What our clients are saying…
They will believe in you until you believe in you
There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not had the extra support, accountability, and structure of the recovery house when I first came out of treatment, I would not be clean today. It provided the safe space, personal attention, and responsibilities that I needed to keep me on track while I made the transition back into society from the bubble of residential treatment.
The house itself is nice, and in a fabulous location, but what really changed my life was working with Lucy. She told me when I arrived that she would move mountains to help me be successful in my recovery, and she followed through on this promise, without hesitation, every step of the way. Today, I can honestly say that I would trust her with my life. I showed up defiant, distrusting, and willful, but (somehow!) Lucy loved and supported me just as much when I was being hostile and unreasonable as when I was growing, healing, and finding small successes. Her combination of compassion and candour makes her some kind of miracle worker in my eyes. Lucy can be gentle, but takes no shit; you always know where you stand with her. Her genuine desire to see her clients get well is evident in all aspects of her practice, and she will fiercely fight for your healing.
When I first arrived at the recovery house, I was vaguely willing to go through the motions, but had no real hope that things would ever change for me. Years of addiction and attempts at recovery had me beaten down into righteous despair. But it is astounding how transformative it can be to have someone believe in you so hard that you almost begin to believe in yourself. Lucy helped me restore my faith in recovery, in the program, in spirituality, and most importantly, in myself. Working with her helped me to find hope again, and I will be forever grateful. I owe so much to my stay here, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about their recoveryL.T.
Fully invested in my recovery
I’m not going to lie, I had some major concerns when I arrived at Mile Zero. For one, I thought the cost my parents would incur was far too high on top of what they had spent on inpatient treatment. In addition, having previously had negative experiences with “professionals” in the addictions field, I was convinced that recovery houses were nothing more than a business centered upon making money rather than client care. A quick Google search of such, and news articles detailing some questionable practices were quick to follow. Ultimately, at the core of my apprehension, was the belief that staying clean and living life were mutually exclusive; an entirely unattainable goal for someone like me. Repeated attempts at recovery followed by increasingly worse relapses had left me exhausted and jaded. I could stay sober while kept away in the contrived confines of inpatient, but living in the real world was an entirely different battle, one I found too difficult to even want to participate in.
Three months into being at Mile Zero, I found myself sitting in the front row of my sister’s wedding service. It wasn’t until then that it occurred to me that my parents hadn’t incurred a cost, rather, they made an investment. I was there beside them in that moment, but if I had gone out on my own when I was not ready and relapsed as I had many times before, I never would have been. I would never have been able to repair our relationship, be an aunt to my future niece or nephew, or be at another Christmas morning. There’s a saying in the recovery community about the ends of addiction: jails, institutions, or death. Rather than spend another $10,000+ on legal fees for the mistakes I would most certainly repeat to fuel my habit, $25,000 to send me to inpatient treatment once more, or $5,000+ for a funeral, they made an investment into my future, and our future, so that I could have the best chance of staying clean and they could have the best chance of getting their daughter back.
Logistics aside, it’s difficult to condense an explanation of what it was like being in the house, but I will try. Getting the chance to live in a character home two blocks away from the ocean, with a fridge full of food I didn’t have to shop for, and in a city that people travel all around the world to vacation in definitely didn’t hurt, but the care I received was invaluable in assisting me in the transition out of the controlled environment of inpatient, to staying clean in a more realistic setting. Lucy, the house manager, is one of a kind and someone I have grown to deeply respect. I have seen people cry while describing the impact she has had on their lives. Her education is almost besides the point when it comes to the magnitude of her natural knack for the job she does, combined with a litany of lived experience to back it up, as well as a consistent above and beyond mentality regarding quality of care. I have never been kicked so hard in the ass yet simultaneously felt so cared for. As someone that struggles with trust and psychiatric disorders in addition to my addiction, I very much appreciated the patience she had with me when it was required, but also the intuition to know when I needed to be pushed. Time and time again, I watched her meet people where they were at, match the effort they were willing to put into their own recovery, and help in whatever way was necessary. In addition to Lucy’s presence during office hours, Mile Zero is staffed in the evenings. These individuals also have lived experience and a dedication to providing support during hours that can be particularly challenging for those that struggle with addiction. They fulfill a wide array of duties, such as facilitating gender specific in-house meetings, dispensing medication, and being around to talk whenever someone needs to. Although not required to, they can often be found taking people to and from twelve step meetings, which was extremely appreciated on my end as someone that did not do well in large groups of strangers in the beginning. Someone is also on call at any given time, both overnight and on weekends to respond to any situation that may arise outside of regular hours.
