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  • Writer's pictureProspect Hill Recovery


On February 16th, 2007, I checked myself into a hospital as I was dying from drug addiction and alcoholism. No longer could I speak in complete sentences, everyone that was important to me was either pushed away or I scared them off, isolation had been my master for well over a year, and all the things in life I loved to do such as surfing and mountain bike riding were nothing but a distant memory. 

I was so delusional I thought that if I just detox off all the opioid painkillers and stopped using cocaine, I could occasionally drink alcohol. Here I was dying from the disease and my addicted mind was still trying to find ways to make me unique and special. One of the sinister things about the disease of alcoholism and addiction is that it is the only fatal illness that often tells you that you do not have it. It will lie to you, it will trick you in all the right ways because it wants you alone and it wants to kill you, I am convinced of this without waiver. 

I was fortunate to have checked into a facility in Laguna Beach, California that had clinicians and medical staff that knew what they were doing. One of the things they had me do was join the other patients as we would shuffle down the hallway to the elevator on Tuesday nights. The men went into a big auditorium and the women went into a smaller, group type of room. I had no idea this is where I would see “hope.” It was a men’s AA meeting with more than 100+ guys, to say I was scared to pieces would be an understatement. 

There was electricity in this place: joy, sincerity, true brotherly love, and laughter permeated the room. I was in pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt, hospital bracelet on and felt as small as I have ever felt. When the meeting began, I sat on my hands as they vibrated from my detoxing from 17 years of opioid dependency. I don’t remember hearing much at all at that first meeting, but I do remember men saying, “welcome to all of the new guys” and “if you are new please stick around, we have really good lives here, but we have to do some things to keep our sobriety.” 

I will never forget how welcoming these guys were, I just thought they were feeling sorry for such a sick guy, but I have since learned it is our duty and responsibility to welcome the new person to the meeting and to AA. This is something I hold very sacred to this day and consider it a debt I can never fully repay- I just do the best I can each day. 

One last thing that also struck me, a man said, “You’ve got to change or die.” I thought that was a little extreme at the time I heard it, but I must say that those words are without a doubt as true as they come. I asked him what that meant, change, or die. He simply said, “the same man will drink or get loaded again. This program of recovery is way beyond not using/drinking a day at time, it is about changing and growing. I changed who I spent time with, the places I went, and the things I did. 

My experience has been that growing emotionally and spiritually has been at times quite painful, yet the freedom that occurs, the inner peace is beyond worth it. 

At Prospect Hill, we understand that to recreate your life, change needs to happen. Just not drinking and using is a great start, that is where we begin to become open to so much more. Everyone who comes to Prospect Hill is going to have their “own personal experience” and what you take home when you leave will be the necessary tools to make change a welcomed experience, not just for you, but for those you cherish the most. 

If you or someone you love is suffering with alcoholism and/or drug addiction, please call us at Prospect Hill. Come see what our recovery sanctuary is all about. We are in gorgeous St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Prospect Hill…where positive change awaits you.

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