My name is Michael and I`m a clean addict for 68 days today. I am 39 years old, from Ramat Ha`Sharon, in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan. I am a legal professional, specializing in the global bio-tech industry in the past 16 years. I was born and raised in Jerusalem, which I left at the age of 22, after completing 3 years military service in IDF as Tactical-Combat researcher.
I come from a religious family with diverse beliefs, however I consider myself agnostic. I suffer from Cyclical Depression (Dysthymia) and Social Phobia due to a trauma I experienced when I was 6 years old. I was first “officially” diagnosed when I was 22, and started using legal anti-depressants and sedatives which were prescribed for me by my doctor at the time. However, I started to self-medicate myself much earlier: I stole my first shot of Vodka from my Dad`s spirits cabinet when I was 11 years old. I enjoyed the “high” feeling that it gave me very much, but more importantly I obtained self-confidence and charisma in social situations by using it. It was a love at first sight, first of many to come.
I`ve been self-medicating and falling in love with new drugs ever since, both “Legal” and “Illegal” ones. Very early down my road I studied each substance I used, and discovered through trial and error my precise dosages. I almost never over-dosed, or even woke up in the morning not remembering what I did last night. I felt all these years that I am in control of my substances abuse. Moreover, I gained BA and Master’s degrees, in several field, and had a very successful career all through. I was Successful way above my goals and expectations.
Now, being clean for more than 2 months, I understand HOW MEAN AND TRICKY MY ADDICTION DESEASE IS. I was in an unexplainable denial… I had it all: a job I like, money to buy almost everything I wanted. I was partying, had long relationships with women – when I chose to. I was doing the drugs I love and want, in the way I want use it. And yet, my depression kept coming back… stronger and harder each time. Until I gradually reached the point of absolute despair and total lack of hope for ever getting over it. I decided to kill myself (not before a decent “farewell party” from life, using any drug I could get my hands on). I made all the preparations, including choosing the exact place and mean to do that.
3 months ago, in the midst of my “farewell party” I incidentally came across a psychiatrist which I consulted with once, few good years ago. I immediately called for an appointment, in order to obtain prescriptions for newer and stronger medications. Why not? If I can boost my farewell party via a short meeting with a doctor… awesome…
That was the moment when God intervened in my life and changed my plan. This person declined my trial for gaining new legal drugs, canceled one of my exiting prescriptions, and unambiguously advised me to go to Rehab. That was the first time in my life that anyone mentioned this word, in the context of me going to one. I of course rejected this advice on the spot and walked away.
But, I had a strange feeling though in the following days. After a very short while I came to the painful understanding of how strong my denial is, and understood for the first time how unmanageable my life were for so many years, and how little control I had on it all this time. I called for another meeting, and was referred to Villa Matrix.
I found here an amazingly sensitive and professional staff, which gained my full trust and confidence very fast. I felt at home in a matter of days. I gained tremendous inspiration from the counselors, all clean addicts with unbelievable life and recovery stories. With the help of the smart, creative and experienced Psychotherapist and Psychologist I discovered spots in my mind and souls which were buried well deep inside me since I was a child. I got a strong “wake up call” from the staff – and some of the other addicts in treatment here – which I am very grateful for.
I the past 60 days here I learned and am still learning to get to know myself, and what are my triggers and drivers. I learn how to deal with emotional difficulties, and with the great challenges I`m expected to cope with soon in my life. I managed to start changing my way of thinking, and my emotional and behavioral patterns. I recently went out for a few hours to meet my family, and the change in the way I feel, behave and talk was striking. Both to me and to them… I spoke with my mother and kid brother for the first time on some things that were always there, but we never spoke about between us.
I still have a road ahead of me – of change and them of maintaining what I gained. But, perhaps for the first time in my life, I fell that I`m walking on solid ground, and that the path I`m walking on leading to a real and vivid place.
Perhaps, for the first time in my life, I FEEL ALIVE. And for that, I extremely thankful to the unexplainable luck which brought to here to “The Villa”, the friends-for-life which I met here, and the amazing staff in this house which made this all happen.
