New Life Obtained for A New Man

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There was literally too much to say in my exit survey, so I have taken the liberty to write something further. When I began to write individual accolades about the staff who took such excellent care of me during my stay, (soon to follow), it occurred to me to write one for Maple Mountain as a whole. Words failed me, as verbose as I am, because of how emotional and grateful I am as well as how amazed by the entire experience in general. Perhaps I will find some properly descriptive words now.

When I arrived at Maple Mountain in April, I was at death’s door. I was living on the street; I had been thrown out of three treatment centers including Betty Ford and ran from two others. I was using every day and was hospitalized for an overdose suicide attempt which was, according to emergency doctors, so close to being successful that they were afraid I was not going to make it through without being intubated and resuscitated. I was transferred from the ICU in Portland when I was stable enough and put on a plane to Utah. I weighed 160 lbs. I do not remember talking to Allie from the psychiatric care unit I was placed in prior, I do not remember the plane ride and I do not remember my intake. I came to a bed in a beautiful room in a large house and had no idea where I was, I thought I had died. The next eight days of detox were hell on earth, but I gradually realized I was under professional and medical care…and what care it was! I did not know who they were, but Holly, Mel, and Jean Anne as well as the support staff were with me every step of the way and saw me through the worst detox in history. I have very little memory of this but apparently, in my delirium, some of it was hilarious as the staff could tell you. But then the real problems began: after detoxing and getting clean, I fell…hard. I was even more suicidal than when I was using and was trying to single-handedly come to terms with the damage I’d done during the three years of my using diphenhydramine, and mental and nervous breakdown, as well as the accompanying overwhelming shame and guilt of it all. I wanted to run. Maple Mountain’s team stepped in, metaphorically caught me and the real work began. I was put on “line of sight” and Q-15s for two weeks.

I am not quite sure what magic goes on in your interview process, but you seem to find the most excellent people to staff your company. I don’t need to name them! They are all, every one of them included in this statement. They are vigilant, smart, caring, knowledgeable, and professional, but never to the point where they are distant and removed; as a matter of fact, I had a hard time distinguishing them from clients as their daily ministrations and routine were so involved with us on such a deeply personal level. They are truly amazing humans and they became like family. Even with four dotings, incredibly involved, and loving parents, I have NEVER been loved or cared for like that before.Struggle

Your counseling, case management, family advocation, and clinical team are truly incredible. I have been through treatment 9 times before, been through in-patient psychiatric incarceration 5 times, been hospitalized for overdose 10 times, 3 of them for legitimate suicide attempts, been to jail 23 times, and have received professional counseling since I was 16, so I consider myself a bit of an expert.  I and my family would also consider me truly a hopeless case after so many attempts to get clean, get professional help for my psychiatric diagnoses, and many attempts to hold my life together under such internal problematic conflict, addiction, destructive behavior, and suicidal ideation. I am the person the big book of A.A. talks about in the passage describing hopeless alcoholics and people with grave mental illnesses who cannot grasp the concept of a program of rigorous honesty in order to recover. In this case, through my experience at Maple Mountain, the difference was strikingly apparent from the beginning: I have NEVER received professional psychiatric care and addiction counseling with such professionalism, finesse, expertise, and kindness before. Hanna, Tina, and Kevin, but especially Josh, Tori, Fran, and the incomparable Sabra, are truly angels of mercy, kindness, and inspiration; actual love and life teachers. I have difficulty finding the words to describe the transformative and incredibly difficult work they facilitated in my transformation to an actual human being through the maladies of dual diagnosis. I, as well as my family, am truly amazed. For special consideration, Josh, who from day one was instrumental and encouraging as well as hyper-vigilant regarding the practical side of getting my life back in order, as well as becoming a mentor and a great shoulder to lean on when I couldn’t quite figure things out for myself in a productive manner because I was too overwhelmed. And the amazing and incredible Sabra, all-encompassing, and through many hard counseling sessions, incredibly difficult EMDR sessions, and just plain goodness and light; her care was crucial to my healing process and I truly cannot find the words of gratitude due to such a one who single-handedly took on this problem child and turned him into a healthy, happy human being. Our mantra, “Don’t you want to die with grace.”, rang true and has become my life focus to the benefit of me, my family, and my interactions from now until I leave this planet of old age! I am so grateful.

I contracted Covid. Even though it was my last day at MMR, I was moved to quarantine where my care continued in its usual amazing fashion and I might add, at Maple Mountain’s expense. Later, when the Air B&B expired, I was moved to a hotel for 6 days where my care continued through Zoom meetings and face-to-face interactions; all of this after my commencement and graduation, I was no longer in the program. Cory, as significantly sick as she was, ran the house just like MMR so there was really no hiccup in the transition which was amazing as some clients had trouble with it. Cory’s strong presence and firm but loving touch made everyone feel so comfortable as if their care had continued, just at a different location. You should be proud to have her running the house in Tanniths absence, for she truly is incredibly gifted at her vocation. Fran and Mel continued our medical and daily care and were just so amazingly involved even though they were run off their feet with a significant percentage of the staff out sick with Covid. Ashlee, god bless her, was sent to visit us daily and played games with us to pass the time. Her warm and fun presence was so welcomed and gave us something to look forward to and broke up the monotony of quarantine which was beginning to become problematic.

It is a strange thing to write a gratitude letter gracious for your life, and this is truly just a brief synopsis of my experience and of how grateful I really am. I am emotional and teary-eyed writing this and really cannot say enough, and my family is eternally grateful and amazed at my care here. Maple Mountain not only literally saved my life but showed me how to shed my old one, then invited me to create a beautiful new one. On behalf of my new life, I am eternally grateful and will live it each day with grace, humility, kindness, wonder, and excitement. I was transformed from being so sick, hopeless, helpless, full of shame and guilt, and wanting to kill the guy who’s writing this letter to someone I can actually sit with, like, love and enjoy with options, a future, goals; full of hope, love, and inspiration. I have turned out to be an excellent human being and someone I and others can count on and live with for the rest of my life and I owe it all to you. Thank you so much for the new life and the second chance I’ve been given, I will never take it for granted or forget it.

With such gratitude, 

Carlton G.

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