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If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926

Alumni Spotlight Testimonial: Darek

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Every time I went to treatment I always wanted to look outward instead of inward...

Alumni Spotlight Testimonial

Darek: from Addict to Inspiration

My names Darek, and I'm an addict. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't use or abuse any mind or mood altering substances, but let's not jump the gun.

I've struggled with addiction since I was twelve years old. Unfortunately, but also fortunately, it progressed to heroin which lead me down a six year path straight to hell. Countless nights sleeping in Taco Bell and Speedway bathrooms so I could avoid the negative temperatures in Chicago, crying to myself, by myself, with myself, with nobody to blame other than myself. I continued this insane cycle for years while destroying everything in my path. In and out of treatment centers, detox, just to end up homeless and alone because I refused to believe that I wasn't internally unique. Eventually my path lead me to two decisions: death by suicide, or stop trying to do it Darek's way and finally take the suggestions that were given to me countless times. Fortunately for me, I forgot to take the safety off the gun when I pulled the trigger, and I mean that quite literally. So, I decided to go to Banyan Treatment Center for about the 8th time.

My Turnaround

While at Banyan, I decided for once to finally start taking a good look at the real problem, myself. Every time I went to treatment I always wanted to look outward instead of inward, convincing myself that I was internally unique and wasn't like the other people who shot heroin. I thought I could shoot dope like a gentleman, whatever that means. This time around I took it seriously. I worked strenuously with my therapist, Tom, on my deeper issues that were really going on. It wasn't until then that I realized what they meant by a "spiritual awakening" cause I'll tell you this, Tom puts it like it is ALL of the time. No candy coating, which is exactly what I needed. Once I got out of treatment, I decided to get uncomfortable and go to another center for IOP since I was so comfortable at Banyan after the many times I had been through before.

Once there I got a job, got a sponsor, started working the steps, and focused on saving my own skin because I knew my cards were up. Everybody was done with me, including myself. After months of going through my steps, working, and graduating IOP I decided to move back to Chicago. Since I've been back, I started my career actually working for Banyan Treatment Center in Chicago. Today I live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I work for a treatment center (which blows my mind constantly), I have real relationships with people, I have people who can depend on me to show up when I say I will and that in of itself is a miracle. I can finally give back what was so freely given to me, and not to quote the big book but I "comprehend the word serenity and know peace." Is life perfect? Absolutely not. Life shows up and I have situations I have to attend to.

The difference is, today I'd rather suit up and show up, than shoot up and throw up. I truly owe Banyan my life. The program and a few key people including Frank T., Josh M., David G. from alumni, The Clinical Director, Frank P. and countless others have truly been a huge part of my sobriety, and I will always be grateful for Banyan as a whole.

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.