There really is a rehab program for every body. We recently spoke to Gina, who wanted a treatment center that emphasized the importance of health and fitness. She found it at the Rose of Lakeview Health, a gender responsive residential treatment program for women in Jacksonville, Florida. This is her story of recovery:
I have been sober since November 2016. I had been trying to control my drinking on my own for six years without success. On the outside, my life probably looked fine. I’m a 50 year-old single mom with four grown kids and I raised them on my own. I’ve always been very into fitness; in fact I’m a black belt. I have a successful career as a bone marrow transplant nurse. My job is high pressure and I worked nights before treatment, so that made me feel a little out of sync with the rest of the world. Looking back, I realize that I was lonely and depressed. There was a void in my life that I was trying to fill with alcohol.
I battled with drinking for years before treatment. I maintained all my responsibilities, but inside I was struggling. I thought as long as I was taking care of my kids, working out and paying my bills, I was taking care of myself. But all of that is on the surface. Inside I was starting to feel addicted to alcohol, like I couldn’t live without it. Not many people knew I had a problem. Finally, my brother confronted me about my drinking. I knew he was right. My relationships were suffering. I never drank at work, but there were times I missed work because of my drinking. This was a red flag for me.
I admitted to my brother that I needed treatment. He encouraged me to find a rehab and helped me do the research. He knew it was important to me that I be able to maintain my fitness routine in rehab. He found the Rose of Lakeview program and I liked that there was the on-site Wellness Center and personal trainers. I made the call. When I contacted them, it was clear that they had everything I needed. When they told me they had a bed for me, I just went. I knew if I thought too much about it, I wouldn’t go.
Time for a Change
When I first got to rehab, it was a relief to be doing something for myself for the first time in years. I had traveled all around the world with my kids, but this felt different. I realized that I had been living for my children, my job, but not really connecting with anybody because of my drinking. It occurred to me that I wasn’t going to get better on my own. I decided I must take the opportunity of a break from my regular life to take action and make some changes. I participated in all different types of groups—self-awareness therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction group and relapse prevention—and learned a lot. The staff at Lakeview was great and really qualified. Everybody I encountered was highly professional, but they shared their personal stories, which helped make me feel comfortable.
I loved the Wellness Center at Lakeview. After the detox period, we were allowed to work out every day. That helped me feel better and I learned a lot from the staff. Even though I’m a healthcare professional and I was already in good shape, they helped me learn to connect my physical and emotional health. The trainers had different areas of expertise, so I could explore new techniques and types of exercise. They really make time at the gym fun; we did competitions and challenges to keep things exciting and build a sense of community.
My kids visited me in Lakeview. At first, they were surprised I was there and maybe a little disappointed. Pretty soon, they started to see the changes that were happening for me. With the help of the counselors and trainers, I started to create a plan for life after treatment. I knew that fitness was a major part of what was helping me stay sober, but I also realized that having the support of other people was really important.
When I got home, I made some big changes. I gave up the night shift at work, which meant taking a 25% pay cut, but it has been worth it. After rehab, I realized that work/life balance was vital to my recovery. This means I make time to eat right, sleep enough and spend time with my family. One of my kids moved back in with me and I have a grandchild who spends a couple days a week in my home. This has been an incredible blessing. I’m so glad to be able to show up and be healthy and present in my relationships today.
I have built a support group of sober people in my life and created new, positive habits. I got into yoga while I was at Lakeview and I have incorporated that into my personal wellness routine for stress relief. I joined a gym so that I would be motivated to show up because I had to pay for it. Now, I love going and I’m part of a community there that has become my social life. I have taken on a new role at work as the Wellness Coordinator, which gives me a chance to share my passion for healthy eating and fitness with my co-workers. I have even had the opportunity to talk about my recovery with one of my colleagues who had a loved one struggling with drinking. That felt amazing.
In recovery I have learned that setting goals and working hard to achieve them feels much better than the instant gratification of addiction. My time at Lakeview helped me push the reset button and embrace the healthy lifestyle I have always wanted. For anybody who is looking for a rehab that understands the role of fitness in recovery, Lakeview Heath is an excellent choice.
Photo provided by Lakeview Health; used with permission.