As treasured alumni of our drug and alcohol rehab center, our clients become our family. We are so proud of all of them and are here for them long after they graduate the program. Here are Foundations Wellness Center client testimonials and before-and-after photos, to give inspiration to all who are currently struggling with addiction as well as to their family members.
“My lifelong journey through active addiction has taken me down some very dark paths that have included incarceration, divorce, death of loved ones, an estranged relationship with my oldest son and face-to-face encounters with life or death decisions and situations that could easily have led to my demise. At the age of nine, I began my odyssey into a world of insanity… A daily routine based on using to live and living to use. criminal activity and secret identities. My career, my income, my associations and my thoughts were dominated by drugs and the sale and use of them. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, not being able to trust those around me, and the often daily encounters with law enforcement and street life affairs altered my personality to the core. I had become something I did not recognize and did not like, filled with regrets and hurts. I could not love because I refused to show weakness, so I buried my traumas and emotions deep inside. After decades in an out of rehab and jail, my mind began to snap and childhood traumas started come to the surface. I could no longer mask the pain, shame and guilt. It slowly drove me crazy, despite my solid reputation in the streets among other addicts. At the age of 52. I realized I had survived and existed, but hadn’t truly lived. I was just coasting – going through the motions – and my occasional cocaine use on the weekends exploded once again, tearing my life apart. I was either heading back to prison or I was going to finally give in. Now, this was the second wife I was pushing away, “Damn it must be me; I must be the problem.” Once again, the police came knocking on my door and I swear it was the same two officers that dragged me away in 2005. Then and there, I made up mind to try this recovery stuff one more time because my only alternative was dying early like so many of my homeboys. By the time I came down, I was on a plane headed to Florida, determined it was some bullshit and I was destined to be an addict my whole life… “TO DEATH DO US PART!”
What was meant to destroy me led me to a place of refuge. My stubbornness has afforded me my experience that now serves me well in being of service to others still suffering. My daily routine now consists of prayer and meditation and humble acts of kindness. I wake up each morning vibrant, filled with gratitude. No longer do I ask, “Why me, God?” Now, instead, I ask, “How can I be of service, Lord?” The fellowship I have been accepted into is my life preserver that carries me when I feel faint or uncertain. A simple phone or text or a meeting with others who have similar experiences gives me strength to resist temptation. The look that my children, my mother, my little brother and my wife give now makes me feel good about myself, instead of those looks of disappointment I used to get. Even my ex-wife, who still may never accept my amends, is now cordial and speaks to me with respect. I have two sons and my baby girl are graduating this month, and each day my Higher Power restores something I squandered getting high. In six long months that have come and gone, in the blink of eye, my life has been transformed. Not only have I stopped drinking and drugging, I have also not smoked a cigarette… not even a drag since February. I now have a real family in Florida who never ask me for anything but rigorous honesty, whether I’m struggling or not. I was used to carrying all those I ran the streets with, so I never would have guessed that I would find true love and friendship in a place I never wanted to be. The beauty of this journey is that now I found myself, I love who I am and I really appreciate every failure and all the struggles I have endured. Without them, I never would have found Port St Lucie, Florida, and the beautiful people who have only have shown me love and kindness that have taught me so much by example and caring that have made it all worthwhile.” – May 11, 2021
“The picture on the left is what I thought was normal for many years. Blackouts, overdoses, paid on Friday and broke by Friday. Pure misery. Low and behold, I suffered from many underlying issues and this was my solution. I wasn’t just killing myself, but also the people who loved me. I was a very selfish person. After a “successful” intervention I was off to treatment.
I thought I would go to treatment and do no work but come out and be cured. I was afraid of change, and the drink and the drugs were my comfort zone. I was in and out for a little while and I didn’t understand why.
It wasn’t until I was fully spiritually and emotionally bankrupt and willing to do something different that I fully got it. I stumbled into Foundations and did something different – and that was just shutting up and listening. My best thoughts and actions led me into these situations in the first place. For once, I took the suggestions of the professionals and the people who had been through what I have been through… People with some time. I started to learn positive coping skills that didn’t involve drinking or drugging.
Fast forward four years later and I still use the very same tools today. On 4/20/21 I celebrated 4 years clean and sober. I am no longer the same person I was in that picture on the left. I am a brother, son, boyfriend, friend, etc. today. I graduated college, bought a car, bought a house and many more material things, but the most important thing I achieved in sobriety is peace of mind and the ability to be available for anyone who is struggling.
I look at the picture on the left often to remind myself how far I’ve come. One thing I never forget is where I came from. My past lead me to where I am at today and for that I am forever grateful.” – May 4, 2021
“My addiction was pretty much a full-time job. It started as soon as I woke up, with a couple shots of vodka just to get out of bed. and, by the end of the night, a gallon or more was gone. It was a never-ending cycle of suffering, pain, lying, stealing… you name it I did it. I lost countless jobs, my family and friends, trust, my sanity and my will to live. I was in such a dark place that I saw no way of ever getting free.
Today is a different story, thankfully. Through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, my sponsor, my friends I met in sobriety the first time I was in Florida as well as the friends I made this time through Foundations. and my Higher Power, I can happily say my life is the best it has ever been. My family and friends are back in my life and trust me again. I have 7 months clean. I never thought there would be a day that I wouldn’t have to drink vodka or any type of alcohol as soon as I woke up. I love my life today and my sobriety – and everything that has come back and the things to come. I owe it all to my Higher Power. my sponsor, my friends and family back home. the staff at Foundations and my sober friends that I have made during this amazing journey.” – April 20, 2021
“Drugs have been a part of my life since before I could legally purchase cigarettes. I used to say I just had it under control then. When, in actuality, it just wasn’t that bad yet. I was a functioning addict until 2013. That’s when my habit started demanding more from me… when it started taking from everyone around me. It turned me into a violent monster. Just two years prior, I medically retired from the United States Army honorably, now I’m robbing people at gunpoint for their script. When we start on this road, we never fully know or understand what that life truly costs us till we pay the tab. It cost me my self-respect, dignity, honor, and family, but most of all, my children. A price that, at the time, I was anxious to pay… Anything to keep that ride going.
After two failed suicide attempts and a horrific psychosis episode, it was time to get help. There were a lot of detox centers and a lot of treatment facilities. Getting clean was never my problem; staying clean was. After about a year and a half of doing the Florida shuffle, I wound up on Foundations’ doorstep. I was tired of treatment, tired of failing, and had no clue what to do. I credit a lot of treatment centers and people with getting me clean, but Foundations brought me home. With their help and guidance, I hunkered down and transitioned myself back into the world. Today, I maintain a job with a private security firm, am a full-time student working toward a bachelor’s in psychology, have begun to repair things with my kids, and have a relationship with my mother…I’m getting my life back. The road to recovery is still a very long one for me, but if not for Foundations, the love and support of the greatest family members one could ask for, and the fire under my butt lit by niece Avery, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I owe you all my life. Thank you very much. Love to you all! MISS YOU MS. BETH!” – April 13, 2021
“What it was like… I had many good days drinking but I had many more bad ones. My life got uncontrollable really fast. My drinking didn’t get too bad until I turned 21, now that it was legal, I took it to the extreme. In a matter of a few years, I’d been arrested multiple times, lost family relationships, and most of all. I started hating myself and God. I blamed God for every bad thing that happened to me. I lost everything that meant something to me very quickly.
What it’s like now… I have a life better than I could have imagined today. I worked the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a sponsor, a sponsee, and most of all, I allowed God into my life. That’s the thing about God, he’s always been walking right beside me, all I had to do was reach my hand out. I have a beautiful relationship with my parents, sister, and brother in law. I have to thank the good Lord for not leaving me, my parents for showing unconditional love, and the small circle of men and women that motivated me to be the man I am today. Thank you all and God Bless.” – March 30, 2021
“One year ago, I woke up on the floor of the hospital, shirt bloodied and feeling hopeless. I landed myself there from days of alcohol and drug abuse. I was fighting everything from the doctors and the nurses to myself and even God. That day, I crawled to my knees and prayed like I never prayed before, not one of the empty foxhole prayers, but a true cry of surrender and readiness to receive help. I had one suitcase to my name, no money and I couldn’t get credit or money from anywhere.
On March 12 of this year, we celebrated one year free of the chains that bonded me. Today, my life is a different story. With the help of Foundations and Just Believe, I began a journey beyond my beliefs. See, they believed in me until I believed in myself. Today, I have a place of my own to call a home, I have a car to get me where I need to go, I have money in the bank for rainy days and I have excellent credit. However, those things are NOT the most important. The thing that I’ve gained and value the MOST is hope and a relationship with God. Just follow a few simple rules I learned, trust God, clean house and help others. I have a sponsor and I reach my hand out to sponsor other women. When anyone asks me to be available for them, my answer, as it was when asked about this, is always ABSOLUTELY.” – March 23, 2021
“I learned early on that, once I started drinking, it was going to be a problem in my life. When I was 19, what I thought was a normal night of drinking with some friends turned into me getting jumped by four people, beaten pretty badly and then having them steal my car. I took that as a wake-up call to get myself sober before drinking became an issue in my life. I managed to live ages 20 to 25 alcohol-free. In that five years of sobriety, however, I was in a very abusive relationship with someone who just broke me down mentally. I was shy, insecure, didn’t really have much of a voice or ever stick up for myself. He was very controlling. Building up the courage to get out of that horrible relationship basically just brought me back to a place where, when I left, I was allowed to have a life again.
What I didn’t realize was that, finally being able to be my own person, being allowed to see my friends again, not having to answer to anyone, it was just too much freedom, too fast. I started drinking again. It was a casual drink here and there, and, within six months I was drinking every day. It got to the point where I was drinking so much every day that, if I didn’t drink, I’d physically feel sick. I never saw an issue with it the second time around. I laughed it off when I tripped off a curb running while I was drunk and fractured my knee. Shortly after my knee fracture healed, I crashed and totaled my car and got a DWI. It was only because of having to go to an outpatient program in order to get my license back after the DWI that I managed to stay sober eight months afterward.
Then, all it took was one drink at lunch to start me back on a downward spiral. Everyone else was the problem in my life; I was fine. It was bad for a long time before I admitted to myself how bad I had become. I tried many times to quit on my own, but I couldn’t handle the withdrawals. I had become so depressed and angry that I didn’t care who I hurt in the process of my own self- destruction. I’ve ruined relationships, friendships, and my own brother didn’t talk to me for over a year. People can only take so much.
Multiple attempts of trying to stay sober from people telling me I needed to change, trying to get sober to make other people happy… it never lasted. I had become so depressed that drinking just intensified all my emotions and made everything worse. I didn’t care if I didn’t go to work. I was switching from whiskey to vodka to drink at work… I was beyond reckless. I went from being semi-functioning to the point where I couldn’t control my life anymore. I didn’t care who I hurt in the process. I didn’t care about myself enough to care about how I hurt others. I had finally hit my breaking point. I said I don’t want to live my life feeling like this anymore.
Now, I have over nine months sober, because it’s my choice. It wasn’t easy; it took many failed attempts. Now, I have confidence in myself. I’m not borderline about to lose my job. People can rely on me again when I say I’m going to do something. I show up now. People tell me they’re proud of me. My brother talks to me again. Now, I have my life back. I wake up feeling good about myself. I don’t insult people anymore just because I feel like it. I feel like a good person again.” – March 16, 2021
“It’s amazing how in such a short amount of time your whole world can change, for the better. In the first picture, I may look like a loving and caring mother, and I always have been, but my priority was not my daughter, It was finding my next high. I may have been physically present but for 4 years, but I was completely absent-minded unless it had to do with drugs. When I looked at my daughter, I still saw my 3-year-old little girl, thinking she was oblivious to any of my habits. She’s 7 years older now. I lost far too much time with her, even though I was with her.
