Living Your Best Life

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The Alumni Trip to Mexico was a success. It was something I had been looking forward to for months. Each day would be an adventure ⎼ a chance to see something new and experience a new culture. All the planning and preparation was about to unfold before me. I thought I had covered all my bases. But there isn’t enough preparation in the world that can stop you from succumbing to an illness.

On the second day of the trip, I started not feeling well. I dismissed it. I chalked it up to the air quality or allergies. But on the third day, I started having the chills. I had a fever, aches, sore throat. But what could I do? Curl up in my hotel room and close the door? No. So, I went to the doctor and pushed through.

Do you ever think you can’t do something? That it’s too hard, too difficult, or you are not capable? Well, I did everything on the itinerary. I felt and looked awful, but I was determined. I was the group leader.

In La Paz, we went hiking, swam with whale sharks, and jumped into the Sea of Cortez to swim with sea lions. Then we landed in Mexico City, where we made our way to Teotihuacán, 7,000 feet above sea level. I climbed the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon. Trekked more than 7 miles each day.

Everyone kept saying, “Jessica you should rest, or Jessica how are you doing this?” And I don’t know. I guess I just dug deep and pulled on my desire and strength to endure. We are stronger than we think. Sometimes, even when you feel like laying down and giving up, when you feel like you can’t go on, you just have to keep on moving.

So, when life throws you a curve ball, when you encounter an obstacle, or something seems too challenging, rather than allowing yourself to be defeated, look at it as an opportunity. You can do anything you set your mind to, of that I am sure.

I am ready for a day of relaxation and wellness after the trek to Mexico. I plan to go beyond by connecting with self. Join the alumni & wellness team in NYC for a day of wellness!

Mountainside Beefs Up Nutrition Program

At Mountainside, we know the important role that proper nutrition plays in healing the mind and body during recovery. That is why we are excited to be expanding our nutrition offerings to include nutrition assessments, counseling, and education as part of treatment at Mountainside across the continuum of care.

The program, spearheaded by nutritionist Joyce Faraj, PhD, RDN, CDN, aims to educate clients in understanding the link between substance use and nutritional habits. Lack of proper food can result in increased cravings, aggressiveness, and impaired executive function. We want clients to see how nutrition can affect their moods and mental health, and for them to know how to eat for a speedier and successful recovery. By teaching them to fuel their bodies with nutrient rich foods, we will be helping them achieve total wellness.

Share Night Volunteers & Family Wellness Speakers
Julie P. Guilford, CT 6802
Mark K. West Haven, CT 1810
Matthew C. Litchfield, CT 1787
Shaun C. Torrington, CT 856
Elizabeth B. Great Barrington, CT 764
Cole D. New Haven, CT 764
Casey S. Stamford, CT 671
Nicole S. Shelton, CT 486
Nicholas D. Stamford, CT 440
Jeffrey H. Mahopac, NY 265
Please email Jessica Dolan if you are an alumni with 6 months of sobriety and are interested in sharing your story at Alumni Share Night or at one of our Outpatient Programs.
May Milestones

We are building a list of sobriety birthdays. If you’d like to have your recovery birthday featured in our newsletter, please contact [Jessica Dolan](


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.