“I have gained credibly and changed both mentally and physically. Before I came here I despised reading, I would never pick up a book and finish it. I have read more than 7 books since my stay here. When I read a book I am deep in the story. My vocabulary increased immensely and I’m able to understand much more than I did before my stay here. I am getting really good grades; when I need assistance in my work I am not afraid to ask for help. I am fortunate to take part in a few trips this past summer. I went on a rock climbing trip and a river rafting trip with the other girls here. It was an unforgettable life experience! I told my therapist and director about when I first started to climb the mountain – when I was climbing the first rock I climbed half way and when I got to the middle of the rock I would just hang there. I would try again and work my way up to the top but I stopped and hung on the rope. I finally got down and gave up. This is what happens in real life with me, I will do really well and keep persevering to the top, but then something goes wrong and I fall straight down hitting rock bottom.
There are 4 levels here:
1) Resistance – you refuse to cooperate and work your program
2) Open – you’re open to change and advice on improving your well-being
3) Initial – you’re holding yourself and others accountable, being honest and reliable, taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone to make changes in your life
4) Internalizing – taking action without thinking about the situation, internally being the changes you’ve made without having to remind yourself.
I have been Level 1 three times, level 2 when I was in a better mindset, and I recently voted up to level 3. I sat in my crap for a year thinking I was going to get out sooner than later. When I realized I’d be here longer than I had planned I stopped being stubborn and wasting my time by deciding to really make and effort to change. Level 3 is a lot of responsibility and hard work; there are times when I want to give up. This is the positive grown up responsibility that I need to accomplish instead of responsibility that is non-working and unhealthy for me.
All the girls and staff here are a positive influence. They and incredibly supportive and take the time to listen and talk with you being completely genuine, honest, patient, and compassionate. In the beginning, I was very negative and brought down anyone else who seemed as vulnerable as myself. I did this for quite some time until the day I said to myself this negativity is only making me worse and wasting my time. With my education, Elk Mountain has helped me finish my credits faster so that I can receive my diploma soon. Every week they have me set goals for my schoolwork so I can stay on track and remain focused on each class. I receive one-on-one work from the teacher every day when I need help and I know the have my best interest in mind when they continue to help push me instead of giving up. They’ve also gotten me a tutor for extra help once during the week. This program has provided me with the best education I’ve ever acquired.
I am really blessed and thankful to be here because there is so much encouragement and compassion; it’s been my second chance in life. I am thankful to be sober and where I am because I know if I were to go back to South Pasadena I would go straight back to my past without any hesitation. That’s when my impulsiveness would take over. I do not like how I am in the middle of nowhere in Idaho, but it is good for me because there are no drugs and people to influence me in non-working actions. I understand it’s what I need for my own good to keep me alive and healthy.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to make many changes at Elk Mountain with my education and wellbeing. I am now honest with my parents, staff, the girls here, teachers and therapist. I have the closest relationship with my parents now that I have ever had before. For once I actually enjoy and look forward to talking with my mom and dad each week! In regards to my education, my reading level has gone up vastly and I am able to work independently on my schoolwork without relying on others to give me the answers. I am also able to concentrate and take the time to finish my work as best as I can instead of taking the easy way out. None of this would have been possible without the help, support, and time from Elk Mountain that allowed me to work throughout my issues.
Thank you for your time, energy, and hard work with everything you are doing to help support my education and family”