Going to Foundations Wellness Center truly was the best decision I could have ever made. It changed my life for the better in so many ways. Now, not only did I learn to love myself for who I am, all faults included, I now get to truly enjoy every moment of my time with my daughter… to not only be there physically but mentally as well. I’ve started to mend relationships with friends and family I thought I would never be in contact with. I wake up and feel blessed to have another day to really live my life.” – February 23, 2021
“This picture (the old me) was taken the day before my husband drove me to Port St. Lucie. This is how I had been spending the last two-and-a-half years, after another failed attempt at sobriety. Oh, you know. I would perk up at the opportunity to go on the “hunt” and maybe brush my teeth and hair before going on my mission. But as soon as I would get my alcohol or drugs, this is where you could find me. There were days of no personal hygiene, lots of laundry from losing control of my bladder or the occasional wet “gas,” and of course the constant “nagging” from the family. They just couldn’t see how much I was hurting and NEEDING them to just get off my back. I was at the very lowest point I could get and didn’t want to BE any more. The pain and guilt that the enemy kept taunting me with was the open sore and my drugs and alcohol were the balm that I needed to sooth the constant ache. I finally came to the end of myself after coming home from being admitted to the hospital. I found myself in a closet, with my 40, thinking what a mess this was going to make for my husband and son to clean up!! Somehow, I got in touch with Kevin. I don’t remember the conversation but I had been writing information down. My husband packed my sorry self up (yes, he packed me! All I grabbed was my Bible), and hauled me down to PSL.
This past year has been such a beautiful new experience. It hasn’t been an easy road in the sense that ,even though I went away to Foundations, I left behind wreckage and chaos from blazing a trail in active addiction. But guess what? I submitted to my Lord and allowed Him to show me how to act and react through the team at Foundations. They taught me how to get a proper perspective on life. When I came home I was confronted with child and a husband in active addiction! The enemy threw just about every dart in his arsenal at me in the beginning. But I stuck to what I had learned: my faith in God and my guidance from Foundations. My son is now almost 7 months clean and my husband is a beautiful work in progress. I have a passion for life and, even when life gets tough, I have true joy. Thank you, Foundations, for the gift of yourselves. You truly care and your hearts are genuine.” – February 16, 2021
“When I was in active addiction, I really didn’t care for myself!!! I allowed my addiction to dictate a lot of my decision-making and all I was doing was existing.
Although I am an extrovert, I became an introvert and isolated myself for the most part – unless it involved getting intoxicated. Now that I have gained some sober time and my critical thinking has came back, I am my old self again.
I have become the social butterfly I have always been. The difference is night and day. I never saw the change immediately, as most of us don’t. I am so grateful to be sober today and looking forward to see where this journey takes me.” – February 9, 2021
“Hi. My name is Marcus. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland, and I am an addict. I’m also bipolar and a mixed bag of other mental health disorders. My childhood wasn’t that bad really, other than my father’s suicide. My mother’s family was really wild – a lot of drugs, drinking and fighting – but it didn’t bother me much. I ended up winning three state championships in high school track and field and earned a scholarship to college. Unfortunately for me, that’s about the time my mental health issues really kicked in. After four years, I was kicked out with no degree and I went back to Baltimore, broken and ashamed. That’s when my drug career began. I say career because I did it for 20 years, what else would you call it? I think crack owes me a pension!
But all jokes aside, it was a living nightmare. The drugs, in conjunction with my mental health issues, had me spiraling out of control on a daily basis. I have attempted suicide three times, been to jail once or twice, broken my family’s heart many times, and lived like a dog for 20 years. Matter of fact, dogs live better, I was more like a rat .
Eventually, I got married and had my two daughters. Suddenly, I didn’t want to be a crackhead, crazy son of a bitch anymore. Luckily, my wife had good insurance, so I was able to get some really good help… over and over again. Shit just didn’t take, but I didn’t give up, I couldn’t give up, because my daughters needed me and I know what it’s like to not have a dad. So, eventually, it started to take and I slowly got better.
I’m doing much better today. I just started a small trucking company and I’m in my daughter’s lives. I am not special by any means; if I can do it, so can you. God bless.” – January 25, 2021
“To put it simply, what it was like before was pure chaos. My life was centered around drugs, violence, women, and any other self-centered, quick-fix, feel-good I could manage to make me feel better about myself. I hated what I saw in the mirror, and every day I made it worse. People in treatment couldn’t make me stop and my parents couldn’t make me stop. The pain had to make me stop, and it’s sad how much it took… not just to me but to my family as well.
The people at Foundations never gave up on me, and I wouldn’t have had the first clue about how to climb out of the hole I put myself in if it wasn’t for them. I had to do the work, but I needed to be shown how. Today I’m a good employee, a good son, and a good friend which is more than I’ve been able to say about myself in years.” – December 15, 2020
“Sick… mentally, physically and spiritually. That is exactly what I was before finally reaching out and asking for help. For the longest time, I didn’t consider myself an alcoholic or an addict because, in my twisted delusions, I thought I had it all under control. I was wrong, and everyone around me could see it, but I couldn’t myself. For years, I would drink to not remember the past and I would use to numb any emotions in the present. Drugs and alcohol were my coping method to escape mentally from events that happened during overseas deployments. I would always set boundaries and tell myself, “I will do this, but I will never do that.” Every time, I would cross my own boundaries, and then some. Eventually, I didn’t care enough about myself or anyone around me, and I knew it and was even ok with it. That’s when things went downhill rapidly.
After a failed marriage, multiple suicide attempts and a mouth full of empty promises, I reached out to Foundations for help… and help I got.
Today, I have regained care and compassion for others but before I could do that, I had to learn how to care about and love myself. Today, I have rebuilt genuine relationships with my family, newfound friends and my higher power. I have gained these things by being honest, getting a sponsor and living my life through my higher power the 12 steps and traditions. These are the things I’ve learned through the support of Foundations and all the staff in order to live a happy, healthy life.” – December 1, 2020
“When I was out, I was miserable. I pretended to have fun and hid behind fear and the bottle. Me, an adult, still gang banging and running the streets full of alcoholic fear. I may have had a job and materials but I was empty on the inside and lost, headed to prison or death. Now I know a new freedom. My will is not my own, but that of God and this program called AA. I’m guided by a higher power and seek to help other individuals still suffering. I’m more active and the obsession to drink and use substances has left. My mind returns more and more every day and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. My family is relieved and I’m no longer full of fear. Life on life’s terms is what this program has given me. And I’m thankful for it. The previous photo was of misery, disguised as fun and happiness. The new me wishes to never go back.” – October 27, 2020
“One of the hardest things was learning that I am worth recovery.
On the left you will see me before my first trip to treatment. I was spiritually broken, miserable, and had nothing left to give anyone. I never thought my life was unmanageable because I always had a roof over my head and money to get what I wanted and needed. But I couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t maintain a relationship and couldn’t be a mother, daughter, or friend. Therefore, my first treatment stay did nothing for me because I could not wholeheartedly do Step One. When I finally hit my rock bottom, when I thought suicide was my only option and I went to Foundations, sat down with a counselor and in groups where staff and friends told me the things I didn’t want to hear, I was able to admit those things and get to work.
On the right you see me currently, a mother, a daughter, a family member, a girlfriend, a productive working member in society and a friend. It is only because of God, and the hard work and dedication I have put into this program. Today I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. Today I get to sponsor other women, and today I wake up without having to put a mind-altering substance in my body to get things done. I am so grateful for the staff at Foundations and the friends God has placed in my life. I have built a new life here in Florida and for that I am forever grateful.” – October 20, 2020
“A year ago my life was completely different. For starters, I was moments away from making a decision that would impact everyone in my life and I would never be able to come back from. Suicide was my answer and, also, my awakening. I lost myself through years and years of what I thought was a “normal” drinking that usually led to ‘more.’ That ‘more’ was really anything put in front of me at that point. At the time, I didn’t know I was crying out for help. My normal was to be the farthest thing from sober, so I didn’t have to face the guy looking back in the mirror and the responsibilities that came with life. That vicious cycle would continue for years until I acknowledged I had completely lost myself and had absolutely no control of my life. After all the wreckage I caused myself and my family, my parents were still in my corner and they suggested it was time to make a change.
Fast forward a year from then, and I am living the cliché people throughout the rooms speak about… A life beyond my wildest dreams. I do not have all the material possessions I may want, but I have ALL the things I used to pray for. I have a great relationship with my family, a job that I love, peace of mind, self-worth and, most importantly, an unbreakable connection to my higher power. While I was in my addiction, there was never any hope to obtain the blessings that are in my life today.
Today, I am living the life that God has blessed me with and, through this, I am able to be present in the lives of my loved ones. I am couldn’t be more grateful for all the blessings that have come my way in just one short year. The only reason I have been successful, not perfect, is credited to my connection with a higher power, following the suggestions of those who came before me, and the constant support from those around me. Throughout this journey, my understanding of a higher power has changed my outlook on life. I soon realized life was better when I did not act selfishly and let God direct my thinking and actions.” – October 12, 2020
Throughout my lifetime, the use of recreational drugs and alcohol were normalized. Over time, using drugs and drinking alcohol became my life. In active addiction, each day was just another 24 hours. I had no personal regard for my health, well-being or the well-being of others. I went to sleep and woke up with no joy, no peace of mind and no plan for daily activity. In other words, life had no meaning at all. Not only did I lose a good job, I could not hold down one, no matter how good or simplistic it was. Everything that I had seemed to escape my grasp, as if it were sand in my hands. There was no amount of money or geographic area or occupational change that could help me or my infirmity. Drinking alcohol and smoking weed became an every day/all day activity and what I looked forward to doing. This type of daily use disrupted what could be considered normal routines such as eating, sleeping, socializing,(and (unfortunately) even caring for my dog. I was essentially a slave to my addiction.
Today, I love life and live in such a way that I make the most of every day, taking care not to forsake even the most minute of gains. A crucial part of my recovery was the care, concern and programmatic structuring of Just Believe Recovery Center (JBRC) and Foundations Wellness Center (FWC). These organizations provided me all of the tools needed to push forward into a new lifestyle with clarity. Through individual and group processes, I now think and act with purpose and direction. I am no longer selfish or require validation from others. Life has new meaning. My mind is clear. I have direction and goals. I get up with thanksgiving, praising God for His blessings of life, health and strength. I gain wisdom through God’s word and continually focus on progress at a rate of one day at a time. I look forward to every day. My thoughts, behaviors and actions are clear and controlled. I feel fantastic! I am enrolled in college and ready to enter a new career field. I am thankful to God for new mercy, and to Foundations Wellness. For those of you reading this who are still struggling, know that the promises of God do come true. As the reading says, it is sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, but they do materialize if you work for them…Work, Work, Work. Special thanks to the entire Foundations care team.” – September 22, 2020
“Growing up, I never felt like I fit in. I tried so desperately to, and, when I couldn’t, I painfully stood out. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. In a room full of people, I felt completely alone. I have battled this most of my life. When introduced to alcohol and drugs, I knew one thing; they took me away from myself. The progression escalated so rapidly. I felt like I woke up and the past 15 years had gone by. As my addiction progressed, the wreckage of my life also grew rapidly. I couldn’t hold a job. My relationships fell apart, one by one. I held the people I loved hostage; as they waited up all hours of the night, bailing me out, time and time again. The only thing that mattered to me was when I was going to get my next fix. The hurt and damage that I had created, I couldn’t face anymore. The only thing I wanted to feel at any given moment, was numb.
