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Stories of Hope

 Real Reviews from Real People

Read additional reviews at The Watershed Rehab Reviews.

“The Watershed saved my life. I am attending AA meetings and working on “self.” The friends I have in AA are very important to me. The Watershed is a special place!

I think about my stay there every day, and the things that I learned there. If I had not been there to learn some of the tools that I needed to stay clean and sober, AA meetings would not have the meaning they have today.

I hope to go back to the Watershed to visit, and see some of the real true friends I made there. Keep up the great work you do!”
-Judy P., KY


“I wanted to write and say how awesome recovery is! I have been sober since May 7, 2003. I was at the Watershed for 2 months, and I can’t begin to say how wonderful my life is and how happy I am to be sober today.

I have handled many tough situations and continue to amaze myself on how much I can handle and not use.

The one thing they told us at the Watershed is that if you quit using, 99% of your problems will clear up on their own. I thought that cannot be true, but it is true. Don’t get me wrong, I still have daily problems, but all the drama that was in my life because of using did go away. I am grateful for my recovery.”
-Rachel L., MN


“I have been so blessed to have had an opportunity to come to The Watershed for treatment.

I tried so many times to change my mind, but they kept encouraging me, so I came. I came to the Watershed October 2, 2007. I had been doing crack cocaine. The staff there was very professional which helped me to make up my mind not to do drugs any more.

I thank Dr. Sal and the rest of the staff there for all of your help. I think anyone who wants to clean up their life ought to come to The Watershed. On October 2, 2008 I will have been clean one year. I can’t thank the professionals out there enough for helping me through that habit.”
-James J., TN


“This past year and a half has been so wonderful with meeting new friends and having a common interest. I became a grandmother for the 2nd time this past April.

I truly enjoy every day with my grandchildren, but I know if it wasn’t for my Higher Power (which I choose to call God), AA, The Fellowship, my family and The Watershed, I would probably not be here today.

I am chairing meetings, doing service and anything else to keep my sobriety fresh. I can’t lose where I am at each and every moment.

I want to thank The Watershed, especially my therapist, Brad. He got me started on the right track and I have not looked back since. I would recommend the wonderful program that The Watershed has to anyone that is having alcohol or drug problems. The program got me started on a 2nd chance at life.”
-Cheryl S., FL


“All is well here in Baltimore. I continue to go to meetings, work the steps and not drink or do drugs one day at a time.

Throughout my struggles with my addiction, I’ve been a patient in many rehabs and detoxes, including Father Martins Ashley, since 1977. Without a doubt, The Watershed was the most thorough and professional rehab I have ever seen.

I have suffered through many horrible and painful detoxes. Dr. Hernandez used a ten day methadone taper, and by the second day, I was eating full meals and attending group sessions.

My transition off of methadone was barely noticeable. I feel this is very important as it allows the patient to work on their recovery much sooner. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Because so many of them were in recovery themselves, their empathy gave them great insight to our problems.

I especially liked it when a staff member would speak before the group. Tell the staff and everyone hello for me and thanks for everything. The staff was wonderful and the facility beautiful.”
-Tim B., MD


“My name is Leslie and I was admitted to The Watershed (Boca) on April 7, 2008. When I first arrived at The Watershed, I was scared, nervous, basically terrified. I came over time to realize that I was there to meet some wonderful patients there with me and some wonderful employees of the Watershed.

I can remember sitting in one of my first classes and the speaker blurted out that we were all insane….I got mad…until they gave the definition. Then I started to listen. So many people at The Watershed played a huge part in my recovery. I now have, by the grace of God, 126 days clean.

Never in my life, would I have thought that I could do this. My children smile to be with me, my family trusts me, I got my job back, I am looking at other career opportunities, and I have my life back and more than I could have dreamed of!

I know that I have put in a lot of hard work. I still go to meetings every night, I have a home group, a sponsor, see my doctors regularly and take my medication as prescribed. I know that I have to keep meeting my five pillars, which I was taught, in order to beat this disease!

The wonderful part about The Watershed is that I would never have known about these pillars and about the box of tools that I have to carry around with me throughout my entire life without the teachings I learned there.

I think of The Watershed fondly. Many people do not think that way of a rehab that they attended. But I know that I had some great memories with great people that I met there. I formed some wonderful friendships with other patients and keep in touch with them still.

