Thanksgiving 2019

A message of recovery and gratitude

Thanksgiving Testimonial

When I came to Alina Lodge my life was in shambles. I had been living in a flea infested house, unemployed, got kicked out for not paying rent, and all I wanted to do was use drugs until I never woke up again.

I had no hope for the future, no self-respect, and no desire to live.


I had hurt people I never meant to hurt, done things I never wanted to do, and had become a person I never wanted to be. The Lodge was my fifth time going into an inpatient treatment center and I didn’t believe it would be any more helpful than the previous four times. I had heard all the lingo, could recite the 12 Steps, and I was afraid I was just one of those “constitutionally incapable” of achieving long term recovery. Every previous time I could cobble together a month or three, but every time I would return to using and the never-ending abyss of self-hatred. Why would The Lodge be any different?

Every other treatment center readily gave me every possible amenity and granted my every request. They felt like resorts where employees indulged my manipulative behaviors and encouraged my codependent tendencies. Every other treatment center allowed me a month to feel physically better but not really address deep emotional scars. If things ever got too uncomfortable, if counselors asked me tough questions I didn’t want to look at, well they simply backed off and I was allowed to continue living an un-examined life.


“The Lodge and my counselor saved my life. I’m forever grateful.”


Time. Ego-deflation. Being told “No.” These are just three of the many reasons The Lodge was different for me. Going into The Lodge I had identified with a non-mainstream spirituality. While at The Lodge I had asked my counselor for a particular book and for particular items that I thought would help me develop this spirituality. My counselor wisely denied my requests. He had come to know me and my personal defense mechanisms and recognized certain character defects were involved in the situation. I over intellectualize and over-complicate in order to avoid looking at the truth. When he denied my requests, I was furious. I demanded answers from him, and we shared many a counseling session deconstructing why I “needed” these things. We talked about spirituality and how more than mere physical objects it is a feeling and a connection to something greater than ourselves.

My counselor forced me to reexamine myself and my spirituality without all the bells and whistles, to find out what it really means to me and who I really am. He never discouraged me from pursuing it, he just challenged me to strip away all the extra fluff and seek to find the heart of it all. This was the first time a counselor had really understood my personal obstacles towards growth, challenged me, and had guided me through a process of finding out who I truly am. Every other treatment center I had been to would have just said “yes,” talk about it for a single one-on-one session, and I would have gone on my merry way.

At the Lodge, counselors take the time to get to really know a student and then they tailor their treatment plan to their specific obstacles towards personal growth. They challenge the student to study who they were and who they want to be, and then help them lay out concrete steps to move towards a new way of life.

I could have never known what effect The Lodge would have on my life. I could have never dreamed that it was possible for me to wake up and not want to die. I didn’t think it was possible for me to live without drugs or anything else to replace the endless emptiness I felt in my chest. Today, I have over 6 years clean, I have a job, I got married, I got a house, and I love the person I am.


“The Lodge gave me the tools I needed to live a fulfilling life of long-term recovery.”


When I was getting ready to leave The Lodge, I was understandably scared. I was worried that once I had total freedom again, I might just self-destruct all over again. I was afraid without all the wonderful people of The Lodge helping and guiding me, it might be a matter of time before I messed it all up. One evening, about a week before I left, I was talking with one of the Facilitators about these fears. He shared his perspective with me, and he said, “You’re going to be flying out to Minnesota as part of your Aftercare, right? You know, one of the beautiful things about flying is that it’s one of the few times you have no choice but to turn your will over to a higher power. You have no control over the pilot or the plane or your flight. All you can do is sit back and let go.” When it came time for me to get on the plane, I remembered this conversation. And then, sitting on the tarmac, I remembered something else. Quiet Time. Every lecture we had at The Lodge there was 15 minutes of Quiet Time. Pens and Pencils down. No Talking. Just sit. Sitting in a plane, waiting for it to take off, people shuffling in to their seats…it hit me. This is Quiet Time.

The Lodge afforded me numerous experiences that taught me life lessons. It’s not all about me. Sometimes the only thing we can do is wait. Sometimes we’re not in control and that’s ok. If I’m scared, that feeling will pass and I will come out the other side. If I do things one step at a time, I can achieve things I never thought I could accomplish.

I was afraid to leave because I thought once I left The Lodge I would be all alone in the world and I would make a mess of my life all over again. I came to realize that the time I spent there, and the personal challenges I faced, I had taken The Lodge with me. Nobody could have told me these things. I couldn’t have learned them from a book about recovery. I wouldn’t have picked up these tools in a rushed 30-day facility. The Lodge and its lessons became part of who I am because of my extended time there and because of the care and attention of the staff. The Lodge gave me the tools I needed to live a fulfilling life of long-term recovery. The Lodge and my counselor saved my life. I’m forever grateful.


Phil C.

See more testimonials here.

Alina Lodge
61 Ward Road, Blairstown, NJ 07825

Alina Lodge is a premiere long term residential alcohol and drug addiction rehab facility specializing in the treatment of adults with a history of chronic relapse issues. More than just a 12 step program, our treatment program works where others have failed.

We treat all types of chemical dependency such as alcoholism and drug addictions including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, as well as prescription drug addiction. If you or a loved one struggles to stay sober, contact us today.

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