I Feel Grateful And Happy

When I first came to Red Mountain, I was afraid and nervous. I thought I could cope with my life and didn’t want to face that I did not yet have the skills to do so. During my time at Red Mountain, I realized how susceptible I am to others’ influence and how in the past my choice of friends has dragged me down. I learned a lot about communication and how to express myself in a healthy way.

I developed tools to assert myself better, express my needs, and draw boundaries. I learned about my negative “thinking errors” and how entitled my thinking can be – and how much trouble that used to get me in. Over time I came to realize that my thinking errors can be overcome through mindfulness and better choices.

I also came to realize my parents have only the best intentions for me. I went from barely speaking to them at the beginning of the program to having a close, healthy relationship where I look forward to seeing them and speaking with them. The consistent care of the staff helped me to trust myself more and find my voice with my parents, and helped me learn how to work effectively with authority. I can be very honest with my parents now. I have forgiven them and they have forgiven me.

I finally realized that the only one I can change is me, and when I change myself the whole system changes. I no longer “foreshadow” or negatively plan scenarios that somehow always used to come true. I now anticipate positive interactions and that is what occurs.

Previously I had either failed college classes or barely passed. I didn’t care about school and didn’t put my best into it. While at Red Mountain, I took two college classes and actually did the work. I got a “B” in both classes and was really happy.

Today, even if I face negative emotions or negativity from others, I feel grateful and am happy with who I am. I recently received a scholarship for my ongoing studies and am feeling ecstatic about a future that is very different than what I could ever have imagined for myself when I first got here.

– Male Alumnus