“I was not able to stay sober for more than 6 weeks during 10 years. I have been in several rehabs and detox places in the U.S. until I came to Villa Matrix 2 years ago. I went through a 6 month program for drugs and alcohol addiction at Matrix in 2011 and have been sober since. Thanks Eyal, you sure were a big brother to me when I needed one.”
“I grew up in a small community in South America where every family problem is swept under the carpet. I couldn’t take it any longer and sought refuge in cocaine and booze while everyone else was in denial. My first rehab was 10 months in Colombia where I was treated like a convict. My second rehab was 3 months in Florida where I was diagnosed bipolar and couldn’t connect with my therapists. I was not able to open up and let go.
My wife and kids didn’t talk to me. I couldn’t stop using and knew I needed some kind of miracle until my mother heard about this new place in Israel where they treated her friend’s daughter the year before. This is how I came to Villa Matrix. I couldn’t believe how nice people were to me. Lea’s great food was a treat and Eyal really knew how to connect with me. The team at Matrix treated me with respect and love.
I remember crying together with my social worker when I told her about my problems in life, I never saw this kind of compassion before. After my first visit to Jerusalem I started connecting with God and somehow I feel that he gave me this miracle, that I am sober today after 1 year that I am back in Colombia. I know that God is doing for me today what I could not do for myself before.”
“My name is Daphna and I am from New York. I started smoking Marihuana when I was 13 with my friends after school. Soon we were getting high during break time. By the time I was 16 I was shooting dope. It is like if I lived to use and used to live. It was my escape to another world. But I found myself trapped. My parents didn’t know what to do with me and I ended up in a rehab in upstate NY. I was there for 3 months but was using again two weeks after the rehab ended. I saw a few therapists and counselors after that but didn’t help. Then I went to another rehab for 4 months. But I always found myself using soon after.
My life is different now. I came to Villa Matrix in the winter of 2012 and immediately felt I had a new loving family that understood me and shared my pain. I knew about them every time we shared our experience, strength and hope in meetings, I cried a lot sometimes and I had the feeling that this was it. That I was not alone. Art therapy was great and now I am considering applying to art school in Jerusalem where I feel safe and go to 12 step meetings in English regularly.
I turned 22 last week and I am clean. it’s almost a year now and I don’t feel like using and don’t want to go back to those days of misery. My days in Matrix are paying off and I will always be grateful for that.
My name is Debbie and I am from Tel Aviv. I am 46 years old. My parents made aliyah from England when I was 15. I went to the army and after that I met my boyfriend. We went to parties together all the time. Alcohol was always there and soon enough I couldn’t have fun without it. I loved my husband so we got married and have now 3 kids together. My oldest daughter is in her twenties and she has a boyfriend now.
As time went by, we stopped going to parties but alcohol remained a part of my life, and by the time I was 30 I was a closet drinker, sneaking bottles of vodka into the house every time I went to the supermarket or the souk. At home everyone knew that mom liked to drink but time went by and it became a problem. I couldn’t stop and I made a fool of myself constantly. My husband was upset all the time and my kids were desperate. My marriage was collapsing around me and I was unable to do anything about it. So after visiting a therapist, he recommended Villa Matrix, which offers inpatient residential treatment and is family oriented.
I was in Matrix 4 months in 2013. It was hard not being at home this time but Matrix became a second home to me. I learned a few cooking tricks with Lea the chef, who was like a sister to me all the time. Also thanks to Mati and Eyal for their advise and for being the best therapist and counselors. Now I have 6 months sober, my husband is a loving man again and my children call me all the time.
I am Dimitri and was born in Moscow during the Soviet days. I used to drink vodka and other cheap alcohol when I was in school. I started going to punk concerts with my friends and we drank a lot. When the communists left, my father made a lot of money and I went to study in Switzerland where I discovered heroin and before I knew it, I was shooting up almost every day and was missing class in university. My father sent me to a rehab in Geneve for 3 months but I loved being high so much that I was using after rehab. I tried to quit but only got more dpressed. So I went to three more rehabs before I came to Matrix.
Finally, something happened and I learned that the problem was not the drugs but just me. I was busy all the time in Matrix and was the best therapy I ever had. My father trusts me again and sees a future for me in his business. The staff in Matrix helped me a lot so today after 14 months clean I can say to other addicts that if you want to stay away from drugs, do not waste your time and come to Villa Matrix.