March 30, 2020: I had had enough. I had finally come to the end of myself. I had burned everything to the ground. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, in my lonely, cold, hotel room, begging God to just take my breath away.. He had a different plan. I started making calls; trying desperately to find help. I was finally able to get a hold of Foundations Wellness Center. Kevin Duhe was the voice that I hung onto. I hung on tight. He was my first “Pillar,” holding up a structure (Me) that was barely able to stand. I’ll never forget pulling up to treatment, with my entire life in bags. Kevin was the first person that hugged me like I was family. I met Joe Mahan, (Pillar) who extended his hand out, welcoming me completely; like he had known me his whole life. I sat inside, anxiously waiting to attempt this new life. That is when I met Michael Blanchett (Pillar). Mike sat with me, encouraged me, and with complete confidence, assured me that I was going to do big things. Spoiler, he was right. I was assigned a therapist when I started treatment. His name was Steve Miller (Pillar). For the first time in my life, I started doing the work. And to my surprise, it was entirely an inside job. The encouragement, compassion, wisdom, and direction that he has given me was invaluable. I wasn’t just alive anymore; I was truly living. I took suggestions from the people who had what I wanted. I met my sponsor, who loved me entirely, just as I am. She showed me that God had done for me, what I COULD NOT do for myself. God had started a restoration in my family and in my life. I am a part of every single one of their lives today. That is only because of Him. The Lord also blessed me with a man who is loving, strong, courageous, compassionate and strong. He encourages and inspires me every day. Rob Morris (Pillar). The blessings keep coming. I am no longer in bondage to the chains of my addiction. Thank You Jesus. All praise, honor, and glory are Yours alone.
The picture on the left is a girl I no longer recognize, a girl who drowned all of her problems in the bottom of a bottle. The picture on the right, that’s me. That’s who I have been all along. It just took a little longer to find her. That girl is happy, joyous, and finally free.” – September 8, 2020
“Although alcoholism ran in my family, I was sure I didn’t have that gene. I was in denial and claimed to not be an alcoholic. I started out as a social drinker after work. Once I started partying, my social life ranged from fun and wild to self-destructive. Things began to get out of control when I got a DUI and experienced a loss of friends, loss of connection with family as well as job losses. I let people down because I didn’t keep commitments. I would make excuses over and over as to why I couldn’t make those commitments. I would blame everyone for my drinking. It was their fault or they made me drink because of this or that. I eventually ran out of excuses, which left me alone and isolated. It was not until I accepted the fact I was an alcoholic that it all clicked for me. I took it upon myself to get the help I needed because I wanted to be done with this miserable life I created for myself.
Today, I’m grateful and humbled. My sobriety has brought clarity and positive energy to my life. I have a renewed connection with God, I have a spiritual sponsor, I attend AA meetings daily (and sometimes twice a day). I practice my spiritual tasks daily to keeping myself aligned with my higher power and in tuned with my sobriety because it’s a precious gift. I have a power I can go to when I face those challenges that took me to the bottle in the past. Now, I take it to my higher power (God through prayer) and leave it there. I’m grateful for the ability to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and strength and wisdom to know the difference!” – September 1, 2020
“Right before I came to Florida, I was broken mentally, physically and spiritually. I was in a completely hopeless state of mind and my addiction had consumed my whole life at that point. I ruined a long relationship I had with a beautiful person inside and out, someone who stuck by me for years through my addiction as well as prison. The progression of my disease was so bad, it led me to years of isolation because I became physically dependent and I didn’t want to look anyone in the face as I was ashamed of myself. No matter how much I tried to stop using, I couldn’t, because I would not admit to myself that I had a problem. The progression and isolation got so bad that I hurt the people who loved me the most.
Today, with the help of good people, and my being willing to surrender to the fact that I am an addict, I was able to recover from my addiction and become a responsible person in society. Being sober is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My life is completely different than it was two-and-a-half years ago. I’m very grateful for where my life is headed now and that I have the opportunity to help others.” – August 18, 2020
My name is Lauren and I’m an addict. I have struggled with health issues my whole life and was taught, listen to your doctor and do as they tell you. When I had my first kidney stone at 14 years old, I was given my first opiate. That’s where my life changed forever. It transformed me from a regular kid to a drug addict with nothing more than a pen and a prescription pad.
The next eight years were a nightmare. When it started, I believed it was okay, my doctor gave it to me. Later I sat with friends, one who said “We won’t be doing this forever, we are young. We are just having fun.” We were actually convinced that it was something we would grow out of. Everyone who was there that day is now dead, except for me. They weren’t bad people. They just got caught up in something bad. Something that puts its hooks in them. Something that doesn’t let go so easily. Addiction isn’t a phase. You’re either going to deal with this, or this is going to deal with you.
Before I believed there was no solution to the living nightmare that my life had become. I survived minute to minute and hour to hour just trying to make it through without being swallowed alive by pain I hadn’t dealt with. I had many mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical illnesses. I thought my life had become one illness, and really it had. I have been through a lot of trauma. For a long time I lived as though my own body and mind were a personal hellish prison. By the grace of God, I have overcome my demons.
With the help of Foundations, some really amazing counselors, and an amazing sober community, my life has changed so in six months that it’s unrecognizable. I wake up grateful that, as a teacher, I get to make a difference every single day in some child’s life. Grateful that I am still here, on the other end of a terrible disease, able to live a life of peace and happiness that I never thought was possible. God can really make changes quickly when you truly open up and accept His help.” – August 11, 2020
“In active addiction, my life was very monotonous. Everyday consisted of the same thing over and over again. I was completely broken, a skeleton of a man. Everything I enjoyed doing as a kid was replaced with an empty soul who lacked motivation to even get out of bed in the morning. I felt like I was completely hopeless and that was my destiny.
Although it was uncomfortable at first, I slowly began enjoying life again in sobriety. Genuine friendships and heartfelt laughter finally started to replace the hopelessness I felt so deeply. Watching guys I respected and looked up to enjoy their lives was very intriguing. I began to see that I did not have all the answers anymore. Instead of saying ‘I know,’ i began to ask questions and try to follow in their footsteps. Life has not always been ‘peaches and rainbows,’ but finally, after finishing my steps, I had a new solution… one that didn’t require me to make all the decisions by myself. One that finally gave me that happiness and contentment I was looking for at the bottom of a bottle. I went from a broken skeleton of a man to finally being able to look in the mirror and be proud of the person staring back at me.
In just five short years, I’ve gained much more than I could have ever imagined. I have a great relationship with my mother, more genuine friendships than I can count, and I can finally refocus on those hobbies that I had lost sight of. Monetary value could never replace the gifts I have received from this program. A change in perspective was what I needed all along.” – August 4, 2020
“Five months ago, my life was so unmanageable. Staying up for days at a time, I ran the streets, rarely stopping to eat or sleep. Nights were filled with dope, alcohol, lies and deceit. I chased the almighty dollar, just so I had enough money for the re-up, while staying so out of my mind I rarely knew what day it was. I didn’t care about going to jail or even dying. I overdosed six times last year. That didn’t even slow me down. I always thought I was in too deep to stop. But with the help of Darlyn Griswold, Max Strong and Joe Mahan of Foundations Wellness Center, I was able to come to my senses, pack my bags and go to detox.
After completing rehab, I moved into a Port St. Lucie sober house near Foundations. I never looked back. This is my new home. With almost five months clean, I have a great job, a great sponsor and I surround myself with good friends that I now call my family. With the help of these people, I was able to save my life. There’s no doubt in my mind that, without the help of these people, I would be in prison or six feet under. For the ones that doubted me, thank you, y’all gave me motivation. And for the ones that are in my life today, much love. #FAMILY” – July 21, 2020
“Before I came to Florida, I was living out of a crack house in North Philly, sleeping in the bathtub. I had nothing. My only purpose in life was to continue getting high. I didn’t think recovery was possible for me, and I had come to accept that I would continue what I was doing until the bitter end. I was the epitome of hopeless.
But after I had nowhere left to go, I came down here. I still wasn’t too sure if recovery was for me. After being around the recovery community, I ran into a few people whose lives were similar to mine, but had turned it around, and, over time, built themselves a life worth living. After seeing that, I wanted the same for myself.
Luckily, I was blessed to come into Foundations with a good group of people, who all wanted the same thing: To do better. So we all stuck together, put the work in, and helped each other when we could. Now, over two years later, most of us are still here, and our lives have changed immensely. I’m eternally grateful for the people in my life today and the opportunity I’ve been given to live again.” – July 7, 2020
“I came in broken, beat up, angry, sad, lost, searching for relief from life and what I found was nothing like I EXPECTED. Expectations, I quickly learned. have led to a lot of my pain and agony. After taking that first pill, my world lit on fire. All of a sudden, I had a solution to all of my physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual void, and a solution that relieved me of myself. I managed to maintain “that picture” of what life should be like, all while dying inside. After about a year, the “solution” quickly became my obsession. My “Success” made me sicker and sicker. I wouldn’t listen to anyone, take advice, or even care about what others were saying or seeing, leading to my wife leaving and coming up with a plan to go to rehab.
My trip to Foundations Wellness started with four days in a Tennessee jail, where God saved me. By His grace and some turn of events, my stint in jail would be brief and I would be able to continue my drive to Florida. When I was discharged from the PHP at Foundations, I was able to be my brother’s best man in his wedding. Sobriety has brought me closer to my family than I have ever been.
Where am I now? I have my house back, a career that I love, and things have started to come back. My wife decided she couldn’t forgive me (which, with the program and my faith in God, I know it’s okay). It’s important to know that, again, with all of the great things happening for me, I struggle to surrender to His will. By the grace of God, the love so many have shared with me (even when didn’t appreciate it), the 12 steps, and the great staff at Foundations, I truly have a life beyond my wildest dreams.
It hasn’t been easy, but it is simple. It all started with admitting I needed help, and Foundations was there.” – June 30, 2020
“I was empty on the inside. Lost and helpless.I didn’t want to stop drinking and using drugs, but I knew something had to change in order for me to be in my brother’s wedding. On November 2, 2018, I had my last drink, and that next day I was in Florida… still not ready to quit forever, but only long enough for my brother’s wedding.
Something changed in me. I found God again, met the right sponsor who guided me and showed me a better way of life and started to love myself.
Coming to Foundations Wellness Center was the best decision I’ve ever made. I met some of the best people while I was a client, and, now, as an employee, I have the opportunity to give back what was so freely given to me. I will continue to grow and I will never forget where I came from.
My sobriety date is 11/3/18, and, one day at a time, and with God’s help, I’m coming up on two years of continuous sobriety.” – June 23, 2020
“The first two pictures are of me during my addiction. My story is something along the lines of double digit treatments, jail, homelessness, constantly letting loved ones down and never staying sober. It’s the usual progression: pills to heroin to Xanax to crack. I was at my darkest spiritually and emotionally on my last run. I remember never seeing any light. I lived like that for years.
The second picture is of me with my sister. The girl who once was my worst enemy for just wanting her sister back in her life. Today, she’s one of my best friends. August 28, 2019 is the day I got sober. Sobriety has helped me to face life on life’s terms with a little bit of grace (some days more than others). I’ve learned to laugh… and mainly at myself. I love the life I’m building. Thank you, God for making my heart smile so big.💜😬” – June 16, 2020
“The first photo is of me in 2013, at the beginning of my addiction. I was always using substances to cope with problems I had, not realizing where it would lead me. The second photo is of me at my best friend’s wedding, finally being able to be present for those who love and care about me.
Before beginning my journey in recovery, I was never able to live in the moment and enjoy those around me. I was always running from my problems and using substances as an escape from reality.
Today, I can live my life without being a slave to my addiction and, when problems arise, I can face them head-on, without running away. I just recently celebrated two years of continuous sobriety! My journey to where I am now wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am able to live life to the fullest today, and I owe it all to my higher power, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the care of those at Foundations.” June 9, 2020
“I always drank a lot through high school and college. Nobody cared, it was normal. I was a year or so into my career at 22 years old when things got really bad. I’d get into the camera crew van at 7 am having already had a couple drinks to quell the shakes and go about my day. When I got back to my car, house or a hotel, booze was waiting for me. It was my friend that kept me company in hotels all over the country. A 30-pack of beer lasted me just shy of a day in the last five or six years of active addiction. I could stretch that a couple of hours if I had a bottle of whiskey. When I did eat, it didn’t matter because I’d throw it up almost immediately anyways. You don’t just get addicted to the substance, you become attached to all the pain, loneliness, and grief that surrounds it. Feeling like shit was just the way I was supposed to be in my head. This all felt completely normal. I had made total sense of it.
