I can only hope most parents searching for help don’t have to go through the drug rehab journey I went through. Which is why I take great joy in writing this letter, and saying to any parent reading this, to take a look at Cliffside, talk to Richard or Jay, listen to them, pay a visit and seriously consider sending your precious cargo there. The physical setting is beautiful, calm, peaceful and conducive to recovery. And the staff knows what they are doing. They have a simple but profound understanding of the nature and effects of addiction. They know how to modify the dysfunctional behavior that is an integral part of all addicts. My son now has over a year of sobriety – something I never thought possible. It’s what I asked the people at Cliffside to give him: Just one year and he’d have a shot at living. They gave it to him.
* Today Manny’s son has 2 1/2 years of sobriety.
Dear Cliffside Malibu Management and Staff,
I just wanted to express my extreme gratitude and my great satisfaction for my time with you. When I arrived I was on my last legs. My marriage was falling apart, my step-son didn’t trust me, and I was slowly killing myself with alcohol. I was told by my wife and my counselors that I looked like a person in the late stages of a terminal illness. I certainly felt like one. I was tired, dejected, depressed and hopeless. I didn’t know where to turn. When I realized that I needed to find an in-patient treatment center, I first looked at a well known competitor, and I was treated as only another set of ingredients to be mixed, formed, and baked according to a preset formula. I found Cliffside by entering ‘alcohol rehab’ into a search engine in desperation.
I was immediately embraced and counseled on the phone by Jay, who showed genuine concern. I was not in a proper state to make all the necessary arrangements, so Jay took charge, letting me know what to do, and shouldering much of the paper load for me. When I arrived in LA, Andy met me at the airport and drove me in to Cliffside, keeping me at ease and being understanding and hopeful when I was afraid. I don’t remember everyone who was there when I checked in, but I recall Dia being a smiling and gentle presence throughout my intake process.
I won’t go through each phase of my rehabilitation there in such detail, merely to say that once I had recovered my wits after detoxification, I was embraced by the friendly staff and led through the process with diligence, care, and mostly individualized treatment. Conflicts arose, from time to time, as they will, but they were handled with aplomb and courtesy. I specifically found superb counsel from Frank, Mark, Dia and Denny, but every residential advisor and staff person made a positive mark.
The therapists were all remarkable. Georgina and Robyn are clearly intelligent, kind, caring professionals who put the recovery of their charges foremost. Their group sessions were thoughtfully prepared and well executed; a number of times I was befuddled by all of the emotions flying around the room, but it was not only handled well, but with grace and care. By the end of the sessions, I was fuddled once more. As for Patricia, superlatives fail. I would say that she is honorificabilitudinitatibus, but I fear I might be accused of being over-intellectually sesquipedalian. Nor do I wish to wax pleonastic. I say this: there is no therapist I would rather entrust with the care of a loved one; I felt cared for and connected; I was dealt with transparently, and bluntly when necessary; I felt, frankly, loved.
I say the following with all gratitude, sincerity and good feeling and will that I can muster (which is a formidable amount, ask anyone): I neither want nor expect to need your services ever again. But were I to need them, I would not hesitate to avail myself of the extraordinary cast and crew of Cliffside Malibu.
Dear Robyn and everyone else,
Thank you so much for my wonderful sobriety-enriching experience at Cliffside Malibu. It was an exciting adventure to spend two weeks working on my fourth step and participating in the group process. You introduced me to other wonderful opportunities in recovery, including psychotherapy, yoga, equine therapy (wow!), and acupuncture. I’ve incorporated yoga into my daily routine, taking a class three times a week and LOVE it! I’m exploring equine therapy further, and will continue to work with Robyn as well.Sobriety has never been better, and I can’t thank you enough for accommodating my special request for a serene, supportive environment in which to do my fourth step. Please stay in touch, and let me know how I can participate in the continuing success of Cliffside Malibu through service.
Yours in recovery, Jeanne F.
Dear Georgina, Alex and everybody at Cliffside,
Thank you for allowing me to rediscover my life. I have been sober for six months now and re-discovering the things that made life worthwhile. Sobriety is hard, but I am living it one day at a time and attending a meeting day just like we discussed. Staying sober for life seemed like an impossible goal, but with all that I learned at Cliffside, I know I can make it.
