Hi I am Kimberly. I really don’t know where to start. I relocated from NC to South Florida in 2015. I spent countless years and money in and out of treatment centers only to relapse for months to a year and turn around and do it all again. I had had two previous suicide attempts and was planing a third. On a very dark March night sitting at my kitchen table something told me I needed to reach out to a friend of mine. a roommate of mine in a half way house. I reached out to and told her where I was physically and mentally. She begged me to hold on. The next day she called me back and told me she had gotten GREAT news and information on a facility outside of Ocala. She begged me to give it a chance. Later that day I made up my mind I would “try” this facility and if I didn’t feel any differently when I left I was going to make drastic measures to make sure I never had to feel like this again. So I made the call to the 1-800 number and my call was returned immediately. I talked to a very understanding gentleman who listened to me and was not pushy to get me to the facility immediately. I had the time to pack up my apartment and send what things I had back to NC. The next day I was on a train headed to Orlando. I used the last opiates I had on that train that day and prayed to God as I had done so many times that this was it. I never wanted to put another needle in my arm again.
I arrived at the Orlando train station and was greeted by a very nice man on a good day... 😊. When leaving that train station I said hey hold up! I looked at this man and said there’s something I need to do. I pulled off my old watch and threw it in the trash. I looked at the man and said “I have to do something different if I want this to work. I realized on that train ride I had been doing the same routine in So Flo and if I wanted a different outcome I had to do something different.” I told him I had been doing things on my time all my life and it was time I tried something different and let someone tell what and when I needed to do something.
I arrived at Harmony Hills a scared, shaking, hollow individual. I was a complete mess and that is putting it lightly. A staff was the gentleman that picked me up from the train. He became a close friend, confidant, and a man I respect highly. I then was greeted by staff. These 2 ladies made sure I was completely comfortable and knew I was exhausted. They helped me get through what needed to be done so I could get a bite to eat and try to relax. They made me feel loved, comforted, and cared for and they didn’t even know me! The overwhelming feeling of warmth I felt from the staff and the other clients was like no other feeling I had had at any other facility I had been in. I got to meet each staff member each by each all greeting me with a smile and a “well hello Ms.! It’s so great to meet you finally. I have heard you were here and assured I would love you just like the others do” To be truthful as well I also have multiple severe orthopedic issues and disability. I had been assured that would NOT be a problem there as it had been at other facilities and it WASNT the staff took me on a golf cart up and down the rolling hills when needed and drove me in a van when needed without ever saying a word. I was always made to feel comfortable. I meet my therapist on Monday morning after my admission on Friday afternoon. I was completely blow away. She had already read my admission papers and knew a little about me. She spent 3 hours that afternoon talking to me about myself and my past, also wanting to know my goals short and long term. She didn’t spend that three hours of time sitting behind a desk glaring at me. She took me to a quiet table on campus to spend this time with me. She spent many hours with me and ALWAYS had an open door policy. If she was on campus and she was needed find her send for her what ever I needed.
I quickly met the nursing staff and as a nurse myself I had the bar set very high. To my disbelief I was completely blown away by the nursing staff as well. They ALL had everything together and my every need was met. The NP Laila was amazing listening to me and finally after all those years was able to tell me what I needed medically to help me.
The office staff was amazing. She came to me at a moment of complete hysterical breakdown, stayed with me, comforted me and was able to process my feelings about the subject and honestly put me on a 2 week phone restriction with dealing with that particular family member. I had NEVER had someone notice my previous reaction with this individual. Putting me on phone restriction was the greatest thing that anyone could have previously done but she did it and a ton was lifted off of me.
The therapy staff and groups were the best groups I had ever attended and each one I felt was aimed directly at me but it wasn’t. I was finally able to see I was no different from the other clients and was not alone. A huge eye opening breakthrough for me.
The behavioral techs were amazing. Always trying to find something fun to do. Hiking, horse back riding, crafts, games, kite flying there was always something fun going on and if someone needed it the tech would be at our side listening to us fuss or get over something that upset us or just lending an ear! always had a huge laugh up and down that hill everyday. Times I just will never forget! I could always get a news briefing or learn how to keep things simple wit would be out front of the cabin playing with the ball and showing soccer moves. When Mrs. C got there to wake me up every morning I got to share my quote of the day. To start the day off right. I did that. When nightfall came and you would start looking for Mr. T and Mrs. J. You knew the evening was about to start and there would be down time. I would always smile when it was bedtime. A big good night laugh was well on its way. always spreading himself through the evenings and nights.
My stay at Harmony Hills was like what I call a stay in Heaven. Full of smiles, laughter, love, guidance, and learning. Something I never thought I would ever find.
I have specifically haven’t said much about my individual therapist. I had always been told at my age you couldn’t teach old dogs new tricks. I had always thought that about me. was able to bring me back to a life I never thought I would have. A life actually much better than the one I lead before alcohol and drugs. She spent countless hours listening to me. Teaching me new ways to break through the walls I had built up and how to deal with the things on the other side in a healthy way. She was able to show me and teach me I didn’t need alcohol and drugs to deal with my feelings good or bad. With help and guidance I was able to finally come home. Home was not somewhere I never believed I would ever be again let alone in a permanent basis. helped me realize that I could be a mother, daughter, and now a Grandmother. Things I never thought I would be possible. taught me was of verbalizing my feelings in a healthy way. When I think of I think of an angel God sent to me to teach me how and what life is outside the bonds of addiction and that I could live that life. On a side note when I returned home would call me periodically to see how I was doing. There were times I called her when I felt like I couldn’t breathe or handle a situation. And there have been times my mother has actually called when she needed to talk or understand why I was acting a certain way or if she was genuinely worried. It is very easy to say that has become part of our family. Not just on therapy related issues but on family issues. Recently as of 10 days ago I got to experience the birth of my first grandchild. It was the most beautiful magical moment in my life. was the first person I called at 3:15 am to share the experience with. And then with big tears in my eyes my thoughts went immediately to Harmony Hills. Without the guidance, love, support, and education I would have never gotten to experience what I just had. The miracle of life being brought in to this world. A new life to add to my life, my story, my walk, someone to share the story of my Ruby Red Shoes with.
To basically sum this long story I wanted to share. I was a torn, tattered, shell of a lost human being. That agreed to give one more treatment center the chance to help me before I died. Death at that point was the answer to it all. I am so blessed I promised Grace I would at least go to the center and give it a try before I took my life. Now I see Harmony Hills also took a chance with me as well. I am glad the stars aligned or whatever had to happen to bring us together. Today I have 198 days clean and sober. I was told by a wise man that anyone can talk the talk it was actions that showed our days. Not necessarily calendars. Today I look at my calendar and still read my daily quote, prayer, or guidance for the day. Sometimes it will immediately make me think about someone in my life and I say a little prayer for them to bless their day and then I begin my day. Hoping for the best but now knowing that I am able to handle whatever comes my way. I have already walked through hell and graciously I have been given the tools I need from my precious friend and Harmony Hills.
To the rest of the staff (if I forgot your name/initials I am very sorry! I am blaming it all on new grandmama brain! LOL) I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking a chance on me! I live daily with the goals of never letting US down! If I could sprinkle all the love from this earth on you it still would not be enough! I love you ALL and by the way... if no one has told you today that you are loved... I love and appreciate you !💕 Again God Bless you ALL and forever loved 💜💜💜Kimberly