In late 2017, something dark came over me. I was done. I knew I couldn’t quit, so screw it, right? I ultimately decided to try. On January 4, 2018, feeling completely normal and coherent, I blew a .438 in a detox center in Orlando. I laughed knowing how much worse I’d been the night before.
Over the next month, everything changed. Every single day I held out my hand to see how much less it shook. It was really cool to watch this physical representation of my progress. I have the staff and the friends I made at Foundations to thank for everything I have now. They gave me the motivation and the tools I needed to finally say that enough is enough. Almost two years and five months clean and sober, I’m happy, I’m free, and I give a shit about myself again. The gifts of sobriety feel endless, but it’s knowing I don’t need to have a drink or a hit of anything to feel okay with myself… that’s the greatest feeling in the world.” – June 2, 2020
“My name is Sabrina and I overdosed on Xanax on August 17, 2019. This bought me to Florida for recovery. I spent three months in West Palm Beach where I remained happy, joyous and free. My journey wasn’t over yet, though, so I decided to go to Foundations. This is where the miracle really happened. I was held accountable for my actions and my counselor Beth as well as the staff were there for me, every step of the way.
Today, I am making choices that are good for me. I am going through a lot right now, but the tools Foundations laid out for me are life-changing. My husband wants me back the way I used to be and I am saying no. It’s time for me to help myself and others. Thank God for Foundations, God, my family and the many miracles that happen each day! I can smile today, even when things aren’t perfect, because the Big Book says it’s progress rather than perfection.” – May 26, 2020
“Back in the day I was a whole piece of shit. I was a selfish, self-loathing, heroine junkie. All I cared about was getting high, no matter the consequence. I stole, lied, and wanted nothing to do with my family. I’ve been to jail, institutions, and I’ve overdosed, but I know that God has a plan for me.
Through God, my family and the staff at Foundations, I am now the mother I’ve always wanted to be to my two beautiful children. My mom can sleep at night, knowing that I’m no longer ripping and running. I’m so grateful to God for waking me up clean and sober every morning. I look forward to each day as a blessing and how I can proceed in God;s Will. I never want to go back to the way I was living. The life of a junkie is just living to die.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11″ – May 19, 2020
““If there was a devil, he seemed the boss universal, and he certainly had me.’ – AA Bill’s Story pg.11
These words struck to my core when I finally read them and was able to comprehend what he was saying. Active alcoholism is a destroyer of all things good. It transformed me from a caring, loving and joyful person to a cold, numb and dishonest zombie. My life was void of emotion, and without any doing of my own, I was presented with the gift of desperation.
Through some sort of miracle, I was delivered to a detox which eventually led me to Foundations Wellness Center. Although the change needed had to come from within, the knowledgeable and friendly staff at the center helped to open my mind and my heart to the freedom that would come from living a serene and sober life. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow and appreciate all that they have done.” – May 12, 2020
Looking at the picture on the left is embarrassing, but it’s very symbolic of my disease. Drugs and alcohol led me to dark and dangerous places. I’ve dealt with consequences like incarcerations, life-threatening situations and going in and out of rehab constantly since I was a teenager. I’ve put friends and family in danger and traumatized loved ones who would constantly question my safety and freedom due to my lifestyle and decision-making.
It’s hard to imagine that I’ll have six months of continuous sobriety on the 29th. The more distance I put between myself and the chaos, the more surreal my past feels. Time and distance weren’t enough to keep me sober. Without God and a fellowship of men, sobriety wouldn’t be possible. Today, I live without paranoia and fear of self-destruction. I’m regaining trust with my family and I’m trying to do the next right thing and help people. Hopefully this message will help someone stay sober today.” – April 21, 2020
“I was a soulless being. I was no longer just chasing after a brief moment of happiness I was convinced each bag brought; I was obsessed with not having to feel any sort of emotion as I would fade in and out of consciousness. Two months before this mugshot I lost my babies, and instead of getting a grip ASAP, I allowed self-pity to take over and I went head first off the deep end. I remember always hoping the next high would be the one to end it all for good, but I’m so grateful that never happened. I served my time and went straight to rehab to work on getting my children back. Unfortunately, I got big headed, thought I knew it all, and everything was going to be smooth sailing. WRONG! It literally only took a couple of months on my own, and I was back to doing the only thing familiar to me when life got tough. It took me a couple weeks to get help once again, and, honestly, if it wasn’t for my husband finding me in the bathtub almost drowning, I probably wouldn’t have made it to Foundations Wellness Center.
Foundations is the place where I finally became aware of the major underlying issues I had kept buried deep down for far too long. It isn’t easy, and I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes along the way, but it’s worth it. Today, I get to be an actual mother to my kids – one who’s fully present while making memories I’ll actually remember and cherish during this lifetime.” – April 14, 2020
“Foundations Wellness Center took me in when I had NOWHERE else to go. At that time, I had given up on life and fighting for a better way. I wish I could say I lost it all, but, quite frankly, I gave everything away. Today, I’m grateful I did because I couldn’t get sober holding onto yesterday.
I think I speak for myself, and mostly anyone who knows me, when I say that if my knowledge could’ve kept me sober, I never would’ve relapsed. If tangible and materialistic things kept me sober, I’d still be just as pretentious as I was before. Vince Lombardi said, ‘The man on top of the mountain wasn’t placed there.’ Buckle up and enjoy the trip, don’t worry about the destination.” – April 7, 2020
“What was my life like in active addiction? I find it difficult to express the miserable existence I called my day-to-day with words.
Basically, I had absolutely nothing EXCEPT my addictions. Throughout the downward spiral over the last run of about five years with meth and booze, I lost what I had spent my entire life gaining. First came “friends,” followed by my career, my business, my savings, my vehicle, almost my house, my wife, and my little girl. I had reached rock bottom, and finally came to terms with the fact that I had lost control of my life to substance abuse and a broken road. With the help from the family I had left, I was able to get to Florida to detox followed by treatment at Foundations.
What an incredible group of people I got to meet and spend time with at Foundations. Without the care and push to really find the roots of my addictions, I wouldn’t have been able to overcome my skeletons. My life today is a blessing and gift from my Higher Power that I choose to call God. I’m remodeling what was left of my home with family. I was able to buy a new car. I got my business back up and running, and I’m blessed to be surrounded by my family. I’m working my steps, going to meetings, have a sponsor, and pray daily! God is great if you let him live in and through you. Thanks Foundations!” – March 31, 2020
“On June 5, 2019, I made a decision. I had attempted to make this decision many times before.Addiction had brought me to my knees; feeling utterly alone, hopeless, beaten, broken. Even after getting shot in the head, it wasn’t enough; all I cared about was the medicine going through my veins. I cursed God for letting me live, hated people that called me a miracle, and welcomed death with open arms.
Eventually, I came to the realization that I wasn’t going to die that easily. The question to myself was: How long did I want to keep suffering? So I made the decision. Following the suggestions of others I respected, giving it to God when fearful, praying for others before myself and helping someone when I was too much in my head. I work the steps, live by the principles, and lead by example.
My life today is beautiful. My family is actually proud of me, my mom can sleep easier at night,and I think I’m my dad’s best friend. I was able to go home for Christmas to make amends and be a positive influence, instead of having everyone on edge. I just moved into my own place, and really witnessing how God is orchestrating everything to fall right into place.” – March 24, 2020
“The first picture is me during active addition. My life became miserable and unmanageable. I wasn’t able to take care of myself or pay my bills. I was doing things I never did before, like stealing, selling, and doing such grimy things. Drugs became everything to me, and I almost lost my life because of drugs, but it didn’t matter. My family didn’t care to be around me because I was such an embarrassment, always starting arguments or nodding off in public. My relationships were all failing and I finally gave up on myself… until I finally got to the point where I was so low – at rock bottom. My family finally helped me get help, which they had been trying to do for years
In August, I came down to Florida and went to detox at Just Believe and then PHP. There, I got a sponsor, started working on the steps with her, and got busy. Afterward I went to Foundations, where I started IOP. Slowly, I started to see changes. I did my 12 steps and continued to grow. I started working at Chick-fil-A. I was managing a house, but had to move back to the house I was at previously, and now I have the opportunity to manage a house again. So many good things have been happening, all because of God. Slowly, good things are happening and it shows. I see progress, I’ve never been happier, and I have a plan for my future now. My self-worth and self-confidence is back. I’m coming up on six months of sobriety, and it amazes me that I’ve grown up and changed so much.” – March 10, 2020
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“Hey y’all Vince here. It’s absolutely insane to think I used to live a life without my higher power, hope, love, and any compassion. The picture on the left was me in active addiction. It didn’t matter if they were dry goods or liquid courage, I fell into a dark place with little hope. I never told anyone that I was carrying these problems. To be honest, I didn’t know most of those things bothered me because I pushed them so far down with alcohol and drugs.
That led me to the moment I knew I lost myself. I never thought I’d be the person that would contemplate suicide, but I fell that far. I was hopeless, terrified, and lost.
With the help of God and others in the program, I now live my best life… two wheels and headphones included. I’m grateful for literally everything. Love and compassion fills my heart, and I have the opportunity to rebuild each day through God and the 12 steps. Through this journey, I’ve met lifelong friends I can call or text at any time. It’s really hard to put everything in text, but, if you’re ready this and are new, give yourself an honest shot at being happy and proud of yourself.
If someone didn’t tell you today, you’re worth it, and a helping hand is right around the corner – just reach out and grab.” – March 3, 2020
“Well, I guess my whole addiction started because I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Drugs would comfortably numb my internal hatred for myself. Suddenly, I could talk to people and felt like I was the s***. Unfortunately, the drugs ran out and wore off eventually. I felt I had nothing to offer others if I couldn’t get them high. This perpetuated the hatred I had for myself. Hindsight is 20/20, but this is hard to see when you’re high. Through my addiction, I lost everything multiple times. The material items always come back when you do the right things and work for them. The lives of loved ones and friends are different. The only things you can do are to work to become the best version of yourself and to live in their honor. Inevitably, more loved ones and friends come into your life when you’re putting the work in to better yourself.
Early recovery isn’t easy, but once you get over that hump, you will start gaining the things that you were looking for through drugs. So, once you get over the hump, it’s a hell of a lot easier than being a full-time addict. When I got out of treatment, I rode a bike seven miles a day to a job I hated, where I worked for $9 an hour. I kept a positive mindset and kept on trucking, because i knew this was just a stepping stone to better places. Today, I have a job that I love with awesome bosses. I’m surrounded by some of the best people I’ve met in my entire life. Once I made a 360 degree mind/body/spirit transformation, my life became a manifestation of my actions. By following my passions and helping others, I’m starting to see my life’s purpose for the first time in my life.” – February 25, 2020
“The picture on the left is me in the midst of my 15-year addiction to pills. I was a functioning addict who thought I had everyone fooled. In reality, the only person I was fooling was myself. I was masking my problems and feelings behind a constant mind-numbing regime of pills that ultimately led me to isolation. My priority was getting my daily supply of pills, and although I was productive professionally, by the end of the day I had retreated into my own little world. Friendships and relationships were lost as they took a back seat to me getting high. Although I knew I had a problem, I had myself convinced that I could beat it on my own. We all know how that goes. In the end, I was mentally, physically, and emotionally empty. I realized I needed help. I relinquished all decision making and control to a hand that had reached out to me from a complete stranger 1,500 miles away. That hand led me to Foundations Wellness Center.