Put simply, over the course of my five-month stay, I witnessed quite a string of people with not a whole lot of hope for themselves completely transform. They took their first steps into life without the use of substances under the care of Mile Zero, with Lucy walking next to them on one side and support staff on the other. It doesn’t take long to realize that this is the reason there is an extensive community of alumni that regularly pop by the house. There is a genuine desire to extend a hand to the new residents of the place at which a foundation for recovery was built, and to continue to stay connected to the safety and support that is offered even after one has moved out.
I believe the moment that best summarizes my experience at Mile Zero is when Lucy said to me: “I’m not going to let you slip through the cracks.” After quite a few failed attempts at staying clean with any quality of life, I can say with confidence that the course of my life changed when I decided to stay even when it seemed futile at best. Had I not gone through Mile Zero, I’m certain I wouldn’t be alive, let alone clean for eight months, in my own apartment, with legal issues resolved, my family in my life, and a smile on my face while reflecting on this integral aspect of my journey. Thank you Lucy, Sarah, and Hayley for not giving up on me when I was giving up on myself.J.S.
I found long-term recovery from addiction at Mile Zero
I would recommend Mile Zero Sober Living for anyone who wants a fighting chance at long-term recovery. Relapse is a part of my story, and I found long-term recovery elusive until I committed to a comprehensive stay there. Treatment had given me a running start and a good Step One, but it didn’t teach me how to live without drugs and alcohol. I had no idea how to do this. At Mile Zero, I was given new skills and a safe place to practice them. The place was a kind of laboratory where I could make inelegant, embarrassing mistakes without relapsing. We at the house call that “struggling successfully.” I learned there that life can be almost unbearable at times, but if I get through those times clean and sober, I am struggling successfully and because of that, I am a champion.
My other triumph at Mile Zero was conquering behaviours I’d learned as a boy, ones that no longer served me, and, more significantly, behaviours that brought me closer to relapsing. I used to think for sure I was going to die with a bad temper and the inappropriate responses that accompanied that bad temper; I seemed to be stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage that I couldn’t escape. I thought failure was my destiny. That belief, however, was untrue; it was a distorted idea that kept my addiction thriving; it was at Mile Zero that I learned to change my behaviour. I worked with Lucy, the clinical director of the house, who gave me very uncomfortable homework every week: opinion bans, wearing imaginary hula hoops within which my attention and advice was to stay, and asking for help (as an “Alpha male” who boasted about his independence, this may have been the most challenging of all.) But as difficult as this homework was, I began to change and actualize into the man that I wanted to be. Moreover, once I stopped acting out, I was able to work with Lucy to discover my core emotional issues, identify them in the moment, self-parent, and begin to cultivate compassion and love for myself and others.
I cannot thank Lucy, Rob and their support staff enough for their tenacity and expertise. Today I am a free man, and much of that has to do with the extraordinary journey I walked with them. For this, I am eternally grateful. If you are anything like me: a tough nut to crack, and have been at this for a while, or if you just want to do sobriety right the first time, give yourself a fighting chance and commit to saying at Mile Zero. As the landscape of addiction becomes more and more lethal, there has never been a better time for this. You are important. Live. Give yourself all the fighting chance you chance you can; Mile Zero gave me that chance and today I live a rewarding life free of active addiction.C.K.