a long-term problem. He was never fully given instruction on the 12-Step Recovery Program or guidance on how to remain sober long-term. According to Mike there was no direction, so he often felt lost, even while trying to get sober. Mike feels as though the way the system is currently set up many people, including himself, have been failed or left behind. He knew there had to be a way out and with the help of his family he learned about Baystate Recovery Center.
What makes Baystate different?
According to Mike the staff at Baystate were the first to talk to him about getting sober as a way to live a fulfilling and happy life. Previously, everyone just went through the motions without any deep connection with him or any other client seeking treatment. He said, “they showed me a way to go that I actually wanted to attain.” He recalls staff members telling him often that he can and will accomplish anything he wanted in his life to be happy. The staff set themselves apart by being open, honest and engaging every step of the way.
The difference, to Mike, was clear. Instead of just offering a week of help then setting clients free into society, Baystate worked with him, and others, through each step in the 12-Step recovery program, breaking it down to fit his life. Mike said, “Baystate understands that this is a life-long change. They know that it’s a community and a whole new life. The staff were like my own personal life guides, truly supporting me and taking the time to help me understand every aspect of my current situation while also giving me the tools to stay sober long-term.”
Would you recommend Baystate to others struggling with addiction?
Mike: “If I could drag people in there I would! Addicts want to get better; they just have no idea how. Baystate cares! They give you a path and show you how to walk it. 100% head and shoulders above anyone else. If you have the willingness, they will guide you 1000%. I can’t recommend them enough. They’ve changed my life 100-fold.”
What would you say to those scared to seek treatment?
Mike: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop! Put your full trust in Baystate’s hands and you won’t regret it. It’s like they offer you a treasure map and tell you exactly how to get from point A to B to discover the treasure of your new life chapter. It may feel hard to give up control of your life, but it’s for the best. Feeling scared or worried is normal, push past those feelings and know that once you get there, your life will be forever better if you allow them to help you through your recovery journey. Sobriety is the answer, even if you don’t feel it right now. Do it- don’t waste another minute!”
How has your life changed since choosing Baystate for treatment?
Mike: “I feel like my addiction was part of a different lifetime. I am focused on being healthy and happy more than anything else. Baystate changed my life for the better and I am beyond grateful.”