Jackie’s Story (The video is fully transcribed below for you to read if watching her testimonial is not an option for you):
What led me to come to ATMC was that I’d recently had a manic episode. About two months prior to coming to ATMC I began my manic episode and was then put into a mental hospital, where they then put me on Abilify. After that mental hospital stay – which was for five days – I went home. I thought I had conquered that part of my manic episode, but apparently I had not.
I had never been on medication, and I quickly tapered myself off, cold turkey, and that was not such a good idea! I got off of the Abilify right after I came out of the mental hospital, and then went right back in to another manic episode, and this time it was a lot heavier. I went in to the mental hospital again, and this time they put me on even more medications and even higher doses! This time it was Thorazine, Haldol, and lithium.
I was on very high doses, and this is when we found orthomolecular medicine therapy, after my second stay at a mental hospital. I tapered myself off again, cold turkey. This time coming off of the lithium, Haldol and Thorazine. This, again, was not a good idea, but it was replaced with lithium oratate.
This time I thought I had conquered my manic episode with supplements, but I’d tapered myself off too quickly, and I didn’t know how to use the supplements correctly. Once again, I ended up in the hospital, for the third time!
This time I was put on lithium, Haldol, Depakote and Cogentin. So at this point I had been in a mental hospital three times prior to coming to ATMC. When I arrived at ATMC I was on lithium Haldol and Cogentin.
So that’s what was going on in my life when I came to ATMC. I was undergoing this prolonged manic episode, I was on and off of all of these different kinds of meds. I was feeling helpless, and feeling like I needed to be on these different kinds of medications to control and stave off this manic episode, and that’s something I knew I didn’t want. I knew that was not the way for me, and I was so grateful to hear I was going to come to ATMC to taper off correctly.
My overall experience at the detox shop, was one that I will really never forget. I absolutely loved the staff there including Lotus, Caity, and Michelle. I’ll never forget Caity coming in the mornings to get me and make sure I was feeling all right, and up for the Detox Shoppe, and always encouraging me. I didn’t think I was going to get up to two hours in the sauna, and Caity kept pushing me to go there! I absolutely adored Caity.
And I cannot say enough good things about Lotus, I connected with her so well! She knew what to say, she knew how to keep things going in a bubbly and fun manner, and she was so professional but so kind, and so patient, and so empathetic! I’ve met never met another human being quite like Lotus.
Michelle is such a dear, providing put the foot baths, and just being so loving. At the Detox Shoppe I felt very loved and very taken care of, very blessed to be there. Everyone there made their jobs look so easy and I was just so grateful that I could just sit back and relax and detox. It felt great to be at the Detox Shoppe because the energy there was phenomenal and the staff there was so amazing.
At the Detox Shoppe I did, among other things, sauna for two hours, ionic foot baths, and magnesium and lavender foot baths. When I was detoxing it was definitely a spiritual and emotional detox as well as a medication detox. I felt like I wasn’t just sweating to sweat, I was sweating to get out all of this negativity and all of this fear and anxiety and anger! When I was in the sauna, all I could really do was sit there at 140-degrees and the mind can start to race and wander and can easily get anxious and worried. But the staff was always able to come together and keep me calm and always kept me happy and they always ensured that I was detoxing everything that was making me scared and worried. It went beyond just sweating and it went beyond just being in the sauna. It went on to deeper levels.
We had five evening groups, and they were all extremely helpful. The most helpful of the evening groups for me was Dustin‘s 7 o’clock group on Tuesdays. He was amazing. He was able to hold space, in such profound manner. In fact this past Tuesday as I prepared to go home, I was really anxious and nervous about having another manic episode when I returned home. So we did this exercise about what is it in our lives that we want to get rid of and I realized that for me, it was the mania. But Dustin made a point that when we want to get rid of something in our lives it leaves a void and I was I was afraid that whatever I filled that my manic void with, it would just continue the cycle of mania. But the way he was able to approach me and assuage my fears of getting manic again was unbelievable. He was able to stand there with me and allow me to realize that “you know what? It’s okay to be in the moment and it’s okay to get manic if that’s what happens, and know that you’re going to have more tools now to deal with it”. The tools that I learned at ATMC were crucial in my understanding that I need to go home and I need to be prepared for a possible manic episode if it should happen again. I have come to realize you were that I’m stronger than the manic episode.
In my transition back home I feel completely supported. My care manager has tried to develop a plan of security and safety for myself. I feel so blessed to have been able to come here and develop that sense of safety and security. I have a family that loves me the staff here immediately embraced me. I always felt supported here. I know many people aren’t able to experience that because they feel lonely and alone in their plight. I was so blessed to just be cared for, loved and supported. So I do feel completely supported in my transition home from ATMC.
The tools that I learned here had a lot to do with self-love and self-regulation. It has been like coming back to my center. I have learned to be more mindful and more trusting of the fact that I’m going to be able to know myself well enough to identify the symptoms of the manic episode. It was just a matter of being able to communicate that with my support system such as my family and especially my mom and my dad. And what I’ve been taught here is that it’s okay to ask for help and reach out and advocate for yourself. I’ve learned that not everything’s going to be perfect and not everything’s going to be solved overnight. A manic episode isn’t going to be solved overnight, it’s going to take time and it’s may feel like it’s never going to go away. Living in the present moment and observantly watching what it is that I’m going through, I will be able to get past even my darkest moments.
I absolutely loved everything about my stay at ATMC. I loved seeing the housekeepers in the morning, they always had such a cheerful and bright demeanor. I loved my bed! It was always made for me. It was amazing! I love the grounds, I would always see the groundskeeper maintaining the pool, maintaining the garden, and it was just such an idyllic setting that there was nothing here that created anxiety or created worry. It was quite interesting to me to see that people here still had that anxiety and still had that worry and I still had my fears but what ATMC does such a great job doing is meeting people where they’re at.
I was always able to reach out for help when I needed to. Here every day was a mental health day an opportunity to reset yourself, center yourself and relax yourself. I absolutely loved it and there was no one particular thing but I could say that really I loved here more than another. It was just the fact that I was able to do whatever it was I needed to do to heal myself. ATMC created an amazing environment to do that.
If you’re considering ATMC, do not even consider it just come here! It’s a must if you’re able to. It is probably the best thing that you could do for yourself. Keep the faith. It always felt like I was in the right place. It got difficult at times in the sense that I wasn’t happy with certain things about myself. I didn’t think I could do this. I was losing faith in myself and I was not sure if I could go on because this journey was more of a spiritual odyssey. It was something that no one should take lightly, but it’s honestly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. You shouldn’t consider anything else other than ATMC if you’re trying to get off your medication and if you’re trying to get yourself rebalanced and to a place where you cultivate mindfulness and self-compassion and self-love. You really learn to find yourself here. I really believe that ATMC would help a lot of people with their goals.