Six months later, I am happy to say that, in my adult life, I have never felt as good as I do today. Foundations Wellness provided me the tools that I needed to put my life back together. I built a strong support network through the friends I met, both there and in the rooms of AA. Although I have not worked a perfect program, I continue to attend meetings and work through the 12 steps with my sponsor. Most importantly, though, I have surrounded myself with great people that want sobriety just as badly as I do. They have become a second family in a home away from home. Although things can get stressful, I take it one day at a time and all the pieces of life have started to fall back into place. I’m happy and I laugh more in sobriety than I ever did while using. I have meaningful relationships back in my life and a job that has allowed me to move back out on my own and relocate to an area where the sober support network is second to none. I am forever grateful for the people at Foundations. I had to, and will always have to do the work, but they helped right the ship and point it in the right direction.” – February 18, 2020
“The picture on the left is me in active addiction. I tried really hard to make it seem like I had everything together on the outside. I tried for years to run my life off of self-will. I always wanted to be a good father to my son, and I never lost the love I had for him, but I just couldn’t admit that I needed help to change my life so that I could be there for him. I was in and out of rooms for years. Nothing was working for me until I finally fully surrendered and gave my trust to God.
The picture on the right is me present day. I have built a family though AA and the strong, positive support group whom I love. Today I am truly able to be there for my family and, most importantly, my son. I had to take the time to take care of myself first before I could be there for him. It was a hard decision in the beginning, but it was 100 percent worth it. Exactly one year ago today, I gave it up completely!! Today, I celebrate one full year of continuous sobriety!!! I am truly grateful for my higher power and the life I have now.” – February 11, 2020
“Active addiction was an absolute living hell. Day in and day out, I was constantly hurting those who loved and cared about me. Doing whatever I wanted to do to get what I needed to get drove me deeper and deeper into a extremely dark place. It was almost dark enough where I thought there was no way out, and as sick as it was, I was kind of okay with the status quo.
Through friends I have met, I was afforded a scholarship from Brandi’s Wish Foundation, and landed on the doorstep of Foundations Wellness Center. With their help and unconditional love, I have found a better way to live. I have formed lifelong friendships with multiple employees, and their doors are always open. I can’t say enough about them.
I regularly attended 12-step meetings and always am working on myself. From previous stints of sobriety, I know this is never ending. I stay active in recovery and in life. Today I am present in the lives of those who loved me through my active addiction, I could not say this two years ago. Every day is not always perfect, but if I keep doing what I am doing, I have a solid chance to live a life I can be proud.” – February 4, 2020
“In active addiction, my life was very monotonous. Everyday consisted of the same thing over and over again. I was completely broken, a skeleton of a man. Everything I enjoyed doing as a kid was replaced with an empty soul who lacked motivation to even get out of bed in the morning. I felt like I was completely hopeless and that was my destiny.
Although it was uncomfortable at first, I slowly began enjoying life again in sobriety. Genuine friendships and heartfelt laughter finally started to replace the hopelessness I felt so deeply. Watching guys I respected and looked up to enjoy their lives was very intriguing. I began to see that I did not have all the answers anymore. Instead of saying ‘I know,’ i began to ask questions and try to follow in their footsteps. Life has not always been ‘peaches and rainbows,’ but finally, after finishing my steps, I had a new solution… one that didn’t require me to make all the decisions by myself. One that finally gave me that happiness and contentment I was looking for at the bottom of a bottle. I went From a broken skeleton of a man to finally being able to look in the mirror and be proud of the person staring back at me. In just five short years, I’ve gained much more than I could have ever imagined. I have a great relationship with my mother, more genuine friendships than I can count, and I can finally refocus on those hobbies that I had lost sight of. Monetary value could never replace the gifts I have received from Foundations Wellness. A change in perspective was what I needed all along.” – January 28, 2020
“The picture on the left is me in active addiction. It took me a long time to realize that my life had become unmanageable. I always considered myself a strong-willed person, but when it came to drugs and alcohol, I couldn’t control anything. My addiction put me in a lot of tough places – arrests, legal issues, family problems, the list goes on. I had to make a decision to change my life.
The picture on the right is me today, clean and sober!! On January 24, I will celebrate one year of sobriety!!! I am so grateful for the people in my life today. I have a steady routine and do things daily to keep myself accountable and focused on the things that are important in my life. My kids and family are back in my life today and I’m so grateful for my support network. I’ve been able to hold multiple jobs simultaneously, but i make sure that I put my sobriety first so that all other aspects of my life continue to thrive! There is always hope!” – January 14, 2020
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“The picture on the left is me when I came into Foundations on June 21, 2019. I was totally broken and had just come from my second detox center. I definitely did not want to admit that I needed help, much less go to treatment. But, I knew I was going to die if I didn’t do something. May was probably the worst month of my life. I was sicker than I had ever been, and I wanted my husband to kill me. I even asked him to get a gun and blow my brains out because I didn’t want to live the way I was living anymore. After a five-day detox center stay in North Carolina, he picked me up and we immediately went to buy heroin. I was so sick that I vomited in my shoe as soon as I got into the car. I only had relief for a couple of hours, and then I was sick again. The next morning, we decided to look into treatment centers in Florida. I detoxed in Boynton Beach for several days, and then I was taken to Foundations Wellness in Port St. Lucie.
I knew this treatment center was different than anywhere else I’d ever been… so I decided to embrace all the information I was given and give it everything I had. Within a month of being in treatment, I got news that my husband had passed away. I did end up relapsing on August 8, because life sucks sometimes, but I haven’t jeopardized my sobriety since. With all the terrible things that have happened to me, and continue to happen to me since I’ve been here – like being sued by my in-laws, totaling a new car within seven days of purchasing it, and experiencing chronic pain – I still get up every morning and do what I’m supposed to do. I don’t live life perfectly, because no one can do that, but I fight when I need to fight, and I push through on tough days. My life has miraculously been transformed, and sometimes I forget how grateful I really should be. Luckily, today, I have amazing people in my life to remind me.” – January 7, 2020
“The picture on the left shows me in my ‘natural state.’ The state I was in for years. The only state my son ever knew, and the state my family wished they never saw. I became a stranger to my friends and family. Even on the rare occasions I was home, I was usually locked up in my room. ‘Mama’s sleeping,’ is what my mom always told my son when he asked where I was. Drugs and alcohol took a front seat to everyone and everything in my life.
On December 15, 2016, I was at one of my lowest points in life. That was the day I was found passed out in the car with my two-month-old baby in the back. There was nothing that was going to keep me from getting or doing what I wanted. Drugs were not my problem though; they were merely my solution. The road to discovering this was a long, bumpy, and exhausting road to travel. In July 2019, my eyes were opened to the real problem… me.
A string of events landed me in a detox in Ft. Pierce, Florida. After experiencing one of the worst detoxes of my life, I was transferred to Foundations Wellness, where I met the people that would help save my life. Seeing that I’m not the only person that thinks the way I do, that I’m not the only one to lose custody of a child due to drugs and alcohol, I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel right inside, helped me to realize that I’m not as different as I thought. I’m not the only one who decided to challenge God instead of accepting the things that I could not change. I have a little over five months of sobriety today and everyday becomes more clear as to the person I am supposed to be. I have a very supportive family, understanding friends, a loving boyfriend, and Foundations Wellness Center to thank for that.” – December 31, 2019
“That picture of me in active addiction was my intake photo from the last detox I went through. As you can see, I was broken physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I firmly believe that I would have died if I had continued on. The pain and suffering became great enough to fully concede to my innermost self that I could not continue like this, and that I had to listen to all of the suggestions that were given to me in my 30 previous attempts at treatment.
Now, my sobriety date is June 4, 2018, and I just celebrated 18 months of continuous sobriety earlier this month. Today, I have my family and friends back in my life and I can actually be trusted now. My relationship with my family is stronger than it has ever been. Everyday I wake up sober is a blessing. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my higher power, friends, family and definitely my Foundations family. I’m extremely grateful for everyone I have come across on this journey that has helped me in any way!” – December 24, 2019
“The picture on the left shows me in August 2018, at my best friend’s graduation. I couldn’t show up for her clean. I made what should’ve been her day all about me. I was sick, broken, and had no hope. I remember wondering if I’d ever get this thing right. I was in and out of treatment and detox facilities for two years.
Finally, I had enough. I knew if I was going to stay clean, I needed to start working toward my goals and having a future. I went back to school and I am now a licensed EMT. I start paramedic school next fall. I never thought any of this could be possible, but, because I stayed clean, I’m able to be successful and be what I’ve set out to be.
This year, my best friend asked me to be her maid of honor in her wedding. Last year, I couldn’t be trusted, and this year I’ve gained that trust back. I have a career, and I’m grateful for everyone who never gave up on me.” – December 17, 2019
“I’m beyond grateful for these last four months of my life. I’ve been in and out of rehabs, sober living and the rooms for over six years now, never putting together more than a month or two outside of rehab before I picked back up and restarted all over again.
This time around, I did things very differently. I went to IOP on a daily basis, I went to meetings, I got a sponsor on my second day sober, I started working the steps right away, and got involved in the community.
I was desperate to stay sober and stop this vicious cycle I could not get out of. This time around, early sobriety was by no means smooth sailing. There have been many bumps in the road, with the loss of important people in my life, along with stubbornness, selfishness, and a resistance to change. However, it’s all taught me valuable lessons in early sobriety and has helped me get a better look at myself.
I’m grateful today for my sobriety, the people in my life, the heartaches I’ve endured, and the way that everything has played out. It’s all pushed me closer to spirituality and has given me a psychic change.” – December 10, 2019
“The first picture is one of many intake photos I have taken in my life. I walked into treatment an empty shell of a human being, my life having been ruled by drugs and alcohol for 10 years at that point. I was suicidal and just about at the limit of what I could take. I came down to Florida, didn’t take any suggestions for six months, and received the same results I always had. A lonely relapse was what finally opened my eyes to the fact that something had to change.
The second picture is me with nine months of sobriety. Immediately after getting the drugs out of my system, I chased the happiness and freedom I saw in my friends who had put together some time. I did what they were doing… and ended up with the same benefits.
Sobriety has given me my family back as well as a strong backbone of friends that I never had before in my life. I manage to be a productive member of society. Life isn’t perfect in sobriety, but thanks to the gift of recovery, I no longer have a need to use drugs or alcohol to navigate it.” – December 3, 2019
“When I came to Foundations, I was broken. My parents cut me off, my best friend and Godson were completely removed from my life, and I lost everything important to me.
Today, in a short 14 months sober, I have my family back, my friends back, and my self respect back.
‘A life beyond my wildest dreams’ means more to me than you could imagine. I am a direct result of the work I did, being put out into action. My life is immeasurable, and I am forever grateful. If this can work for me, it can definitely work for anyone!” – November 26, 2019
“I loved alcohol. I loved the way it made me feel. I loved the way it made me act. I loved myself and everyone around me. I loved alcohol until it rendered me powerless. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning without a drink first. I planned my days around which liquor store would be open when and where. Everything was great if I had a drink, and if I didn’t… well, let’s say, “run and hide.” On more than one occasion, under the spell of alcohol, I tried to take my own life.
I entered into treatment at Foundations Wellness because it finally became clear to me that nothing outside of alcohol mattered to me; not my family, not my children, not my life. I was completely powerless, broken and fed up. I wanted better, and the staff at Foundations showed me that I was capable of achieving a better life.
Today I am a proud member of AA, a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. The past four months of sobriety have given me my will back. I am happy, I am joyous, and I am free from the shackles of alcohol. I wish only to continue on this path to recovery, helping others realize that they never have to feel that way ever again; just as Foundations helped me.” – November 19, 2019
On the left, Zach’s mom tells us on how he was in active addiction. The picture on the top right is Zach in the hospital, recovering from an overdose, and the one on the bottom right is him present day. The difference is amazing! In his own words:
“In active addiction, I was a complete mess. I tore through everyone’s life that I touched. I lived a meaningless life. I was soulless and heartless… and one day I was lifeless. I am delusional about a lot of things, so attached is a photo of what my mother would have to say about me in active addiction.
