By comparison, Hunter W. hasn’t had an easy life. He spent his childhood in state custody and by the time he turned 20, home was a prison cell. He would spend 17 years here, where his drinking and drug problem escalated thanks to some wheeling and dealing with other inmates and prison guards.
When he was released in 2015, he had completely missed life in his twenties, so it was time to relive them. For the next few years, he hit the bar scene hard and developed an addiction to prescription pills. He also got into more trouble with the law, jumped bond and landed back in jail.
“I was a terrible person, he said. “I was stealing. I ended up robbing a pawn shop. I was getting shot at. I really shouldn’t even be alive.”
Turning the Corner
Hunter knew when he got out, he needed to make a change for the better. After attempting treatment in Nashville, he was told he needed dual diagnosis treatment and was referred to JourneyPure Bowling Green. JourneyPure specializes in dual diagnosis, treating the addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders simultaneously. Each patient is assigned to a primary care physician and psychiatrist. They work together to develop a treatment plan, which involves a multidisciplinary team of professionals including therapists and social workers.
Hunter didn’t come willingly to Bowling Green, and he struggled internally with the need for sobriety and the urge to use. But in September 2017, he realized that JourneyPure Bowling Green was going to change his life for the better.
“I came in and I started hearing things that made sense in my groups,” he said. “Everybody here at JourneyPure was so caring. It was so different.”
What is This Thing Called Addiction?
The staff at JourneyPure Bowling Green helps patients understand the science behind addiction, something Hunter appreciated. From the outside, it’s tough to see what makes someone continue the destructive behavior, knowing the consequences.
“Even though I knew the consequences – even though I knew I could lose my wife, go back to prison – I didn’t care. My brain still told me it was ok.”
“[The staff] really put forth the effort -they put everything in laymen’s terms. I just started learning about my disease. I always had a prejudice towards people who have never gone through what I’ve gone through but want to teach me about it. But my therapist taught me to be open-minded, willing and honest.”
Hunter has been sober for more than four months, and he’s incredibly proud. It’s a milestone achievement for him. In fact, he completed his Intensive Outpatient Program months ago but still make it a regular stop each week. He has embraced the community of Bowling Green and plans to make this home.
“I’m learning to live life,” he said. “I’ve noticed a change in my heart.”
A Bright Future Ahead
As far as transitioning back into real life, Hunter says JourneyPure has given him the tools to stay on the right path. He’s learned to stop and think before acting.
“Perception is reality – how am I going to perceive things? Am I going to perceive it from an angry drug addict point of view? Or am I going to be open-minded and see it from a different point of view.”
“Knowledge is not the key. Wisdom is. It’s applying that knowledge.”
Hunter said his faith and his support system, including AA, help carry him through the tough days. And he’s ready for a new life.
“I’ve got the tools now that I’ve learned here,” he said. “I’ve learned to grasp the concept of one day at a time. I know God’s hand was over all of it. I can see it now. JourneyPure was one of His tools.”
Has Hunter inspired you to get the treatment you need? Contact us today. We will do everything in our power to help.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.