In 1988, Cole was on vacation with his significant other (S.O.) when he was rushed to the hospital for a ruptured brain aneurysm. He was lucky to survive, but unfortunately, the stroke caused permanent brain damage. He spent the next several months in physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
After completing his rehabilitation therapy, Cole returned to their everyday life, which included going to work and raising three children. Unfortunately, he continued to struggle with the long-term effects of her brain injury. He was easily overwhelmed at work and frequently changed jobs. He applied for disability benefits, but his claim was denied. His frustrations eventually led to depression and alcoholism.
“I drank before my brain injury, but my drinking really escalated five years ago as a result of my depression,” Cole said.
Cole’s depression went untreated because he did not realize he needed help. His desperation reached a climax three years ago when he tried to commit suicide.
“I started therapy right after that happened. I stayed sober for six months, but then I went to a wedding and the drinking started all over again,” he said.
Cole did want to quit drinking and tried a treatment center near his hometown, but he did not like the lock-down setting. His partner researched other treatment centers online and showed Cole Vinland’s website.
“Vinland had the focus on whole-body healing – physical, emotional, mental,” Cole said. “I think that is really important.”
At Vinland, Cole dove into his recovery program. He was in the fitness center every day at 8 a.m. He went to groups and really opened himself up to the ideas about addiction and recovery the case managers presented to him.
After graduating from Vinland, Cole found a job within a week. He is working part-time in a fitness center located in his hometown.
“I get to help people by using the positive attitude that was portrayed to me at Vinland,” he said. “My job gets me up in the morning. It gives me a purpose.”
Please note: Images are stock photos. Former clients provided Vinland with permission to share their stories.