I have always felt fortunate to have been able to work hard and regain my speech, become physically strong and am continually working on my short term memory issues and limited peripheral vision.
However, what I did not address successfully was the crippling depression, mood instability, lack of emotional containment, and distorted thinking I was experiencing.
I went to neurologists, physiatrists that specialize in brain injuries, and therapists desperately seeking answers. I was put on so many medications for all of the problems I was experiencing. I was trying to manage all of these problems with medicines that were all administered on a "how are you feeling" basis. "Take more of this, and less of that" is what I was told week after week. When the medicines did not address my emotional pain, I added to them my own "medicine" which was alcohol.
It is miraculous that my physical body even survived what I was putting into it. However, my mental, emotional, and spiritual side did not survive and I was completely dead inside living in a very dark place.
Throughout this time, my husband was a strong support but was reaching the end of his rope with my out of control state of being. A family friend had told him about Brookhaven and he called the number he was given. Much to our surprise, Jacqueline, the founder and owner of Brookhaven, answered the call and talked to us both at length. For the first time, in a very long time, I felt a glimmer of hope. I knew I had to get to Jacqueline and the retreat she has created immediately. We made the arrangements and went.
I can honestly say that throughout out my entire lifetime experiences, going to Brookhaven was the most scared I have ever been in my entire lifetime. I was simply terrified. I just kept telling myself was that if Jacqueline was as genuinely as authentic as she was on the phone, everything was going to be "all right".
Much to my surprise everything was not just "all right" but my experience was more powerful, more revealing, and more monumental that I could have ever imagined.
The staff at Brookhaven is highly trained professionals and treats each client with respect, dignity, non-judgment and compassion. They also encouraged each client to recognize that they are in charge of their own healing journey. The staff creates a plan of action that has been designed specifically for each individual. Clients have tremendous support, not only from the staff, but also from the wonderful other clients at Brookhaven which I can only describe as a sisterhood.
Yes, it is hard work, but as I worked my plan, my thoughts, feelings, behaviors and actions began to change. I grew mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually stable and strong.
But one aspect about Brookhaven that did not seem to fit for me was the term used to address the amazing women who are brave enough to make the decision to seek help at Brookhaven. That term was "Client". Yes, it is an extremely professional term. Bur for me, I never felt like a client at Brookhaven, I felt like I was treated as a Guest in Jacqueline's home. Jacqueline and her amazing, talented staff make every decision concerning the accommodations, programs, the routines, the cuisine served, the art, the music, the rules: every aspect of the program has been thought out to have a direct impact on the guests' comfort, safety, growth and recovery.
My experience at Brookhaven not only changed my life forever: it saved my marriage, my relationship with my daughter and most of all my relationship with myself.
I often chuckle to myself about how scared I was the day I arrived at Brookhaven, because now I know that it was an honor and privilege to be there as a guest of Jacqueline's and so many other people that only wanted the best for me. I know now, that although I still have limitations from my stroke, I now have coping skills and am making good decisions by listening to my inner self and my wise mind when the waters of life get rough. At Brookhaven, I learned how to re-wire my brain to emotionally regulate my feelings and am now experiencing inner peace, laughter, joy, and calmness: all without antidepressants, sleep aids, "uppers", "downers" and alcohol.
I know this because I am living it everyday. I am truly blessed to have been a guest at Brookhaven.
One day I received a call from my mother regarding something she found on the Internet. My mother was always searching for help for me and I have never been receptive to her efforts until I learned about Brookhaven. Less than two days later I was on a flight to Tennessee.
Brookhaven Retreat is a spectacular place. The women here are non-judgemental, kind, and amazingly supportive. I have never trusted anyone like I trust my Brookhaven sisters. The staff is very attentive and friendly. My therapist here is the best therapist I have ever had (and I have had a few). Individual and group therapy has been incredibly helpful. In all groups I have learned helpful tools and developed skills that help me overcome obstacles and get through every day. I have learned to regulate my emotions, ways to manage my time and efforts, how to have healthy relationships, how to lead a happy life, and so much more. In the time that I have been here, I have been happier, less anxious, my relationship with my family has improved dramatically, I have not craved alcohol, I am productive and motivated, and generally feel fantastic. I will be eternally grateful for the care I received at Brookhaven and would encourage anyone to give it a chance because it has truly changed my life. I am excited to finally start living the life I dreamed about because I know today that I am strong, smart, capable and beautiful just the way I am. Brookhaven has helped me realize that.
