Carrie was my counsellor during my 5 week stay at Searidge Foundation and as well as during my follow up. I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her on issues I was dealing with. I was comfortable with Carrie right from the beginning. She has a wonderful personality that draws you into a discussion of the topic at hand. She kept me focused on all the issues we discussed, all leading towards building a plan for my continued sobriety. We dealt with not just simply not drinking but also with a wide range of deeper issues. These included root causes of my problems, social family and employment concerns, as well as healthy lifestyle choices and others. Carrie was always highly professional and focused on helping in every way possible. We delved deep into topics many of which were quite personal. I feel that Carrie knows me better than just about anyone in my life and that helped the entire process and on-going support. I left Searidge a changed person and I strongly believe that the lifestyle changes I have made saved my life - literally. In a very real way Carrie has helped save my life and for that I will be forever thankful, forever so grateful and always with good memories.
I was close to death when I met Carrie. Alcohol and drugs had consumed my life, and I was despondent. I knew that I wanted to live, but I did not have the tools to function as a sober adult. Carrie was assigned to be my main counselor at the treatment facility I entered, and my life changed forever the day I met her. She was kind, warm, thoughtful and I knew that she placed no judgement on me and my circumstances. One of the most invasive obstacles to recovery is overcoming the shame that compounds over years of being an alcoholic addict. Carrie always made clear to me that the choices I made were made by an addict and that was not representative of who I truly was. While allowing me to overcome my shame, she also held me completely accountable for my past actions and for my future. She gave no free passes to the path to recovery. She maintained that it was very hard work, and if you commit to it great things will follow. She was right. I’ve spent dozens of hours with Carrie understanding what led me to drink and do drugs. She helped me uncover truths about myself that I didn’t know existed and she taught me how to process the knowledge and use it to benefit myself. She taught me how to create a sober living plan, how to avoid triggers, and how to deal with them when they arise. She taught me about possibility of relapse and how to deal with it should it occur. She helped me uncover who I truly was, and how vivid and fulfilling life can be as a sober adult. She did all of this with a smile and a gentle hand. She offered me a safe place to be myself and to learn about myself free of judgement and full of love. She offered me love when I didn’t think I deserved it. With her professional offering of counsel and love, she also offered me her laugh and her sense of humor. It made even the most daunting sessions a bit less heavy. When I left the facility, I took Carrie and her lessons with me in my mind and my heart. She helped me every day in those first few fragile months after treatment. We have been in constant contact ever since. She has been with me for over 4 years now, guiding me with her intuition and knowledge. I am sober today and have been, without relapse, since December 18 2012. I am mostly happy and, thanks to Carrie, have the tools to deal with life, on life’s terms. It’s hard work, but worth every second. I owe my life to Carrie. That’s the truth.