Ironwood Maine Resident Testimonial – J.

Thank you for this opportunity.  I had many challenges in my life at home.  There were many problems in my life.  I was truant in school, I had a bad attitude, and I used to get super rude and disrespectful to my parents.  I suffered from anxiety and depression.  I was not contributing to my household.  All these factors led me to a needed and hopeful conclusion of arriving at Ironwood.  It’s obvious to me now that I needed some help.  I needed to change.  I discovered that I was becoming an abusive person.  I never wanted to believe it when my mom would tell me you’re going down the wrong path.  I would get angry and push it to the side.  Being in a structured, substance-free environment, I realized that she was right. I realized that I can change myself to have a good life, but where I was in a destructive, depressing place.  I understood that I had a bad attitude, work ethic, motivation, and ability to follow through.  It has been brought to my attention that I want to be better. That I want to get well.  That I have desire to act like a good person I am.

At Frye, I faced many, many challenges.  I remember my second family therapy session with Shawn feeling like my life was over, feeling like my life was messed up to the point of no recovery.  I remember feeling like I didn’t want to live any more. I felt worthless and heartless, like a blob that was breathing.  Sadness was all I knew.  Sadness was all I thought I could feel.  I couldn’t make myself happy.  There was a change of mind that occurred from that time to when I started accepting the program.  I realized that I didn’t like the position that I was in and that the only way to change the position I was in was to change my actions and attitude.  The thing that pushed me to this place was a lot of structure and consistency, my mom and dad not giving-in to my pleas made me understand that my only option was to do the program and try my best.  I felt challenged by everything at Frye.  I had trouble with authority, even though I didn’t want to admit it.  I had hard times focusing in school and on normal activities.  I experienced a lot of anxiety throughout the ins and outs of my days.  I struggled with a bad attitude.  I battled with being focused and present.  I had a hard time with being calm and staying focused on one task at a time. I struggled with staff redirection and being respectful.  I had to overcome these things, and this was hard work.  I rose above these things using coping skills.  Some of these were breathing, talking to staff, keeping myself busy, and doing my best in the present moment.  I learned many things at Frye.  I discovered that I am stronger than I thought I was.  I learned that respecting authority not only works better because it is the right thing to do.  From my experience I found out how to be a good leader.  I discovered how to gain trust and push through.  I accomplished making new friends and succeeding at my goals.  I realized how to be content in the moment and not to stress about the future.  I learned that happiness is a choice and that it is possible at all times.  I struggled with a bad attitude.  I had a “I’m done with Frye, there’s nothing more I can learn here” type attitude. That attitude on its own showed that I wasn’t ready.  I had to change my attitude and accept Frye.  I had to seek to learn something in every moment.  I had to try to be content in my circumstances, even though I did not like them.

There are going to be things that will be hard for me at the farm house.  I think that some of these things will be staying serious even when I want to joke around, knowing the time and place for fun, being present in the present moment, accomplishing one task at a time, keeping track of my items, slowing down, and being positive.  I am going to breathe deeply, engage in the present moment, utilize staff, slow down, try my best, and be aware of the time and place for things.  Some things that I want to gain from level three are being present and happy, earning trust and handling responsibility well, having a good work ethic, building good relationships, and letting go of all my anger, doing well in my junior year of high school, and being positive. I am looking forward to more freedom and a new setting.  I am excited for a new set of challenges and gaining more skills.  I am looking forward to being the best me that I can be.

Thank you for this opportunity.