John generously gave his permission for us to share his responses to our standard client interview, as we thought they were pretty cool. We thought you might enjoy, as well.
What Brought you to Vinland? A relapse and legal issues. Also, I became homeless again.
How did you feel physically when you got here? Rundown; very weak.
How did you feel mentally when you got here? Determined for change.
What have you learned since starting here? A lot –>flip over page.
Since my arrival at Vinland I’ve changed in many ways. I have been able to focus much of my time on Spirituality and Relapse Prevention.
Spirituality: The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material things. At Vinland I started my first day walking the Wildlife Reserve Prairie grass trails located in the property. I found roughly five miles that I enjoyed walking. I found a large turkey and a pheasant feather on my first walk. Those two feathers started my spiritual journey. I walked the trails every afternoon and evening looking for more feathers. That led to my noticing other wildlife on the grounds. Deer, turkey, raccoons, fax, pheasants, osprey, hawks, eagles and the pileated woodpecker that we know as “Woody Woodpecker”. At the time I thought I was just looking for feathers, but what I really found was a peace of mind that was lost in addiction. I’ve also found wild grapes all over the grounds and wild sage that I use for smudging to cleanse my spirit. Here at Vinland we practice mindfulness. Mindfulness has helped me stay in the now, not the past or future. Daily readings, self-mastery books and meditation have given me greater understanding of how to process my emotions and feelings.
Relapse Prevention (RP): is a cognitive behavioral approach to relapse with the goal of identifying and preventing high risk situations such as substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive behavior, sexual offending, obesity, and depression. It is an important component in the treatment process for alcoholism or drug dependence. RP can be different for everyone, depending on our personal experiences. For me, it starts with recognizing life stressors that may lead to relapsing. If I procrastinate dealing with financial problems, unhealthy relationships or my physical and mental health, I could use those problems as an excuse to use and I now recognize that. My future will unfold by accomplishing small tasks to better my life, not for the past, not for the future, but for today.
What was your attitude about health and fitness when you arrived here? One of the reasons I came here was to get in better physical condition. One of my top relapse triggers is weight gain.
What is your attitude about health and fitness now? I’m 41 years old and I now have fitness goals that I work towards daily. If I look better I feel better.
How has this changed your attitude about using? I’ve worked hard to give it all up.
How is being healthy going to impact you as you move forward in life? Being healthy helps give me a purpose. As my life continues to change, I now have a starting point to work off of. Unlike the mind or brain, you can see changes to your body.
What are your plans for the future? I’m still workingon doing God’s will and not mine, but I’m open to explore new avenues of growth and can focus on walking a spiritual path.
How would you rate your overall experience at Vinland National Center? A+++