“All the staff and their personal stories help me to have great hope for my son’s future. I know my son feels safe there, and has remarked that he’s learning things he didn’t know before. Something is finally resonating with him. I know the structure of Turnbridge’s program is to be credited to very large measure.”
Rec & Lifestyle
From the Family
This past month, the women of Turnbridge planned and performed in the second annual Turnbridge Talent Show. This event gives clients in all three Phases the chance to come together and showcase their hidden and not-so-hidden talents. It was a joyous night of food, fun, and fellowship.
“The talent show gives everyone an opportunity to showcase and share their passions with one another and to celebrate recovery,” said Erin C., a Phase III client who was deeply involved in planning the event. “Like last year’s show, it was an amazing experience. There’s nothing better than watching fifty-something women bravely stand in front of a room and express themselves in ways we don’t usually see day-to-day. Every year I’m floored by the talent in this program.”
“The talent show is a simple but great way to watch these women break out of their shell and display something to everyone that we might not know about them,” said Brittany Trotta, Director of Recreation. “It was a fantastic experience for all and the fact that it’s all three phases brings the community together.”
Michael Rayo is the Turnbridge Unsung Hero for the month of March 2018.
As a long-time member of Turnbridge’s Support Staff team and a Turnbridge Alumni himself, Michael has the opportunity to help young men who are just beginning their own recoveries. “Watching the guys start the journey that I started a while ago is an awesome thing to see,” said Michael.
“Turnbridge is a really cool organization to work for,” said Michael. “The team consists of people that always have your best interests in mind. The family here at Turnbridge have all gone through a process similar to what the clients go through and that helps us relate to the difficulties they face with empathy and offer reassurance that is backed up by real world experience. As an alumni I know that this process works and is one of the best.”
“My favorite part is to see clients when they get close to their discharge,” said Michael. “They have a whole different light in their eyes from when they stepped foot on the Phase I property. They have a whole different outlook on what is possible and what they are capable of. It is one of the most rewarding things to witness and makes all of the struggle worth it.”
Barbara S. is the mother of Becca S., a current client in Phase II of the Turnbridge Women’s Program.
As a child growing up in New York City, Becca had an exuberant personality that always filled the room wherever she went, recalled Barbara. However, “When high school started, Becca started to struggle with schooling and with mental health issues,” said Barbara. “She attended a therapeutic boarding school for a while and was seeing doctors on and off, but Becca still was having difficulty.”
“After High School, Becca attended a pre-college program and that’s where things hit the fan,” said Barbara. “This is where she started abusing substances and everything started to crumble slowly. Becca eventually left the school and came home. It was a very, very difficult time for our relationship.”
“Through this time, I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know of anyone else in our situation,” said Barbara. “Watching your child take a disastrous turn in their life is shocking. The first time I really started to understand what was going on was when Becca was at Silver Hill Hospital.”
“Turnbridge was recommended to us after Silver Hill,” said Barbara. “I still had no idea what was in store. Once Becca got to Turnbridge, I was taught a lot by Lauren Springer and the rest of the team at Turnbridge about helping young adults in this situation and creating stronger families. It has truly been an up and down experience, but I’ve seen that Turnbridge models the program to the individual and is not just a one-size-fits-all type of program. Learning to take things one day at a time has not only helped me to support Becca, but has also helped me daily in my own life.”
“The whole team at Turnbridge has helped me,” said Barbara. “The support groups are very helpful and also the constant availability of Lauren Springer and the rest of the team is one of the best things that Turnbridge has to offer. I am so grateful.”
“I have learned that I have to take care of myself too,” said Barbara. “It’s up to Becca to keep her sobriety and stay connected. I have to do the same and stay close to my community of parents and families affected by this disease. It is awesome to see that as a result of these changes my relationship with Becca is the healthiest it’s ever been.” “I have seen an immense change in Becca,” said Barbara. “She is happy and has friends. She is taking classes at Gateway Community College. I can see the potential that I have always known she had. I can see the great person she has always been and our relationship is on another level now. It makes me so grateful.”
Maggie F. is a current client in Phase III of the Turnbridge Women’s Program.
