Win – Immersed in the Embrace of Mountainside

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It was September 24th, 2023, a grey, gloomy, miserable rainy day when my sister drove me up to Canaan, CT on what seemingly felt like a four-hour car ride thanks to her poor navigational skills and inability to find a Mcdonald’s. Little did I know that this seemingly mundane car ride would lead me to a place of profound transformation. A place I often refer to as the ‘Magical Mountainside’ became my sanctuary, my refuge from the storms raging within me.

A man who took on many roles and responsibilities with a smile and an agenda to make sure things were done right, I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. For too long, I had hidden behind a duplicitous mask, drinking to drown out the chaos of life. I entered treatment, having just recovered from my second total hip replacement, at the ripe old age of 37, and losing my father to Parkinson’s disease a few weeks prior.

Mountainside offered me something I had never given myself: time. Time to reflect, time to process, time to rediscover the essence of who I once was. In the embrace of this community, I found solace in sound baths and acupuncture, rejuvenation in pickle-ball, and connection on the smoke porch.

Everyone knew that I was adamant from the very beginning that I would only be here for the normal residential length of stay and then return home with a plan in hand. The joke amongst everyone was that I would still be here for the fishing trip in June and here I am, over eight months later, still immersed in the embrace of Mountainside. The journey from detox to the Phase IV Program/House has been slow, deliberate, and at times, challenging. But the change has been undeniable, and for that, I am grateful.

It’s surreal to find myself on the other side now, working for Mountainside in the Client Services and Alumni Departments. At times, I have to remind myself that I am not just a special client with a key and a mugshot printed on a badge, but a valued member of the staff, dedicated to serving those who walk the path I once trod.

When I’m not at work, I make the journey home to be with my mother, helping her with whatever needs fixing or attention. It’s a reminder of the importance of family, of connection, of being present in the moment – a lesson I continue to learn each day.

Life isn’t a straight line you can trace and follow, but more like a toddler with a crayon; its messy, and unpredictable, but can be full of colorful surprises. For some there is a rainbow arching over ‘Magical Mountainside’ and if you decide to walk it one step at a time it will transform you.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
Click here or call (888) 833-4676 to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.