How James Dixon Healed from Addiction at Ranch Creek Recovery
Published On: November 22nd, 2019|8 min read|
Twists, turns, lessons, setbacks, consequences – life is full of them. While these circumstances can help an addict hit rock bottom, there is always a way to turn things around. After all, life is more about second chances, redemption and living the clean, healthy, happy and productive life you were made to lead.
For individuals living with addiction, life can be a dark, defeating, vicious cycle. Addiction treatment, however, can prove to be life-changing for those who actively participate in their recovery and fight hard for the drug-free life that can deliver so much health, happiness, and prosperity.
As a 61-year-old who has wrestled with substance abuse for 50 years, James tried to get clean – and succeeded – on multiple occasions by visiting various treatment programs. But none of the programs he attended truly proved effective for him to achieve sustained sobriety.
Ranch Creek Recovery, however, was different for James, as he finally experienced an addiction treatment approach that not only worked for him and helped him stop using drugs and alcohol, but also helped him learn to navigate his thoughts, feelings and behaviors – key components to getting a true grip on any substance use disorder.
Read about James’ road to sobriety and learn how Ranch Creek Recovery changed his life forever:
James’ Story Before Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
I probably started substance abuse around the age of 11. Things progressively got worse through the years, naturally, but I really didn’t start feeling physical effects until my 50’s. I ended up divorced; I ended up feeling like everything that I worked for was crumbling, which made [my substance abuse] worse. I escaped by [using] drugs and alcohol.
I am not a person who likes failure, but when things are crumbling around you, you have to do something or die.
The end result of addiction is one of three things: You’re either going to get locked up, you’re going to die, or you’re going to get clean.
James Learned: Rehab is a Process that Involves Identifying What Works for You, What Doesn’t & What You Need
When asked how my rehab experience was, I have to think: Well, which one? Because, I’ve had several. Some [rehab centers] you go to, you’re just a part of a large amount of people that are kind of shuffled through and you don’t really get a lot of personal attention. It’s all about the 12 steps and being abstinent.
For me, personally, abstinent wasn’t enough.
I had to dig deeper into myself and find out why this anxiety and depression – which I feel I’ve had most of my life – kept resurfacing and why I couldn’t seem to get a handle on it. I didn’t even know what it was; I couldn’t identify it.
Why the 12-Step Approach Didn’t Work for James
In the past, I’ve done the 12-Step program, but there were just things about [this approach] that I, personally, didn’t like. Don’t get me wrong, it works for some people and it’s probably worked for more people than anything else in the world; there are a lot of people who utilize it. But something about AA made me want to drink.
But what I like about [Ranch Creek Recovery’s] approach is you build a relationship with [the addiction professionals] here.
In AA, I’d do good for a while, but it was like the only way I would do good in AA is if I went every single solitary day. And the thing is, I have a lot more life than just focusing solely on that. I have friends where [AA] is their whole life. I am not judging anyone, but I felt like it was almost a transfer of addiction – now you’re a 12-Step guy and everything is focused on that.
It just didn’t work well for me. I didn’t like it personally. I didn’t feel it was what I needed. I didn’t feel that it really helped without completely submerging myself in it to a point where I didn’t have any other life – and I do have a lot more life than just my addiction.
That’s why I like the cognitive approach because it makes me personally responsible for figuring out my thought process – my feelings – and sorting it out because you have to go through life and deal with things on a real level. You have to learn how to cope with yourself.
For me, I felt like AA was just like, ‘don’t drink no matter what,’ and to go in a room and share everything with 35-40 people, it just wasn’t my thing.
Again, the whole atmosphere, the personal approach, the relationships I have built with the [professionals] at Ranch Creek Recovery, that was more of what I liked.
How Ranch Creek Recovery Aligned with What James Needed
When I found Ranch Creek Recovery, that was different for me because it was more of a home environment; it was a small environment. There wasn’t a lot of people there and you got a lot of individualized attention.
I felt like I have a relationship with the people there and they cared. It was more of an individualized approach to me personally versus the generic treatment for a whole group of people.
For me, [Ranch Creek Recovery] was what I needed. In my opinion, most people – not all – but most people who suffer from addiction are really nothing more than sensitive people who have trouble navigating their emotions. They have trouble figuring out why they feel the way they do, and they don’t even want to feel the way they do, so they numb themselves with drugs and alcohol.
Having the ability to dig deeper within myself with individualized attention was the key for me.
The treatment that I received was a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy, or [a method of] using your brain to sort things out. One of the things I keep in my back pocket all the time is this thing that’s discussed: thought promotes feeling and feeling promotes behavior.
So, rather than going straight to feeling and then a thought and then a behavior, it’s taught that if you spend more time in thought, then your feelings can change and then your behavior can change. If you respond too quickly to a feeling, that’s not as productive as thinking about what you’re doing first.
[Ranch Creek Recovery’s approach] focuses a lot on cognitive behavioral therapy and being mindful.
Being mindful of what you’re doing on a daily basis
Being mindful of your body
Being mindful of how you feel
Being mindful of every time you feel an emotion – being mindful of what it is, what’s triggering it, putting it into perspective so you can deal with it in a positive way and not jump to a negative result
James’ Advice to Others Seeking Treatment
The advice I have for others seeking treatment, first and foremost, is to decide if you really want to get clean because you have to want it to make it happen. During that time, there is no time for pride and there is no time for fear. You have to be brave, have courage, face [your addiction], and then do the work.
If you’re open and you have the courage to face [your addiction], it’s a process that you won’t regret. Life in addiction and life out of addiction – they just don’t even compare.
I also like to tell people that do attempt recovery that if you do attempt it and it doesn’t work for you, and you relapse, go back and do it again.
It doesn’t matter how many times you try, it only takes once. A lot of the time, someone will relapse – and I’ve seen it happen over and over – and then they feel too much shame to go back. Put all that aside because no one [will think less of you] – especially not another addict or people who treat it. They’re just glad you’re back.
“I am Happy”
My name is James Dixon. I have competed recovery, and I will have six months completely sober from everything on September 12th, 2019.
I used some sort of substance to self-medicate since I was 11 years old and I am 61 years old now. So, that’s 50 years.
To all of the sudden be in a position where I feel happy, I feel in control, and I feel like I don’t have a need [for my substances] anymore, I feel so grateful with where I am right now.
It’s a gift I can’t even explain. I am happy.
Life-Changing, Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
You are never alone in this battle, and there are more people in your corner than you realize. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we will fight right alongside you because you are worthy of health, happiness and prosperity.
We take a holistic, non-12-step approach to drug and alcohol rehab and mental health disorders. We have raised the bar on rehabilitative services, focusing on a holistic approach within a uniquely luxurious setting.
Get to know us better and let us help you get back to being the person you know is still inside you.