The road toward recovery can be a dark and lonely place, and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed with bad news. It is important, now more than ever, to maintain hope. Hope can be found through storytelling or finding common experiences through listening and conversation with other individuals who have gone through similar struggles. Our own alumni, Susan Battah-Horn, has been eager and gracious enough to share her story of how her treatment at Destination Hope completely changed her life forever.
**Disclaimer: graphic wording included**
“I walked into detox on July 11th, 2019. It was my birthday – probably the saddest day of my life, and the best day of my life. I had Tricare insurance; the only thing left of my broken marriage. I was hopeless and I was extremely ill. My body was covered in ringworms and my feet had rotted off. I stepped on glass barefooted and it got infected, so by the time I got there I couldn’t even walk. I was pouring out pus from my feet and from my face – the ring worms were just too spread out. Pus was everywhere – not the gory kind, but definitely very visible. I didn’t have clothes on. I had stolen some homeless man’s oversized shirt and sports and I had no shoes. That’s how I walked into Destination Hope.
On my first night they gave me a hot meal, and medication for my body and my alcoholism. I was given clean clothes and hygiene items. A large comfortable bed and snacks 24/7. It actually felt like I walked into heaven. I was treated with kindness. The room had a homey feeling to it. I didn’t feel like I was in some hospital psych unit. It was very comfortable and warm. It might sound a little bit crazy, but that made a huge difference. It gave me a sense of being human again feeling – not like some intake.
The first 7 days were around the clock attention. Not just vitals. They paid attention to my pain and suffering. I had been awake for over 10 days. I was delirious and paranoid. Sleep was very difficult because I had already set into mania and schizoaffective disorder. I was hearing voices. They medicated me for alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and molly. It was not easy!! I was shaking, sweating and had nausea like I’ve never experienced. But, it only lasted a few days. I can tell you day 2-4 is a blur. But it’s DOABLE. It was short term misery for long term relief.
By day 7 I had my appetite back and daily life became easier. My therapist stopped to introduce herself. Oh man, that helped me to open up and trust somebody. She came every morning with a smile and a soft-spoken good morning. Even the housekeeping crew were so gentle. I had clean linens and clothes daily!!!! Stocked my toiletries and always and a sweet housekeeper lady said ” You look so nice today!!! Wow, you’re getting better!!!” Oh, I cried so hard. I never thought I was important enough to notice. I felt invisible most of my life. Every day I felt stronger. I was healthy, happy, and I remember I had the best belly laughs ever in groups.
My medical results came back serious. I had no money for copays. That didn’t stop them from treating me. Later on, because of the family therapy I received in Destination Hope my family came into my life again. Another miracle. I could sit for days and tell you on and on! Everything I experienced there transformed my life. I cry when I think of it, but this time tears of gratitude. The logo isn’t a lie. It’s where miracles happen indeed. Today, I give myself in service as often as possible. I was taught to love by the way they loved me. Thank you, Destination Hope. Not only did I recover, but my family did as well.”