Thank you for all you do for women.
I have learned self-respect, courage and patience
I believe the staff and clients saved my life and my future. Also of course, I have done the same myself.
For the first time I feel grounded.
I realize I was only here thirty days, but I feel that if you really want the program to work, you must work the program. The classes hit every angle of my life, physical, mental and spiritual.
When I first arrived I had no hope. BHR gave me incredible hope and a passion for life, a SOBER Life. As for my after care, I will be attending three classes a week for eight weeks, starting next Tues. I know in my heart there is no way to promise I'll never take a drink again, but for now I do not see it in my future.
I still have and probably always will struggle with my self-esteem. It's slowly moving up. I have come to the realization that I must set boundaries with my sisters in order to move on.
I would like to give much gratitude to everyone at Brookhaven Retreat.
I was fortunate to have found Brookhaven Retreat at a pivotal point in my life. Having been to treatment twice before for substance abuse, I came with some reservations as to how this time would be different. Through the experience and guidance of Jacqueline and my primary therapist I was able to gain a positive perspective and new direction in my life. While I still face obstacles, my time at Brookhaven has given me the tools necessary to cope with the challenges that lay ahead.
Thank you so much for arranging visits with "J" and "B" for me. That was very kind and encouraging. Please give them my love.
My journey is naturally still in progress. I haven't had any real mania and have been very stable which is good. I'm still fighting depression, but I've had some very normal, happy times. I have good doctors and an excellent therapist.
May all continue to go well for you in your important work.
However, I learned in time (90 days) coping skils and was given tools to use to learn to become emotionally regulated. I will be able to use these tools to teach others when I leave here and get home to help those understand how I am healthier, happier and self-empowered. I will be able to help my family and friends understand how I am now compared to how I was before and who I have become while I have spent my time here at Brookhaven.
Also, by coming to Brookhaven you have already taken the greatest step of courage and the most difficult one towards beginning your healing process.
Brookhaven, by far, is the most elite emotional finishing school. It is a dual-diagnosis recovery center for women only. It is here that you will be helped by a phenomenal, well-trained staff that will help you, guide you and support you through your healing process. You will be given your own individualized treatment plan designed specifically for your needs and goals to help you through this process.
While you are here, you will have to examine yourself which is the hardest examination of all. If you don't examine yourself, you can't find yourself. Be truthful, be honest. Truth and honesty equals freedom.
You come to Brookhaven to raise yourself to a higher level. You will come to a leveling that is right for you. It does take time to do this. Use your time wisely here. You will reach a maturity level which will allow you to have more clarity. You will learn to create credibility here.
There is so much to learn about yourself here. You will also learn self-care, self-respect, self-acceptance, emotional regulation, trust, self-safety which leads to emotional safety. You will learn self-love and gain strength. You will learn to be your own individual and gain confidence in yourself. This is self-empowerment! Self-empowerment is the key to own yourself. You will learn to own your decisions and be good with those decisions and by doing this, as well, is empowerment.
You will also learn to set healthy boundaries and how to have healthy relationships. You will learn to become emotionally whole. It will take patience, endurance and tenacity to do this. You will discover your own identity and what you stand for.
When it is your time to leave Brookhaven, not only do they take extremely good care of you while you are here, they will help you prepare and give to you an aftercare discharge summary, so you will always have a safety net.
You will reach an understanding that you will live recovery everyday. You will need emotional maintenance – it will be a way of life forever. Emotional maintenance is continued growth. You will get this through your support groups, therapists and doctors you work with when you reach home.
Brookhaven will only become a gift when you allow it to be a gift. It truly was a gift to me to be able to receive great support through the staff who works endlessly to make sure you stay on that right path.
Most of all, I have been truly blessed to have met and come to know Jacqueline Dawes. She is the most empowered woman I know and will ever know. She pours her heart and soul into this facility and making sure the women at Brookhaven are treated well and kept safe. She has poured her whole life into creating this beautiful, serene, tranquil recovery center for women. She truly gave a wonderful gift to us who are fortunate to be here when you meet Jacqueline, you will know what I mean and how special she truly is.
I am grateful especially to my therapist and Jacqueline for helping me to find myself and a way to continue on a healthy, happy healing journey. Brookhaven has a wonderful community of women who offer a great amount of support, kindness and warmth. There is truly no better place to be: BROOKHAVEN HEAVEN FOR FEMALES