Addiction Treatment

Alumni Spotlight- Travis Johnson

I was born and raised in a city that was hard to get away from. Most of my friends never left, unless it was the occasional visit to the Orange County Jail cell. It seemed to be an ongoing vicious cycle for all of us. It was easier for me to place blame on my living environment and make excuses, rather than look at myself. I placed blame on my family and upbringing for my drug addiction, always trying to justify my actions. I later began to realize that many people have things much worse and that I was trying to fill a deep empty void within myself. Honestly I wanted to be like the older crowd.  My brother is 12 years older so I got to see the aspects of partying at a pretty young age.  Once I saw that I knew that that’s who I wanted to become.  So I began drinking and using minor drugs to start out with.  Then as I got a bit older I found new things, and new types of people.  Now in my head the more tattoos and the harder the manual labor job you had, the more of a man you are.  The drugs became heavier and heavier until I was stuck in the addiction that would never let me go.  I was 13 years old signing my life away and not knowing it.  In a decade I experienced many things while using such as: loss, heartbreak, jail, violence, overdoses, and pretty much everything that goes along with drugs eventually.  I couldn’t go anywhere without a fix so I would never risk it.  I still to this day beat myself up and tell myself that I’ve wasted my youth but I am trying to move forward using that as a lesson and learning from it. 

From the ages of 18 to 26 I’d tried countless rehabs and nothing ever worked for me.  I’ll admit there were times I wasn’t planning on staying sober so, to me, it wasn’t that big of a deal but when I really promised myself I would be clean and actually wanted to stay clean there would always be a situation that would seem to take me down sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  The program I was being taught at these facilities was not working for me.  I eventually found South Orange County Detox and Treatment from a friend who said that it truly was a great program, so I tried.  I was suicidal, addicted, racist, full of hate and out of step with the world before I walked through these doors.  Some could say I was a helpless case, my family wanted nothing to do with me and I wanted nothing to do with them.  After detoxing the first couple of days I finally got enough strength and clarity to start joining groups with the others.  Salina Shuler, the owner, taught me so much about myself and I finally found hope by putting faith in her method.  I learned more in the 30-days at South Orange County Detox & Treatment than I had in my 10-years in other facilities.  Going to the weekly meeting scheduled here I found my sponsor and immediately started working my steps and gaining even more insight.  With the help of Salina, I enrolled myself in college and found out what I wanted to do with my life. She also helped me get my family back and help me achieve what I thought was absolutely impossible.  I’m now 18 months clean and sober and I would never be here if it wasn’t for the healing and love here given by Salina and South Orange County Detox and Treatment.

The South Orange County Detox and Treatment Difference

The South Orange County Detox and Treatment Difference

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post, chances are you’ve either been through detox and treatment or helped send a loved one through a facility for the help they so desperately needed. That being said, I won’t waste your time trying to educate you about the basic services provided in both settings. I will, however, delineate the differences between your run-of-the-mill center, and highlight what we here at South Orange County Detox & Treatment (SOCDT) provide that differentiates us from the pack.

Love at South Orange County Detox and Treatment

Love-Socdetox

When I was young love was a foreign word to me. Although my parents would shelter, feed, and take care of me, there was a lack of love. I thought this was a normal thing to be happening at this age. I soon realized how other children were not experiencing this. And this would trigger anger and rage. I grew up fighting, arguing, and rebelling which turned me into a negative mess.

     Fast forwarding I turned into a gang member and a violent criminal. Spending time in and out of jail, getting into unhealthy relationships and surrounding myself with very negative people. I was doing very badly with my life until I checked myself into South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD) and met the Program Director, Salina Shuler.  She taught me tolerance, patience, loyalty, trust, and LOVE. I have never experienced that and since being shown these things, I’ve completely turned my outlook on life around. SOCD is teaching me how to be an honest man and move forward with positivity. I am forever grateful for South Orange County Detox & Treatment.

Unconditional Love

love 2 Word of the Week.jpg

Connection with AffectionFriendship,Loving perfect imperfectionsNever preying on insecuritiesAlways betteringPushing each otherAppreciationHonesty in loyaltyEmotionally patient & flexibleUnderstanding weaknessesRelaxing with guards downEnjoying each other’s presenceConnectingJust the way you areUnderstanding of where you came from and whyFinding love with flawsAlways staying by your side

Authentic Love

Authentic Love .jpg

Love is more than just a feeling. Love can be a vibe or atmosphere when around something or someone. It can be as simple as being content with my passion, or love with a significant other. The love I have for others isn’t about looks but who they are as a person. Being non-judgmental at first, taking the time to know and understand them. I find the inner beauty in others. Past or present, experiences, negative or positive, truly caring, loyal, honest, and compassionate for this significant other helped me fall in love over time, disregarding their appearance or past, only focusing on the present. Love isn’t something you want to rush into at first sight, this can be decieving, it takes time. Whether it’s a relationship or your passion, love is something you commit yourself to. Working through the difficult times and the outcome will be well worth it