Love, Name Withheld
Greetings from Illinois! I just wanted to say thank you again for saving my life. Before coming to Cliffside, I had been in and out of drug treatment for the better part of the last four years. The thought of being institutionalized again almost sent me over the edge. When I saw Cliffside for the first time, my fear disappeared and I knew it was the place for me. Please thank your entire staff, especially Chris. I will forever be indebted to all of you.
Thank You For Everything, Name Withheld
My son “Brian” was one of your first treatment patients and I cannot say thank you enough. I have my baby back. Since he returned, I see the fire in him again and he tells me that he finally has hope in his life. The structure (A.A.) provides him with is definitely something he needs in his life at this point. He’s already talking about your next reunion. God bless you and everybody at Cliffside.
Sincerely, Sara J.
Dear Patricia and the rest of Cliffside,
Please accept my thanks for the wonderful program that is Cliffside Malibu. As strange as it sounds, I miss you and (name removed) and (name removed). It’s been nearly four months since I left treatment and I’m doing great. I’m eating good, sleeping well, and most importantly – NO CRAVINGS!
Sincerely, Name Withheld
Thank you for all your help, support and humor during my stay at Cliffside. It was an incredible experience, one I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams (just like you said!). Getting sober is an incredible trip. It is so much more fun tripping out on life instead of drugs or alcohol. There’s a whole new world that has opened up for me and being able to show up for myself and life is one of the most exciting parts of recovery.Once I got to Cliffside I was so relieved to not have to try to handle my addictions on my own and I couldn’t remember what I had been so fearful about. You really made the transition easy and filled with fun. At first I was wary about being judged and couldn’t admit to myself the severity of my problem. I was gripping onto substances for dear life as it was the only way I knew how to get through situations. I was scared of not being able to handle getting sober but you were always there as a positive resource with a wealth of insight. Being fearful of my own demons no longer worried me as they were already present weather I wanted them to be or not. It was so much easier to deal with them in such a great environment. It was nice to be somewhere where I was not just another number but at a place that took into consideration my personal needs (needs I didn’t even know I had).But now I’ve learned an alternative way to deal with my life and am learning to make myself happy. And it was all thanks to you and the great team of support and understanding that I got during my stay.The whole process of recovery is mind-blowing as I learned more about myself and how to deal with situations and people that used to make me nervous. I feel like the world is my oyster and there for the taking now that I’m more aware and able to be present for life and have expanded my horizons. Things now seem within reach for me if I want them as I’m not tied down and limited to the narrow scope of drugs and alcohol. It’s so refreshing to be released from the nagging problem of how to maintain my addictions and to spend my time & money doing fun things that I’d always wanted to. I thought alcohol and drugs helped me through my difficulties until I finally realized they were my difficulties and made life more difficult. Once I learned to count on myself and my H.P. instead of mind altering substances, I feel that I can face life with new found courage which is a refreshing feeling. And I have you all to thank for helping me through the journey of self discovery and dealing with the multifacets of life.Thanks for being there and helping me through my fears and rough patches.
Lots of love, Anonymous
As Debbie embarks on the next stage of her recovery I wanted to again say “thank you”.You were instrumental in getting us both focussed-you were patient and sincere and most importantly-You Care! Thank you for everything you are doing-Thank you for giving Debbie the opportunity to get well.Sincerely
* Name withheld (12/2007)
Yes, I am still sober………..327 days, but who’s counting?
I sit here and laugh to myself about my worries being gone too long from work. The 55 days at Cliffside was the best investment I have ever made in my life. At work here, our company finished with its best year in their 110 year history and my division finished 2008 with the most profit ever made by any division in the company’s history. In fact what my division made was more money than the entire company made, in any one year, from 1898 through 2005. Wow.
It’s fun to be sober, engaged, and productive. I’m having fun, and yes, I have a lot more gratitude than I have ever had in my life. I am still a terribly flawed individual (sorry, I’m not totally fixed), but am able to positively contribute to society. I miss you and everyone else there very much and hope to see you all during the first half of March.
Warmest Regards, *Name Withheld