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Hear What Turnbridge Alumni Have to Say in There Own Words: ELI

“Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living Alumni share their stories about their memories, friendships, experiences, and perspectives of their time at Turnbridge. Enjoy the stories and consider sharing your own. Send your Alumni Experiences to alumni@tpextendedcare.com.” Eli graduated from the Turnbridge program in August of 2011, and now attends Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  Addiction took over his life at the age of 14, when he began taking pills and using Ketamine.  “I couldn’t stop getting high and drunk,” Eli said.  “I was blacking out a lot and waking up to bad days.  Several times I woke up while getting into a car accident.” At 16, Eli went into his first drug rehab program, after which things got much worse.  “For about a year and a half it got progressively worse and worse,” Eli said.  “I was miserable, and I hated myself and my life.  I couldn’t imagine life with drinking or without it, and I didn’t know what to do.  At one point, my parents said ‘if you don’t go [to detox] we’re going to kick you out, give you no money, and not talk to you.’  Even though I fought it for a little, I was beaten down enough to say yes.  I had a big moment of clarity when I was 17, when I realized how [bad] I was. At this point, Eli made the decision to recover, and he spent six months at Gosnold at Cataumet drug treatment center in Massachusetts.  While there, the counselors recommended the Turnbridge program for addiction treatment and sober living, and Eli became a resident in New Haven in October of 2009.  “When I do what’s suggested and I do the work and I try my best, I stay sober,” says Eli. With the help of Turnbridge, and the added support of the 12-step program and a sponsor from AA, Eli was able to successfully turn his life around.  “I realized that I was really lucky to not have much to worry about aside from being sober,” Eli said.  “I had the most fun that I’ve had in my life.  Turnbridge is where I learned how to live.  There was a lot of work.  I learned how to communicate, how to connect with people, and how to cope with life.” “[From Turnbridge] I’ve got a foundation, and from that foundation I’ve grown a lot.  I’m in a good place through sponsorship and 12 steps.  The reason I love Turnbridge so much, and also hated it, is that it provided function.  They taught me how to grow up.  There was a lot of tough love, which I really needed, and it turned me from a boy into a man.” While in the latter phases of the Turnbridge program (sober living), Eli began researching colleges across the United States, and found one that now allows him to study his passion, music.  “I play the drums and produce electronic music on the computer,” Eli said.  “Things are going really good, and I love it.  I’m doing pretty well.  I couldn’t imagine something that I could be more passionate about.” “I would recommend Turnbridge for sober living.  There are things that I hated, and that I love, but it’s an undeniable fact that I learned how to live there.  The amount that I grew up is unbelievable.  It changed my ability to live life.  It was hard, but I stayed sober and grew up.”