Finding Lost Love in Recovery

Love Recovery.jpg

One of the biggest and desired feelings that start to fade and come distorted in my addiction is love. My love for the outdoors, love of the people in my life and most importantly the love I have for myself. To me, love is being completely unselfish and doing whatever is best for that of which you love, no matter what. In addiction I have been so self-centered and closed off that love is very rare in my life. I’ve been given time to contemplate and discover new things about myself and people in my life, in many different ways. One of the most impactful being one of our weekly groups at SOCD. We express what we feel through things such as poems or drawings and paintings. Then get feedback on what our conscious or inner self is really trying to say. Salina is always amazing at helping you push yourself and finding what underlying feelings/meanings there are with everyone. All that is provided here, is helping me rediscover what I have lost over the years and yearn for love

Love Redefined

Love has been a misnomer in my life because I have never truly known what love is. I always thought that families inherently love each other or that if I am physically intimate with someone than there must be love. But this isn’t true nor healthy. I’m more aware of how love is shown through action, emotional connection, communication and an overall sense of being selfless and honest with one’s self and with each other.

Love has been a misnomer in my life because I have never truly known what love is. I always thought that families inherently love each other or that if I am physically intimate with someone than there must be love. But this isn’t true nor healthy. I’m more aware of how love is shown through action, emotional connection, communication and an overall sense of being selfless and honest with one’s self and with each other.

Getting sober and working on my recovery has given me an idea of what love is, how to show it and all the great things that can be developed as a result. Being here at SOCD, and with Salinas guidance and effort, I have been able to explore how love and the lack of it, has affected my life and my relationships. Love has been a misnomer in my life because I have never truly known what love is. I always thought that families inherently love each other or that if I am physically intimate with someone than there must be love. But this isn’t true nor healthy. I’m more aware of how love is shown through action, emotional connection, communication and an overall sense of being selfless and honest with one’s self and with each other. I know that I am not capable of truly loving anyone until I can love and treat myself better. If I can’t maintain emotional, mental, physical, or financial stability then how can I expect to be a stable partner, son, brother, or friend? Thanks, in large part, to this program and Salina, am I able to slowly start attaining a level of stability, self-worth and serenity in order to show myself the love I deserve. Only then will I be able to show true love to others and to develop healthier relationships without any ulterior motives or selfishness.

Love- Loving Myself and Others in Sobriety

Being sober gives me the chance to truly discover who I am, and learn to love myself so that I can give and show love to other people, by showing the people I love that I care and appreciate them.

Being sober gives me the chance to truly discover who I am, and learn to love myself so that I can give and show love to other people, by showing the people I love that I care and appreciate them.

Love is something that is felt but also something that is shown through action. To show that you love someone is to do things for them that show you care for them and your grateful for them. Doing things for them shows that you care. But something just as simple as telling them or expressing how you feel, can make a major impact. Throughout my life I never felt love or acceptance, and if I did it was normally from a false idea of love or an idealized version. Being sober gives me the chance to truly discover who I am, and learn to love myself so that I can give and show love to other people, by showing the people I love that I care and appreciate them.

Commitment-"Being Impeccable with my Word"

Reliable Goals

For myself commitment has always been a very difficult thing for me. In my active addiction and before I was in active addiction, I could never commit or follow through with anything. I would be motivated at first and start something, but could never finish it. When I first came to rehab, it was very hard for me to commit to staying in treatment long term and commit to staying sober. I would go into treatment, and slide by without putting in the work just to please my parents and family. It was very hard to understand and conceptualize the concept of AA meetings and realizing that I had to stay clean from all mood and mind altering substances and I had to commit to that in order to stay sober. At first, I thought that everyone was crazy and that I was different and I could drink alcohol and smoke weed because my problem was with drugs. I soon found out that wasn’t the case, I was just like everyone else and I had a problem with all mood and mind altering substances. The concept of committing was still very foreign to me; it took a very long time to realize that I was no different from any other addict and that until I fully committed to staying sober, and working on myself I could not stay clean. Today, when I think of commitment I think of being impeccable with my word, when I make a commitment I need to follow through with it and do what I say I am going to do because if I don’t I can slip back into old behaviors and possibly relapse. In my eyes, commitment is a very crucial part of recovery and being able to stay clean and sober, until I can fully commit to being sober I can’t stay clean.

Commitment-Making Strong Family Bonds

commitment family.jpg

I have recently found myself wanting a life I don’t currently have. I want a life where I am sober, happy, and have strong bonds with my family. Always trying to take the easy way out has left me with nothing and always wanting more. Its true what they say though, nothing in life worth having comes easy and without making sacrifices and commitments. I am going to have to continue to make drastic changes to the way I think and the way I act. I need to continue to take constructive criticism and advice from others. This all seems like a lot of work but I know deep down that to be truly happy, no commitment seems to big to overcome.