When I was in wilderness therapy, I had never heard of aftercare, but then I kept hearing that more and more of my friends were going to Red Mountain. It seemed as if every other day, you would hear, “John is going to Red Mountain, or Jane is going to Red Mountain.”
Once it was clear that I needed to go to aftercare, there was no question in my mind I would be going to this place called Red Mountain. I had actually decided on it my first week in wilderness.
As it turned out, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
Most people would think that wilderness is much tougher than aftercare, but I found Red Mountain to be much more challenging than wilderness. When you are out there, it is an artificial environment and you don’t have a lot of choices about what you do from day to day. There is not much distraction or temptation there. At Red Mountain, you have to confront your situation in the real world. You are held accountable every day at Red Mountain. You have to report into people and you are expected to be at certain places at specific times. You have your ups and downs there, but someone is always available to check in with. I was amazed at the continuing presence of staff, from case managers to mentors to Josh and Maureen.
They know your name and they know your story; at Red Mountain, people know you.
I found meditation to be challenging, but it works. I am not one to sit and look inward. But I did like meditating outside. I also found yoga to be really helpful and enjoyed working with Tera.
She took yoga seriously, which impressed me, and I am still doing it today.
My therapist and he gave me a lot of tough love in group. He held me accountable and also supported me throughout my time at RMS. Jill and Zoe, who worked in the office, were great, as were the mentors. Whenever I saw them, they would say, “How’re you doing?” Like Josh and Maureen, everybody at Red Mountain knows you and knows your story.
I would recommend RMS to anyone who is willing to work and be uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to be held accountable for your actions, but that’s how you make progress.