Judy's Recovery Story

"My experience at The Bridge will no doubt top my personal list of life-changing events. Any attempt to express the magnitude of what happened there seems futile, but I have to try so that others will be encouraged to take this leap of faith. I was at the end of myself. I had flailed about for a year and a half trying multiple remedies, philosophies and approaches to put out the flames of consuming anxiety mixed with a long history of depression. At fifty, after successfully raising a family alone through multiple obstacles, the internal tools that had always carried me suddenly failed. I was baffled and horrified to find myself unable to engage genuinely with others or handle stress of any kind. My 30 year nursing career, in which I had just completed a new degree, became a source of fear and feelings of inadequacy. Progressively, my days had become nothing but a constant vigil. 'How bad is the fear today? Will it wake me up tomorrow? How do I pretend I'm alright THIS time?' I finally yielded to pressure from others to start taking antidepressants and to increase the amount of what I was taking for anxiety, both powerful and scary drugs in my opinion.
The very decision to acquiesce had driven me even deeper into a sense of despair and defeat. I felt I had tried so many things. Maybe they were right, I just needed to put on my big girl panties and take the pills. So I did. And then I descended into the darkest hole of my life. It was from that dark place that something arose in me and said 'NO!' I believe it was the last shred of fight I had left in me so I chose to listen and trust it. It was the best decision I have made. Making the commitment and actually going were scary and fraught with doubts and questions. 'What if it doesn't work? What if they're weird and scary? This is a lot of money...how can I spend that on myself?' My daughter told me she had a dream they had put me in a concentration camp upon arrival. I told her it had crossed my mind, too... But I had to do something. I knew in a very real way that my life depended upon it. I needed focused time and a supportive place in which to gain some new tools. I didn't have any idea what those tools would look like. I only know that something in me had insisted for years that the answers were there, within me. I just didn't know how to access them. So I went. And I found my tools. Not just the old ones I had lost, but a whole new selection of beautiful, simple perspectives that changed me from the core. As each day unfolded, the truths that lay hidden in me were coaxed and nurtured and clarified by the AMAZING staff and providers.
It was not easy. There were tears and fears and lots of stepping out on faith, but always with a caring hand to hold onto. The scope of services I received was broad and the providers exceptional at every juncture. They did not attempt to fix my problems, but rather helped me to recognize the foundations of who I truly am and to trust myself, my mind and my body to answer the questions. And I can see now how that is the only answer that will serve me through a lifetime of change and challenge. I remember clearly the morning I worked through a problem in my heart and reached resolution on it. In so doing I had proof of my innate ability to do just that...from within. I was astonished and incredulous and giddy with the knowing of it. To think that I have the tools within myself...what an amazing and empowering revelation!
I'm home now, just beginning the task of reexamining my world through a new, clear, honest lens. Life will come at me fast and using my newfound tools will require practice, focus and commitment. I will be patient with myself. I will call for help if I need it. I will struggle some, no doubt. But what I experienced while at The Bridge proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am able and I am equal to the tasks...not just of surviving, but of actually thriving! What a gift. What a precious gift."
Judy R. - November, 2011 Guest


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