Maggie grew up in Winter Park, Florida as the youngest of four sisters. Maggie was an academically gifted student and international competitor in ballet, but when she discovered substances her life took a dramatic turn.
“I was a ballet dancer throughout my childhood and I graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA,” said Maggie “Dancing was my life and I ended up making it to an elite level of ballet. I was 15 when I started to drink and smoke weed. At that time, I was so used to the discipline of dancing and school and drinking was an immediate escape for me.”
“When I got to college, I started experimenting with party drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, which didn’t immediately affect my grades,” said Maggie. “But eventually I stopped going to class and my roommates started to notice. By age 21, my drinking was so serious that I developed pancreatitis, which was very painful. I was in the hospital for a while and left with an addiction to opiates. I was trying to juggle pain management with certain drugs like buprenorphine and methadone. Eventually, I started to use heroin. Over the next seven years, I was in and out of treatment.”
“It fully went downhill and I ended up creating an agonizing pain for my family,” said Maggie. “They weren’t enabling me anymore, so I was on the street. Eventually, something made me call my mother and ask for help and went to primary treatment. I had no idea where I was going to go after getting out of treatment until Turnbridge was suggested.”
“I was given the gift of coming to Turnbridge and it has given me my life back,” said Maggie. “I’ve been to so many short-term programs and failed after leaving. The staff here at Turnbridge clearly care so much and are with us every step of the way. I am going to nursing school in the fall and it feels great to have goals again.” Maggie is currently attending nursing school at Gateway Community College and has a job at a cycling studio in downtown New Haven. Maggie is very active in the recovery community and is engaged in helping newcomers. “The biggest thing for me has been the growth in my relationships and the honesty with my family and friends,” said Maggie. “I don’t have to hide everything. I can be present and my actions speak louder than anything I could tell them. I got connected with the community here in New Haven and it’s the only thing that has worked for me. I have my life back.”
Turnbridge Alumni, Julia J., grew up in northern Iowa as the oldest of four siblings.
“We all went to Catholic schools growing up,“ recalled Julia. “I went to the same grade school my mother went to and the same high school. We were overachievers. I did well in school and my parents enrolled me in everything from gymnastics to soccer, tee ball, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, swimming, and theatre.”
From the outside looking in, everything looked perfectly in order. However, Julia remembers growing up with a lot of anxiety. “Drinking was very prevalent in my family,” said Julia. “I started very young. There wasn’t a lot to do in my home town, so that’s what people did.”
“I would drink on the weekends, smoke cigarettes, and eventually I got caught by my parents,” said Julia. “That was my high school career. Get grounded, go drink, get caught, and get grounded again. It became a constant cycle.”
“By the time I was 18 years old, alcohol had stopped working,“ said Julia. “So, I turned to other substances. When I went off to college, I started smoking a lot of weed and dabbled in pills. However, in college it seemed normal to party so it wasn’t obvious there was a problem.”
“I went on to get my Master’s degree and started teaching in Chicago public schools,” said Julia. “I had such bad anxiety at the time, so I saw a psychiatrist who gave me a prescription for Xanax. It worried me because I had heard stories about it, so I took it in secret. I remember the way I felt when I took it and it was the best feeling I have ever had.”
Julia’s progressing substance use eventually caught up with her in the form of a run-in with the law. “After getting arrested, I found Turnbridge,” said Julia. “I knew at that point I wanted to get sober. I knew I had to work on myself. I wish I had listened to the people in my life when I was younger, but I know I wouldn’t have heard it back then. I had to go through what I went through.”
“Having gotten through the hard work I did at Turnbridge, I know I will be stronger in whatever I try to do,” said Julia. “It was very structured, but the staff were amazing and anything I needed was taken care. It was humbling to learn to trust the process, because I have been on my own since I was 18, but it has been rewarding.” Julia now is in Turnbridge’s Thrive program. She works in the New Haven area and is active in the recovery community. “The people at Turnbridge have opened up the door for me to live a sober life and I now know it has so much to offer,” said Julia.
17 MONTHS Katharine H.
16 MONTHS Skylar K.
15 MONTHS Daniel O.
14 MONTHS Brad P.
13 MONTHS Brooke M.
12 MONTHS Dylan B.
7 MONTHS Jacob F.