When I first arrived at Seaside, my mind was tormented by racing fears, anxiety, and emotions. Not only from knowing I was making an attempt at living sober without anymore prescription drugs, alcohol, or cocaine in my life, but that I have for the first time physically stepped outside my comfort zone. Being a daddy’s girl my whole life, I was spoiled and used to getting most everything I wanted. I lived a sheltered existence protected from a healthy childhood exposure to many normal activities and places. (i.e. never played a sport, never went to summer camp, etc…) By my early twenty’s I still had minimal real life skills or experience and began falling into random spells of depression and was totally void of self-esteem.
When I first began using it was innocently for pleasure, as I believed there is no feeling quite like that of something new. But as my depression and inner demons grew and tore at me from within, I began to use in order to suppress and bury any emotional feeling or release whatsoever. I was oblivious as to how flawed and self-damaging the decisions I was making were, and it wasn’t until Seaside’s addiction program that I learned about the truth about and causes of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. My therapist explained to me it is human nature to take the easier course, and if feeling nothing is preferable over feeling one’s personal pain, than most of us would rather mask, deny, or cover up than confront and purge the affliction.
Along with the fascinating education and inward self-exploration, I was very fond of beautiful location, scenic walks on nature trails and beaches at sunset, and the private chef’s variety of delicious meals. I believe I could have not succeeded or grown as emotionally engaged in my recovery if I were to have opted for a traditional, less individualized rehab program. Just hearing the vastly different stories and struggles from other guests in group therapy really made me believe that every addicted person is unique, and that their own treatment should be an accordingly unique experience to have effect. The tranquility of Seaside’s atmosphere created a stress free environment that also seemed so vital during those delicate early stages of recovery.
Looking back on it all, I view my time there as a life and self-perspective altering experience rather than a 12-step drug and alcohol program. I have never before looked in and touched on such deep seated issues responsible for my drug and alcohol addiction, and while tender at times it has since freed me of so much unnecessary pain and brought out strengths and interests that I had no idea existed within me. Don’t let the whole luxury treatment idea make you think it is only a beautified one-size-fits all type of program. There is nothing taught here that is superficial or only surface deep. In closing I’d like to thank all the staff for their dedicated hard work, my therapist Lisa and her insightfulness, and to the understanding friends I made during my time there.