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A Letter for Families from Alumna Caroline D

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Hear first-hand how Burning Tree Ranch helped Caroline overcome alcoholism.

Dear Families,

My name is Caroline, and I am a recovering alcoholic. My sobriety date is May 21, 2015. Here is my story:

Before Burning Tree, I attended several different 30-day treatment centers, only to relapse shortly after I was discharged. I was living in Dallas and had been asked to leave my fourth sober living home due to my repeated relapses.

My house manager in sober living would breathalyze me and the other residents, then I would sneak upstairs to my room and chug the alcohol I had smuggled in before blacking out. This happened every night for a while before I was “caught.”

“Before Burning Tree, I attended several different 30-day treatment centers, only to relapse shortly after I was discharged.”

In May of 2015, I ended up homeless and drinking myself to death. I had several ER trips due to alcohol poisoning.

Multiple doctors told me that I should not be alive, and at this point I started to believe them – but could not stop drinking.

My days centered around how I was going to get my alcohol, and how fast I could get black out drunk in hopes of temporarily forgetting where my life had come to.

My alcohol and Adderall addiction left my life completely empty, meaningless, and to the point where I honestly did not want to live anymore. Lies spewed out of my mouth constantly,
and at this point I convinced myself my lies were the truth. The delusion and desperate state of my addiction led to a dark version of myself I did not even recognize anymore.

My parents, sisters and all family members and friends had completely cut me out of their life by the time I was 26 years old. I needed to change something in order to live.

“Multiple doctors told me that I should not be alive, and at this point I started to believe them - but could not stop drinking.”

I arrived at Burning Tree desperate for a better, different way to live. The life I was living was no life at all, I just could not grasp how I would ever live without alcohol. Fast forward 6 months while I was at the Ranch, and I can still clearly recall the day I realized I had not thought about alcohol.

I was working the twelve steps, seeking to mend my relationships, and tried to take baby steps forward in the right direction. Let me be clear, I struggled hard throughout my time at Burning Tree. I was blessed with numerous therapeutic interventions, and close to being asked to leave more than once.

But the treatment team had enough grace – and a glimpse of my willingness – to allow me to stay. After completing inpatient treatment at Burning Tree, I entered their women’s sober living home and aftercare program in Dallas.

“Let me be clear, I struggled hard throughout my time at Burning Tree. I was blessed with numerous therapeutic interventions, and close to being asked to leave more than once.”

Today, I am proud to say that I successfully completed all phases of treatment at Burning Tree and graduated in August of 2016. I am so thankful to the Burning Tree staff and my peers for their love towards me.

I honestly believe it is a huge reason I was successful in getting and staying sober. There is no doubt that it is exactly what I needed at the time. It allowed me the space and time to heal, recover, and become the woman I am today.

As of this letter, I am over six years sober and try to tell my story every chance I get. In 2019, I got married to my best friend who is also in recovery with multiple years sober. In 2020, we welcomed our baby girl Emma who is now 18 months old.

“As of this letter, I am over six years sober and try to tell my story every chance I get… We are currently pregnant with baby #2 on the way.”

We are currently pregnant with baby #2 on the way. My relationship with my parents and family has been totally transformed. I live a few miles from them and get to be the daughter I always wanted to be. I am true to my word and can honestly say my family trusts me 100% today.

The start of the healing process began with my amends to my family while I was inpatient, and the family program process was hugely helpful. I say all this to try to portray a small glimpse of the abundant blessings in my life since I got sober.

Pre-Burning Tree truly feels like a different lifetime ago but getting to share my story and help others keeps me grounded. In sobriety I have faced some tough circumstances, loss, and many difficult circumstances. Fortunately, the tools I was provided at Burning Tree have equipped me to face anything in life. Forever thankful for Burning Tree and my sobriety.

Sincerely,

Caroline D.

Burning Tree Ranch Alumna

CREATING A LIFE OF EXCELLENCE BEYOND SOBRIETY

- SINCE 1999 -

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A Letter for Families From Our Clinical Director Meghan Bohlman

Dear Families, I often meet you after the whirlwind that ends with your loved one arriving at Burning Tree Ranch. I meet you in the space between relief that your loved one made it into long term treatment and fear that they won’t stay long enough to accept the help being offered. It is in this space that our treatment team will begin construction of something new with you.

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