Since getting sober, God has put all sorts of things into my life. I have the best job that I’ve ever had in my life, with the best employers. I can be trusted to do what I say I will do. I’ve entered into a new relationship with a girl more amazing than my wildest dreams. I get to be helpful to people every single day. And God has taken the obsession to use drugs away from me.
Is life perfect? No. Not even close. I mess up on a daily basis. I’m still selfish sometimes. I’m still learning how to be the best son, brother and boyfriend. But I open my eyes every morning to a life better than I could have ever imagined. And you can too. I’d be happy to help show you how.” – November 12, 2019
“I have always known that I had a problem with handling my emotions. I was an emotional eater from age 14 until now. I was bullied and developed eating disorders because of my weight.. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I relied on food for my comfort until I found men, alcohol, and drugs. I used anything and everything to fix the void inside me. When they stopped working, I turned to self- harm. I just wanted to feel how I thought everyone looked compared to me. They seemed confident and happy. I have had many relapses and visited three treatment centers until I finally decided I had been through enough. With the knowledge already imprinted in my mind from my first few attempts. I knew I had to do it for myself this time. I am so proud of how far I have come, and refuse to let anything come before my recovery. It is one of the most precious gifts i could have ever been given. Thank you Foundations Wellness!” – November 5, 2019
In the first picture he was at the beginning of a relapse, having just started using again. He was totally miserable and spiritually dead. The reason Chris relapsed is because, in his own words: “I tried to do the program, and still live my old lifestyle… the fast life.” He had to learn the hard way, and continue to try and control his own will. His life quickly went downhill. Finally, he surrendered and asked for help.
The second picture is of Chris checking into Foundations, totally out of control after just six months of using.
The last picture is of Chris in present day, as he just accomplished a “career high” of four months of sobriety. Chris’s life long friend Benji assisted Chris in getting into the Foundations program. Chris had seen how much his friend had changed, and it gave Chris lots of hope because they grew up the same way. Benji introduced Chris to the perfect sponsor, in his own words, “ My Cuigine, Jerry Nave.”
There were a lot of people who helped Chris along the way. He expresses gratitude for two of his “main supporters, KJ Demich and Jessica, two amazing therapists at Foundations Wellness” – October 29, 2019
“The first picture is me in active addiction. I felt broken, ashamed, and tired. I was literally in hell. My addiction brought me to places I never thought I’d experience in my life. I hurt the people that loved me the most. including my daughter. All I cared about was myself. I wasn’t sure what to do next, but I knew I needed to change the way I was living.
The second picture is me now, with nine months sober, which is amazing to me. I came to Florida to change my life. Ever since that day, I’ve been fighting for my sobriety, taking suggestions, and putting in the work. It hasn’t been an easy journey, and I’m still dealing with things from my past, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. The friendships I’ve built within the fellowship have helped me in numerous ways. I am continuously striving to be a better person, not only for myself but for my daughter.” – October 22, 2019
“The picture on the left is me in active addiction, I did not realize at the time but I had no control over my life at all! The last four years of my life had gotten so bad that I had a constant feeling of hopelessness. My addiction took me to a very dark place in life, but luckily my family never gave up on me. Today I have four Months sober! I started with a goal of staying clean long enough to not be dependent on drugs and alcohol, and with the help of Foundations Wellness, I was able to not only stay clean but get to the root of my addiction and acquire the tools to better my life in all aspects!” – October 15, 2019
“The picture on the left is me at my worst, I was broken down, beaten up and didn’t feel like I was supposed to have a meaningful life. My addiction took me to places where I never want to be again. I struggled with letting down my family and feeling like I was not the man that God made me to be. The more I tried to do everything on my own, the worse it got for me. I was I unwilling to accept help from anyone at all. Although my family never gave up on me I felt as if I’d almost gave up on myself. I lost all hope and finally went through enough pain to want to change.
The picture on the right is me today, I have worked hard at my sobriety and never gave up, I was stubborn in my addiction, so I decided to be stubborn about my sobriety. I just didn’t pick up or give up, no matter what. It was not the easiest road, but this is what I needed to become the man I am transforming into today. Yesterday, on September 30, 2019, I celebrated one year of continuous sobriety! I am truly grateful for the people in my life today and everyone who has helped me in the journey. Thank you Foundations Wellness!” – October 1, 2019
The picture of on the left was me in active addiction. I was broken down, selfish, depressed, suicidal, unreliable, a liar, cheater and scam artist. I struggled for over 10 years and never accepted any help because I didn’t recognize that the problem was me. I abandoned my family, friends, jobs and everything that I had to my name for just one more fix, but it was never enough to fill the black hole of a void that was in my soul. I was given all the opportunities a girl could dream of, but was too self-centered to realize it or care about it. When my parents found me overdosed, I finally gave up the fight and decided to give myself a chance.
Fast forward 14 months to the picture on the right – I am an entirely new woman. My clean date is August 10, 2018. I accepted the helped I needed. By no means did I do it perfectly or right the first time, but I finally surrendered and took the suggestions. I changed EVERYTHING. I came down to Florida with no one but myself and it’s been the biggest blessing. Today I am a daughter, a sister, an employee, a friend, a support for other women and, most importantly, an aunt to the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen. Today I’m filled with so much joy and happiness that I can’t contain it sometimes. I’m held accountable, I have responsibilities, and I try my best to be a better person than I was yesterday. I still make mistakes, but I remain teachable. The program of NA saved my life. I let go and let God! Today I can give away what was so freely given to me. Today I have a solution, I have tools, I have the most immaculate support system, and know that I’m never alone. Today I am free. Thank you for letting me share, and thank you Foundations Wellness.” – September 24, 2019
“I struggled with my addiction for over 10 years. During those 10 years, I was able to put some time together, using only sheer will. In those periods of time when I was sober, I still wasn’t content with life. Overall, I was an unhappy person. I would try to forget the fact that I was an addict and live a normal life, but, every time. life had a way of reminding me that there was no forgetting. My runs of addiction were long and dark and took me to depths I thought I’d never go, just to feel well.
Today, with the support of this amazing sober community, I found happiness, passion and motivation. These are things I had given up on in my past. Every day is a journey and I can’t wait to see what this chapter of my life has for me. Thank you to Foundations Wellness and everyone that has been there for me and helped me get to this point.” – September 17, 2019
“My journey started out at around 11 years of age, with using substances and toxic behaviors to escape reality. I’m dually diagnosed; mental illness is a part of my story. I started cutting at 11, had bulimia at 16, and attempted suicide twice by the time I was 18. So when drugs came into my life, it was the perfect medicine for me. I was undiagnosed at the time.
Heroin was the first thing to make me feel like life was going to be alright, until I had enough emotional turmoil to end it again. Relapse and toxic relationships were the perfect combo for me until about 2017, when I’d sit back at family affairs and wonder how it was going to be once I was gone. I carried suicide notes on my person wherever I went. Drugs had finally brought me to the lowest point of despair and I attempted to end it one last time. Since then, I have been bouncing in and out of rooms all over the East Coast, trying to work the program my way, thinking I was different.
In April 2019, I found myself relapsing while staying at a halfway house – and bringing other people out with me. I was hitting a stem and sobbing in a small abandoned drug house in Richmond, Virginia… and I’m from Jersey. Something had to change.
Though feeling defeated and hopeless from attempting sobriety so many times, I decided to give rehab one more chance. This time, I would not act like I knew everything. I went to Mississippi and then reached out to a friend from my hometown who I had seen come to Port St. Lucie and thrive. And so I came to Port St. Lucie myself.
Through an amazing network and meetings, a great treatment center (thank you Foundations Wellness), and a God of my understanding, today I am five months sober and clean. From a junkie who couldn’t get 30 days to someone that has decided to remain teachable, humble, and willing, the peace I have today is like no other. Even though some days are going to suck, I love living today and stay in it.” – September 10, 2019
“I started my drinking career at the age of 11 or 12 in junior high school. I was the star point guard of my school’s team, so when my drinking was discovered, it was also excused. Along with drinking with my older brothers and cousins, I was also introduced to selling drugs. Making money – good money at that – at a young age made me very unappreciative of the value of money and what it takes to earn it.
At 13, I was given my first car, a Cadillac Eldorado. Because my family was well-known in the community, I was also introduced to a liquor store owner who enabled me to purchase liquor at 13, which wasn’t good for a beginning alcoholic. I started my boxing career at the age of 15, and continued with it, successfully, to heights one can only imagine. I was very successful as an amateur and extremely successful as a professional, gaining two World titles and fighting worldwide on TV over 15 times.
I continued to drink throughout my boxing career however. It started to take a toll on me physically, emotionally and mentally. I distanced myself from everyone because I had major trust issues. I blew thousands of dollars weekly on liquor, clubs, women, fake friends, cars, a house, apartments and other miscellaneous stuff. It all added up, to the point where I started to lose it. All of my so-called friends were gone. I could no longer afford so many different places, so I lost my out-of-state 8,000- or 9,000-square-foot house and all of apartments. Still, I didn’t see my drinking as a problem.
After blowing pretty much everything and losing all of the people around me, I decided to get married. I continued drinking throughout that marriage. My wife didn’t like my drinking, so, of course, I chose the bottle over her. I left her and we divorced. I was really struggling, but I continued to drink for years. Meanwhile, I was in and out of relationships, including being there for my two daughters.
Finally, I came to the realization that alcohol had ruined my life. By this time, I was on my second marriage and had been in four different facilities. What I learned, though, was that I was the problem and that alcohol controlled my life.
Now, I’m five months sober, and I realize that I am in the biggest and hardest fight of my life against my alcoholism. It’s an everyday fight for me, but I can’t drink no matter what. It’s a fight I realize that I cannot fight by myself. I have and will continue to grow a great support network, continue to go to meetings, and continually remind myself that today is my Step One Day, even if I have to repeat it to myself constantly.” – September 3, 2019
“I started using drugs and alcohol at a very young age as a way of dealing with my feelings of not being good enough or not fitting in. I have always used beyond my financial needs – to the point of lying, cheating, and stealing from anyone in order to support my habit. In active addiction, I have mentally and physically harmed my family as well as myself. I had made many attempts to end my own life by purposefully trying to OD to end the miserable cycle that kept repeating itself. I have been to countless treatment centers as well as detox with the same result in the end… a relapse from not doing any work on myself after my discharge.
I came to Foundations Wellness at 145 pounds and detoxed cold turkey on the couch at the house. It was miserable, but I made it through with the kind words and help from the staff. My first two weeks, I did not want to stay. I was miserable and hot-headed, but they did not give up on me. I’m here today because of the staff as well as the men and women around me who continue to support me – these people, I consider family. I work a strong AA program, I have a sponsor who has a sponsor, I take suggestions, I have a good understanding of the 12 steps and I and work them, because if I take one of those key components away from my life, I will end up where this disease has always taken me, or worse. Today I have my daughter in my life, which is a feeling I can’t even explain. I do the next right thing and help others on a daily basis. Life still happens, but I have the tools to get through one day at a time – sometimes one second at a time. Life is so much better now, and if this hopeless addict can get through it, anyone can.” – August 27, 2019
“I was introduced to the program of recovery at a young age when I was court-ordered to a rehab at 16. At that time, I had no idea how serious this disease is or how much it was going to truly be a part of me. Just to give you an example of how far down I went: Last year, I was Baker-Acted 15 times and arrested five. My weight dropped from 150 to 100 pounds. I became so depressed that I tried to commit suicide multiple times. Whether it was overdosing or walking toward oncoming traffic on I-95, I was exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. My friends and family couldn’t even look at me because they saw the ugly truth that I couldn’t. They saw me dying a little more each day, right in front of their eyes. When I finally found my way back to this program, I was extremely lucky to have the gift of desperation, and to know what it was like having a fellowship of people in recovery,,, and how much I missed that support in my life.