And I also know that is where I found myself–where I said I would NOT be one of Heidi’s statistics that she taught us about. I grew at the Watershed and I became an adult who found that she loves her life. I am slowly getting to know the “real” me and I actually like it.

I owe my sanity to The Watershed.”
-Leslie M., WV


“I am a former patient of The Watershed. I currently have over two years of sobriety. One day back in February of 2007, I received a letter from my 24 year old daughter telling me that she did not want to have any more contact with me.

I was crushed. In a moment of clarity, I picked up the phone and reached out for help. Ten hours later I was on an airplane headed to Florida. I live in Pennsylvania! I don’t know that if I didn’t get help that day if I would be sober now.

I learned a lot from the staff at The Watershed in Boca. Brad was my therapist. Brad, you were heaven sent; you taught me about honesty. Doctor G. taught me that it was time for me to grow up, and he also helped a lot of the patients with cigarettes and other things they needed. Thank you.

Jenna taught me how as a woman to stand up for myself and that I didn’t have to settle for unacceptable behavior. I learned about halt, triggers and the five pillars of recovery.

Even the cook in the kitchen made soup because I asked for it. Doctor H. was my first introduction to a psychologist; you are a credit to your profession, thank you. Thank you all very much.

Recovery and life for me is sweet today. I have a sponsor whom I talk to almost every day and more often if needed. I have a home group.

I still go to many meetings. It is there that I learn how to live life without a drink, fix, pill or joint for one day at a time.

Almost all of the promises have come true for me. I can look in the mirror and like the person looking back. I have hope and dreams again. My health has been restored. I don’t beat myself up as much today.

I volunteer once a week at an inpatient facility for women and children in recovery. I try to give back what I have been given.

I really believe that my sobriety is a gift for which I will be forever grateful. I have a lot of laughter in my life today.

I was told at The Watershed that if I put half as much effort into my recovery as I did my addiction, that I could stay sober…..I have done the 12 steps…without which I wouldn’t have been able to stay sober. I work at my recovery hard and I receive a lot out of it.

I don’t ever have to live like that again…God bless.”
-Debbie A., PA

“I arrived at The Watershed on April 18, 2008. I spent about 35 days there and I can truthfully say that I just celebrated my first year of sobriety after 10 straight years of alcohol abuse. I did not believe that I would ever stop drinking.

I thought I was doomed to a life of despair and unhappiness. I came to The Watershed underweight, unhealthy and just not feeling great at all. But the one thing that I did have was faith.

I left Baltimore with a plane ticket and one quarter in my pocket not knowing where I was going.

I wanted to stop drinking, I wanted to be happy, I wanted to know how it would feel to wake up without the hangover, I wanted to look in the mirror and smile again, I wanted to laugh from my heart, I wanted to remember the important and the not so important things that happen in my day to day, I wanted to feel good on the inside about myself.

Most importantly, I wanted to love me. I didn’t love me and so I could not love anyone else. I met a woman named Amanda. She is to me one of the most insightful people I have ever met. She saw through me and had a way of getting to the root of things. NO sugar coating from this lady. I did not fear her; I just feared what she would find out about me and more importantly what I would find out about myself.

It wasn’t until I really let go and let God’s will lead me, accept the fact that I really needed help and that I wanted to change, that I starting taking those simple principles that were offered to me and started applying them to my life, one day at a time, that I started feeling a change inside.

I was hurting so bad and I had so much that I did not deal with. My friend, alcohol, protected me on one hand and was slowly but surely killing me on the other. I wanted peace and I realized finally the only way this could happen is to have God lead me in addiction to the support from the staff and my peers receiving treatment.

And with those two things, I believed I had a good chance at recovery.

It has been one year and one month, and I have not had a drink. I did not feel great overnight, but with plenty of prayer and attending AA meetings, I started to feel the change. AA to me had become not just a “stop drinking program”, but a start living program and I must say I am truly living my life.

I truly love myself and I am learning to love and listen to others. In my line of work, I come into contact with people at different stages in their lives. I have become so helpful and understanding that people seem to gravitate toward me. My kindness and understanding is genuine and it is felt by so many people that I encounter.

I don’t want to take up too much time; I just want to say to you all: thanks!

I know that one day I will return to The Watershed to share my story. I do live in Maryland but my next vacation, which will be in September; I plan to fly down to Florida just to visit.

