I have been in treatment for seven weeks and I feel empowered spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I am loving the program and have learned the most from being able to use the coping skills by interacting with the other residents daily. It is a revolving door program so each client starts at a different time. Some women are graduating while others are just entering and it is challenging to live with 20 – 25 women all at different points in their recovery, all dealing with their own mental health and addiction issues.

I think I am navigating quite well. We learn DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Relapse Prevention, Seeking Safety, Transition and other practical life skills along with recreation therapies such as art, music, crafts, knitting, cooking and sewing. It is a good mix of self-paced learning and instructor facilitated group discussions.

I was starting to show symptoms of mania a while ago and with early intervention and self-awareness it did not escalate into an episode. It was only 5 days or so that I felt off. I am starting to believe I have more control over my mental stability than I had previously believed.

I find that taking care of my physical health first helps to manage my spiritual health and my mental and emotional well-being. I am basically learning self-mastery by being resourceful, self-aware, open-minded and willing.

I have a lot of experience with recovery and much of what is being taught here is repetitive but with more humility and willingness within me at the moment all the tools and information feels fresh. Actually applying my knowledge in day to day activities is helping to transform me whereas in the past I retained the knowledge but resorted to auto-responses to situations.

I have about 1500 waking hours here at Heartwood and I am investing my time wisely taking advantage of the support and balancing it with having some fun with the girls as well as reconnecting to my family and old friends. I am happy most of the time and I am only half way through.

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