Recently, I turned 21 and did not use. My clean date is 10/28/18. I never dreamed that I would be able to stay clean and be this happy. I was finally able to make progress in this program when I let go completely, asked/let others help me, humbled myself, and started putting the work in to better my life. I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud and grateful of the woman I am still growing to be today. But I will never let myself forget that scared little girl I was just a couple of months ago. Thank you Foundations Wellness!” – August 20, 2019
The picture on the left is me in active addiction. I never thought that my use of drugs and alcohol would bring my life to the state that it was in. I grew up in a tight-knit community and I was from a good family. I graduated college and was set up to make a great life for myself. I had been drinking and using drugs since I was 15 years old, but I thought that I could control my habit. However my disease progressed and my willpower to stop was not enough. I’ve put my family through so much year after year, but they have been supportive throughout my entire addiction. I am forever grateful to have them in my life.
The picture on the right is of me present day, with almost six months sober. I have met some amazing people in my recovery process, I have a great sponsor, and a strong group of friends to help me stay accountable. I believe that’s what it took for me to start my path to becoming a better man. I have responsibilities and goals that I have set for myself, as well as a daily routine. I am so grateful for the way my life is today. – August 13, 2019
“My drug addiction became a way of life. I was a full blown drug addict at 19 years old and it took my life to unimaginable places. Jails, institutions, and death became what I perceived to be a normal life. When I decided to leave Philadelphia and go t.o Foundations Wellness Center in April of 2019, it was the best decision I could have made for myself. By living an honest life in recovery and participating in life, it’s opened my eyes to everything I have to look forward to. The 12 steps have changed my soul. None of this would be possible without God. My relationship with Him has given me a peace I didn’t know was possible. I no longer have to get my confidence from a pill bottle or dope bag. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to Foundations Wellness Center and their caring, compassionate staff for everything they’ve done to help me succeed in recovery.” – August 6, 2019
“I’ve struggled with addiction for over a decade. In the process, I compromised my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. I’ve lost many job and educational opportunities, the trust of friends and family, and most importantly, my sense of self. I was once again blessed with an opportunity to turn my life around. Over the past few months, I took the opportunity and haven’t looked back. Today, I’m beyond grateful for the ability to wake up each day sober, clear-headed, and with another chance to be the man that God intends me to be. None of this would be possible without my family, friends, a solid program of recovery at Foundations Wellness, and most importantly – a Higher Power.” – July 30, 2019
“For the last five and a half years, I’ve made many futile attempts at maintaining any significant length of sobriety. Continuing to run from my problems, I’ve struggled wherever I’ve ended up. Whether it be here or Pennsylvania, my problems and past continued to haunt me. No geographic change could provide the relief I was looking for. I lived a bleak existence of building my life up slowly and then destroying it all, dragging family and friends through the mud with me.
Fortunately, my family and friends never gave up on me. I owe so much to the people around me in Florida and back home. My family has been so understanding and supportive through this while process. The true friends I’ve made down here have always been behind me and have helped pick me up despite falling constantly. I’m a firm believer that you are who you surround yourself with. I owe my minor success this time around to family and friends who have shown me that life is not so much about what you have in material things, but how connections and friendship can lead to a lifetime of great times and happiness.” – July 23, 2019
In the first picture on the left, I was on my first run at treatment. I had been doing drugs and drinking alcohol for 13 years. I always thought I was doing drugs and alcohol just for fun; I never thought I had a problem until I couldn’t afford to get it anymore. I never believed that I was an alcoholic either, and when everyone called me one, I just thought they were crazy because it wasn’t true. I turned myself into treatment to get help, did well, and ended up relapsing after six months. I was in and out of treatment, detox, and halfway houses. I’d only stay for maybe two weeks and then leave because I would get scared and ran from my problems. I had overdosed two times in a two-month span. I would isolate myself and not talk to anyone – not even my family.
When I was in detox, Marisa found me broken mentally, physically and emotionally, and that’s when I came back to Foundations Wellness again. And when I came back to Foundations for my fourth and final round, it wasn’t easy – it was hard. I didn’t like myself, but, with the hard work of the Foundations team, I have started to like myself a little more each day. Where am I now? On Saturday, I’ll have six months sober. That’s the second picture. I have a sponsor, I have finished my AA steps, I go to meetings, and soon I’m going to start sponsoring other women. It’s just crazy how my life has changed in just a short amount of time. I’m working and actually doing something; I’m working hard toward my goals in life. I wouldn’t be able to do it without the team at Foundations. You have changed my life! – July 16, 2019
“The picture on the left is me in active addiction. I struggled with drug addiction for many years before admitting I had a problem. I truly tricked myself into thinking I was a responsible adult. I was able to put on a persona that everything was okay with my life, but realistically I didn’t want to get off my couch. I had no ambition to better myself. My disease progressed more and more, and it got so bad that I turned away from my family, friends and everyone who loved me… all in order to feed my addiction. My life seemed hopeless.
The picture on the right is me today! In only five months, I have taken the steps to set my life on the right track. I am involved with AA, I have a sponsor and a job to keep me accountable, and I no longer wake up with a feeling of hopelessness. I keep a positive routine of healthy living. Originally I joined AA to stop drinking and using drugs, but I have found that AA can also make me a better person. My family is happy to see me today, and they never gave up on me, even through everything I put them through. Slowly but surely my life is changing for the better.” – July 9, 2019
“The picture on the left is me after a 10-year run, checking into Foundations. I was completely broken physically, mentally and spiritually. I destroyed my body, friendships, relationships and my career. I lived in complete isolation and pushed away anyone who tried to get close to me. I was in complete denial that I had a problem. I had no idea what treatment could do for me, as I never gave it a chance.
Today, on the right, I am happy, but most importantly, healthy. I weighed 80 pounds when I got here. I would cover the physical damage up with sweatshirts and flannels and the emotional damage with drugs and alcohol. Today I am proud of the person I am becoming, but I still have a lot to learn. Foundations Wellness staff saved my life. They gave me all the tools necessary to move forward in my recovery. Special shout out to those who talked me off the ‘comfort curb’ multiple times and pushed me to continue when I had nothing left to give. I am beyond grateful for this new lease on life, and, for the first time, I can confidently say I am excited for the future.” – July 2, 2019
“The picture on the left is of me in the worst of my addiction, I struggled for many years with it. I made some very poor decisions in my teenage years that got me involved in the legal system way too young. I didn’t want to accept that anyone could help me accept myself. I am not the kind of person who figured this out my first time getting sober. I put material things in front of my program of recovery, which in turn pushed me to go back to that life of drugs and alcohol. I was extremely hopeless at the end of my run, I am blessed that I was willing to return to the rooms of AA. The picture on the right is me with almost six months of sobriety. I have learned that the amount of time I have sober is not my ultimate goal. My goal is to have a solid state of mind, and be able to hold a steady job today! I have a sponsor who has helped me tremendously, who I am not afraid to turn to when I’m struggling. My life has completely changed for the better. I came into the Foundations Wellness program to stop using drugs and alcohol, but I have found that this program can make me a better person! ” – June 25, 2019
“I never saw myself getting clean or living a sober lifestyle. The drugs and alcohol began to define who I was as a person and I allowed myself to become okay with that thought. Ninety-six days ago my family intervened when they heard my silent cries for help and helped show me that the way I was living was really me merely surviving and that if I was willing to take suggestions and accept help from people, I could finally start living again. These past few months have been full of highs and lows, but the greatest gift of sobriety so far is finally being a part of my family again and feeling human again. The last few years, whenever I saw my reflection, I didn’t know the person staring back at me, but today I recognize the person in the mirror and it’s someone I’m proud of. I’m thankful for all the help from friends, family and at the staff at Foundations Wellness for having faith in me when I had little in myself.” – June 18, 2019
“Before sobriety I was miserable and wanted to die every day. I had no purpose in life, I lost my family and was no longer a mother. I hurt everyone around me and did things I never thought I would ever do. I was in and out of the hospital and developed pancreatitis due to drinking. Doctors told me I would die and that still wasn’t enough to stop me. I never thought I would have a life that I now have today. I celebrated a year last month and it was not easy, but I was tired of how my life was before. I have an amazing relationship with God and apply the 12 steps to my everyday life. I help others every chance I get and strive to be a role model for others and to be a better person everyday. I’m a mother today. I’m a trustworthy and dependable employee. I have had a lot of ups and downs even in sobriety, but the most important thing is I don’t have to drink or use today. I can now deal with life issues in a positive way. Thank you, Foundations!“ – June 11, 2019
“So today I woke up with one year of continuous sobriety! It’s been a long, bumpy year, but I made it through with the help of my higher power. I added this picture of before (left) and after (right) as a visual of how bad it was and where I’m at today. I was probably 90 pounds soaking wet in that picture on the left. Today my life is better than I could have ever imagined and I can honestly say I love myself. Thank you to all my family and friends that helped me in any way this past year and to Foundations Wellness. I am extremely grateful for all of you!“ – June 4, 2019
“For over 10 years, I used every day. Material bottoms weren’t really a thing for me. It was always internal. During the last year or two of my active addiction, my main goal was death. I didn’t think there was any other way out. I’ve now found a new way to live with the help of Narcotics Anonymous and Foundations Wellness. I have amazing women in my life that keep me in check. I’m actually in a healthy relationship. My family is back in my life. Today, I have over six months clean, and I never thought I’d be able to say that. Today, I’m proud of the woman I am and I live with integrity. I’ve still got a ways to go, but I’ll get there… one step at a time!” – May 28, 2019
A few months ago, Trey was living a totally hopeless and aimless life while struggling with drug addiction. The photo on the left is Trey, completely emaciated and mangled from his bout with drugs and alcohol. Everything that he loved and cherished in life had to get put on the back burner because his addiction was primary. The selfish and self-centered person that he became was a direct result of his alcoholism and addiction. It wasn’t until he was totally broken this time around that he went searching for a way to a better life beyond his demons.
The picture on the right is Trey with his family, now that he has five months of continuous sobriety. Paired with his program of recovery at Foundations Wellness, his wife and kids are his primary focuses in life. He hopes to never lose track of what is most important to him. That is only possible by working a true program and getting uncomfortable with himself in order to grow and progress on a daily basis. The person that Trey has morphed into today is something that is truly inspiring. He devotes his time to helping others, which, in turn, helps him to stay sober. – May 21, 2019
“Addiction runs in my family. My mother is 16 years sober, and my father passed away from alcoholism. After his passing, things were never the same. I ran from myself and others, drugs hid me from reality. The things I’ve seen and went through – physical and emotional abuse – only strengthened my addiction. I simply did not want to be alive, I look back at the six years I did not want to wake up. That’s around the time I started my path to sobriety. Now, I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I no longer have those scary thoughts, today I love again. I’ve found a part of myself I did not think existed. Today I have a relationship with God and my family. I don’t feel alone anymore, for that, I am most grateful.” – May 14, 2019
“I spent so many years addicted to drugs and alcohol, I knew no other way. That was my solution to all the good, bad, and indifferent events that would take place. I did not need an excuse to use. My family, friends, and employers have been tortured along the way. I came to Florida broken, with nothing to my name, and nearly cut off from all those who love me. Coming through treatment at Foundations Wellness Center’s program, I realized there are ‘normal’ people in the program and I don’t have to be an outsider anymore. I have a God today, of my understanding, and I work a program to the best of my ability. I realize that I am still human and I’m going to make mistakes. My life gradually gets better, one day at a time!” – April 30, 2019
“The last decade of my life was a whirlwind of chaos. Drugs became my solution to dull the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain I had been feeling for so long. I was in and out of detoxes, jails, psychiatric wards, and treatment centers. It wasn’t until I got honest with myself and decided to put in the work that I got anything out of any of the institutions I was placed in. Today, I work and live a program that has awarded me the ability to be a good mother, friend partner, and employee. I have achieved more in the last five months than I was ever able to in the last 10 years. I am eternally grateful for those who came before me and built this path to recovery. Thank you Foundations!” – April 23, 2019
“The picture on the left is me in active addiction treating life like a giant joke. Ten minutes after that picture, I was in the back of a cop car ready to be taken to jail. I put my addiction before everything I once held dear in my life. I could not understand why I couldn’t control my problems, my life was completely unmanageable. For years I fought to be a social drinker. Willpower was not enough for me. On my own I had no chance.
