I will be honest 5 days after getting to The Ranch I was planning my discharge, however I’m grateful I changed my mind. Is The Ranch perfect no, however did they try everything within their power to accommodate the needs I had when I advocate for them yes! This was my 1st rehab. stay. Let’s face it we don’t end up in rehab. because we are totally emotionally regulated to being with. This is just coming from my perspective. One huge suggestion I have when checking in...If you get in the saddle be ready for the ride because it’s a bucking bronco. If you really work the program, attend all classes & groups, do all your homework and are open to the process it can be so incredibly worth it! I wanted to share a little about my authentic experience with you.
Yesterday 4/5/2020 more than any other day since I’ve been home I missed The Ranch SOOOO badly! When I left on 3/28/2020 I cried so hard as we pulled away!!! I didn’t want to go come home, not one bit. I didn’t know how I was going to handle my flashbacks without Benzos. and my new found daily 24/7 support systems. Yes doing the program for 48 days was the hardest thing I’ve “ever” done in my entire life. However to be honest it was the “most” rewarding thing I’ve ever completed! Even above raising my two beautiful son’s 27 & 20. Some of you may say, WHAT but you’re a mother. Your children should be your number one reward! Well, you see this is the first time in 47 years that I actually started to find ME and that was in Nunnelly TN! I had many of my WHY’s answered as to what makes Stacey tick and why I react certain ways to situations that no one else could explain or understand, until now! Well for the first time since I can remember going back to the age of 4 years old, yes 4 years old did I not feel different and people weren’t calling me crazy, thinking I’m making a big deal out of nothing, simply minimizing or defending their behavior when I shared my feelings. The Ranch was a SAFE place that I could be me, all of me! I was surrounded by people who showed me unconditional love when I needed it without asking and while not looking for anything in return. Loving me just as I was in any given moment. (what a concept) I heard authentic apologizes from Counselors acting as my family members of origin expressing the words I have longed for and so desperately wanted to hear out of my family of origins mouth’s for so many years. I will say NO it was not from the lips I’ve so desperately wanted to hear it from, however it was the words I needed to hear spoken so gently, compassionately, freely given and authentically! A true gift.
When I said to my husband as tears rolled down my face late last evening “Boy do I miss The Ranch”! He said “I know. You felt safe and heard there”. You see my husband is usually a man of few words, however his word choices last night couldn’t have been more perfect. Yes, I found LOTS of awareness at The Ranch, however more importantly what I really found was MY TRIBE! The depression and anxiety started to lift and there were days that I actually had happy moments even partial days. You see with treatment resistant depression and severe anxiety disorder along with very complexed PTSD this was a true victory for me. I now know it can happen! It wasn’t through antidepressants that never worked or gave me serious side effects that I’ve tried for 31 years, it wasn’t through ECT that only took the good memory, it wasn’t through HIGH doses of Benzos I had been prescribed for 11 years just to manage the anxiety to a level I wasn’t at the ER again swearing I was having a heart attack. It wasn’t from going to the bar and getting drunk with my girlfriends on a GNO (girls night out) or girls gone wild vacation. It wasn’t with men that I was a love addict to! It was with people just like me who were also finding there place in this thing we’re trying to live called life! We don’t want to just survive we want to THRIVE!
Thank you to everyone I met at The Ranch! From Admins, to counselors, medical, RA's, shuttle service, housekeeping and the Deerfield House staff. A huge shout out to ALL my new sisters and my PHP brothers! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I’m so eternally grateful for all of you. This is not goodbye, it’s until we are in contact or meet again at the reunion!