When I made the decision to stop drinking and drugging, I immediately felt the weight lifted off my shoulders. But just that decision to stop is not enough to keep me on the right track. I have to ask myself what am I doing today to better my life, to live my life to the best quality? I have to keep positive people in my life today. I have found peace in the fact that it’s okay to ask for help if I am struggling. I gave up trying to do everything on my own, and in return I have been blessed with the chance to help others.
The picture on the right is me today. On April 11th, by the grace of God, I will have one year of continuous sobriety. Before that, I hadn’t been sober in 14 years. I’ve been able to start the path to reinvent my self, the strength to strive to become a better person today then I was yesterday. Progress not perfection, always one day at a time. Thank you Foundations Wellness!” – April 9, 2019
Ryan came through our program and has accumulated close to four months of continuous sobriety. To say the least, it was not easy! The picture on the left is Ryan during his intake, after coming to us from detox. He was still looking rough around the edges, which is an understatement. Over the years, Ryan battled with opiate and methamphetamine addiction which led him to a hopeless state of body and mind. The only way out was to seek help. Once he succumbed to the fact that he indeed needed help, that small glimmer of hope began to enter into his life. Ryan was so beaten down when he entered detox that he was willing to do things differently and take suggestions from people who came before him.
The picture on the right is Ryan present-day, approaching four months of sobriety. He has come such a long way in a short amount of time. He remains willing to take suggestions and has came to believe in a power greater than himself to solve all of his problems. We at Foundations Wellness are so proud of Ryan and the beacon of hope he has grown into. From hopeless to hopeful, what a beautiful thing it is to witness! – March 19, 2019
Alumni Ryan has come an extremely long way. The picture on the left is Ryan, drinking like a fish, partying like a rock star, and never knowing when to throw in the towel during his active addiction. After having a short-term length of sobriety he found himself back in the same predicament, not knowing which way to turn. He found himself working a job in NYC, indulging in acts that were extremely detrimental to his well being until the pain was finally great enough for him to make a decision to turn his life around. He came back down to Florida in January of 2018, and now has 13 months of continuous sobriety, including nights and weekends!
The picture on the right is Ryan, living the dream! He dove back into the Foundations Wellness program, remained uncomfortable, and took strides and risks in life to get to the point in his recovery where he is at now. He always puts his hand out to help others and has humbled himself into a magnificent person, inside and outside of the recovery community. Today, Ryan has obtained a life that is not worth giving up. Situations in life happen which are out of his control – the only difference is that he now has a solution to deal with those situations, whereas before, he would pick up and start using all over again. – February 26, 2019
The photo on the left is alumni Kylie while she was still fighting this terrible disease of addiction. Kylie lived on the streets and, after countless times of trying to get sober, the disease was just too powerful for her to overcome by herself.
Failing to gain sobriety after numerous treatment attempts, there was still a ton of fight left in her, strengthened by her will to turn her life around. The pain was finally great enough for her to fully surrender and to search for a solution which would work best for her. Her desperation, determination, and willingness are just a few of the traits that would characterize her faith in that something greater is in store.
The picture on the right is Kylie, who just six months earlier could have never imagined living life with a constant smile on her face! The progress she has made is a true testament to how a person can move past the dark times and enter a life so full of joyous times. Life will always throw you curve balls, but the key is having the right mentality to deal with those life situations, without needing to pick up drugs or alcohol. – January 29, 2019
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness alumni Michael “Benji” caught up in the chaotic life of drug addiction. The picture on the right is Benji today, free from alcohol and drugs. This man came to us broken and in search of a new way of life. We never once heard an excuse out of Benji’s mouth as he set himself to the task of getting sober. A true warrior, he has had much success since turning over a new leaf.
Benji went on to help others who are struggling with addiction, starting with his role in business development at Foundations Wellness Center. He does everything he can to help others get the help so desperately need. He is also now an active participatant in the lives of his family members, too. – December 18, 2018
The picture on the left is alumni Molly, too ashamed of herself to even look at the officer taking her photo. The picture on the right is Molly, filled with joy over her new life in recovery. Molly is a special story. It took many tries for her to truly get a grasp of the program after treatment. Nevertheless, the experience of jail and the pain that coincided with it were enough to motivate her into action. She came to Foundations Wellness Center, and the rest is history.
The many chances Molly has received are a prime example that you are never down for the count. As long as you keep fighting there is always hope! – December 4, 2018
The picture on the left is alumni Brandon, dealing with the pain and agony of everyday life in active addiction. The picture on the right is Brandon with his beautiful mother, present day, with nearly three months of continuous sobriety. The difference in smiles in both pictures speaks volumes as to what sobriety has to offer you in life. Brandon was able to recognize that his life was going down the wrong path and that he was doomed if he was not willing to accept help and change for the better. Brandon came into the Foundations Wellness program shattered, empty, and hopeless. He dove into the program head-first, and has worked diligently over these last few months on fixing himself internally. He is a true testament to the fact that we do recover and there is always a glimmer of hope down that dark tunnel of active addiction. If you are willing to change, take suggestions and get uncomfortable with yourself. There is always a way out! – November 27, 2018
The picture on the left is alumni Samantha, still caught up in active addiction. The picture on the right is Samantha with almost 17 months of continuous sobriety. Samantha came to Foundations Wellness completely broken, and through her hard work and dedication to a life of recovery, she has grown into quite the beacon of hope!
We are so proud of you Samantha, and hope you receive many blessings for your hard work. You have become a shining example of what sobriety looks like for young women in recovery! Keep being you, Sam! – November 6, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Patrick in active addiction, out partying and drinking like a fish! It may look as if Patrick was having the time of his life, but on the inside, the overflowing amounts of pain certainly did not match his smile. Patrick was sick and tired of living a double life, and the pain was great enough for him to finally make a life-changing decision.
Today, Patrick lives a life full of pure joy. He now has the chance to help others who decide to start a new journey in life. He is able to build solid relationships and be a constant reminder to people struggling that miracles do happen, as long as you are willing to deal with life on life’s terms. More importantly, regardless of what life throws at you, it is never a reason to pick up a drink or a drug! – October 31, 2018
The picture on the left is alumni Toni when she first arrived at Foundations Wellness Center. The picture just doesn’t do it justice. Toni was completely broken and ready for a change in her life, and she found it through hard work and perseverance at Foundations.
Toni has become a solid alumni for our program and a shining example for new women in the program. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and sometimes a fresh start can be the foundation for something beautiful to occur. – October 23, 2018
The picture on the left is Alumni Imad looking sickly from his ongoing addiction problems. The picture on the right is the changed man that he is today. Imad came into Foundations Wellness Center as he had to treatment centers many times before: broken and unable to string together five days of sobriety. Now, Imad walks as a man rejuvenated by the program. He has literally grown from a boy into a self-sufficient man in the two years he has been sober. He is an active alumni of Foundations Wellness, and an even more active member of the program. – August 28, 2018
The picture on the left is a picture of Foundations Wellness alumni Erica under the influence. The picture on the right is Erica dressed to the nines, living her best life. Erica has over one year of continuous sobriety and continues to carry the message to the addict/alcoholic that still suffers. She is a woman of grace and integrity today. – August 14, 2018
The picture you see on the left is alumni Chris prior to getting clean and sober. The injury that appears in his eye is from throwing up excessively during withdrawal. The picture on the right, however, is Chris free from the madness of active addiction. He now walks a free man and a contributing member to his community. He is a glorious example of what someone can achieve if they set their mind to it! – August 7, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Brigitte, in the hospital during active addiction, battling an infection which almost caused her to be brain dead from this deadly disease. The picture on the right is Brigitte present day, healthy, enjoying her life, and free from the throes of addiction. Today, Brigitte has a choice, simply because she was willing to make changes in her life for the better! – July 31, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Lauren in the throes of active addiction, at the end of her rope. The picture on the right is Lauren enjoying life; happy, joyous, and free! Lauren was one of our first clients here at Foundations Wellness, who came into treatment determined to change her life around. Lauren just recently celebrated two years of continuous sobriety and lives a life free of the pain and true despair that once had a stranglehold on her. Today, Lauren can enjoy the time spent with her beautiful family as she strives towards reaching her goals, one day at at time. – July 17, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Samantha at the end of her run, having to dry out in a jail cell. The picture on the right is Samantha free from the bondage of active addiction. The grass is not always greener on the other side, but it sure was for Samantha! The lack of hope in her eyes on the left compared to the happiness in them on the right should be all the proof anyone needs that this program works if you work it! Samantha is a prime example of what can be done if you take suggestions and keep your eye on the prize! – July 3, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness alumni Samantha in the midst of active alcoholism and drug addiction. However, the picture on the right is Sam with almost six months of continuous sobriety. Sam is a great example to new clients on how to maintain sobriety after treatment. Her undying service to our alumni program, and the community around her, sets her apart. – June 19, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness alumni Jeri in her Department of Corrections Monday outfit, lost and unable to separate from a life of drugs. The picture on the right is Jeri happy, full of life, and free of drugs and alcohol. Jeri is a wonderful example of being down and out, but not down for the count. She has overcome multiple relapses and is on the right track to long-standing sobriety. – June 5, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Colleen, completely malnourished and beaten down from drug abuse. The picture on the right is Colleen happy, healthy, and full of life. She has been an active alumni, setting the standard for our new female clients here at Foundations Wellness. The recovery community is a better place with Colleen in it! – May 29, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness alumni Mitch in the midst of his active addiction. He may look to as though he is having a good time, but the pain was not yet great enough for Mitch to make a change. The picture on the right is Mitch, free from the throws of addiction. Mitch is an active alumni and chooses life today. – May 22, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Jose before he found his way into sobriety. The picture on the right is Jose present day, with almost eight months of sobriety. The joy has definitely returned to Jose’s life, and he takes his recovery very seriously. He is a solid member of the community and he has grown to be a man anyone can count on. – May 1, 2018
The picture on the left is Foundations Wellness Center alumni Taylor on her graduation day from high school. Obviously it wasn’t her healthiest moment in time. The picture on the right is Taylor with over 90 days sober. Taylor is active in her community and is a great example to women in early recovery. – April 24, 2018
The picture on the left is Jessica in a hopeless state of mind and body. The picture on the right is Jessica with a new lease on life. What a beautiful comeback story about a woman who took the suggestions that were offered to her and ran with them! Jessica is an alumni story we like to tell often here at Foundations Wellness Center. The adversity she as had to overcome in sobriety is nothing short of a miracle. – March 20, 2018
The picture on the left is Christina running on self-will, fully addicted with no way out. The picture on the right is Christina present day, free from the bondage of addiction. Christina is living proof that no matter how many times you try, recovery is always there for you, if you keep coming back and giving it an honest effort. – March 6, 2018
The picture on the left is Justin at the end of the road in active addiction. The picture on the right is Justin and a close family friend at a youth sports banquet in his hometown, present day. Although these pictures are separated by almost two years, we know Justin remembers the day he came to us like it was yesterday. Foundations Wellness Center is proud to have Justin as one of our alumni and we commend him on all he has accomplished in sobriety. – February 27, 2018