Thanks for everything, I will never forget the experience I had and the moments I shared with you all!”
-Elise M., MD


“It was very difficult for us as parents to learn that our adult daughter was walking down the path of addictions.

Each new revelation to us and consequence for her was a stab of pain and confusion. We had so many questions. “Why did this happen to her?” “How did it start?” “What caused it?” “What could we have done differently?”

In our eagerness for answers we attended Al-Anon Meetings that help and support family members of alcoholics. In Al-Anon we learned the Three C’s with regard to our daughter’s drinking:

We didn’t cause it.
We can’t control it.
We can’t cure it.

That seemed to let us off the hook as parents. But there was always a sneaking suspicion that maybe there was something I did. Or, maybe her addictions came from something I failed to do. After all, eating disorder books seem to point the finger at the family of origin. Was this phrase, “We didn’t cause it,” just an easy way to make us feel better at Al-Anon meetings?

We are so thankful our daughter went to The Watershed for her start in recovery! Last fall we participated in the Family Weekend. My husband and I met with our daughter and her therapist. I had to bring up the subject and asked him if they had discovered the “why” of it all.

He said something like this to me, “It is not so important to find the cause of a person’s drinking as it is to pursue the treatment. To look for a cause would imply blame.” Wow! That was something I needed to hear. Then he added, “There are many people who know the ‘why’ but never do anything about it.

It is far better to look ahead and work the steps of recovery.” I felt a weight lift off me. Maybe it is not for me to ever understand. I can accept that now. With my questions put aside I feel our task is to support our daughter in her new path of recovery. Now we can be her cheerleaders instead of (in my mind) the suspected villains.

Our daughter didn’t drink because of us. She drank because she is an alcoholic. The past can’t be changed, but the future has great opportunities. We’ll all take this journey ‘One day at a time.’ “
-Lydia J.


“I wanted to update you on my progress. Hopefully I can be brief, but there is so much gratitude I could ramble on for days.

I came to the Watershed the first time in 2003. I was addicted to prescription drugs and as selfish and self centered as a human can possibly be. I relapsed in no time.

I then went on methadone maintenance, outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment and another outpatient treatment on Suboxone maintenance, and I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired. My life was unmanageable.

I could not get my kids to school; I could not get out of bed. I knew I needed help. I promised myself I would go to treatment, but I was going to use one last time. I quit my bartending job, it was a Friday night, and I started to go to a different bar.

My brand new tire on my car was flat. I didn’t let that stop me. I got a ride to the bar. At the bar, I was already beginning to feel dope sick and went to the ATM to withdraw some money. I could not for the life of me remember my pin number. I couldn’t even buy a drink as they only took cash. I knew that God was doing for me then, what I could not do for myself. And that was save my life that night.

If I had access to my money, (I was so skinny and malnourished from the daily cocaine abuse, daily alcohol consumption, and all day long daily Lortab and Xanax abuse) that I have no doubt I would have died that night if I used one more time as I was determined to do. I went to detox the following day and then flew to Watershed where my new life began.

With the help of the entire staff, and after conceding to my inner most self that I was an addict and would never survive that old life, I put aside anything I thought I knew about recovery. I listened and listened some more. I knew my reliance on a pill to wake up, a pill to function and a pill to go to sleep, was not the way I wanted to live.

So after a few weeks, I was down to an anti-depressant and that was IT. And I learned that I didn’t need those things. I was so relieved.

I put aside my manipulative ways, and when I didn’t get my way, I knew it was for my good. I didn’t participate in any childish behaviors that would hinder my treatment, as I had in the past. I prayed, I went to every group, and I read the literature and did my assignments. I wanted it. Bad.

After my extended stay there, as some of us are sicker than others, I knew I was ready to return home. I had no fear. I was ready. The Watershed equipped me with everything I needed to move forward. For that, I am eternally grateful. And will never be able to repay them for giving me a life.

When I got home, I began attending a group I attended before, RIP (recovery in progress). Soon I was working with a sponsor and before I knew it, leading a meeting. I immediately became involved in service work. I wanted to carry the message everywhere.

Even to non-addicts, as the book says, our way of living could be useful to all. I have now been sober for 17 months, am the GSR for RIP, and take a meeting into a local treatment facility. I sing in a church choir, and that does so much for my relationship with my higher power.

Who, although I didn’t deserve it, and thought I didn’t need Him, had another plan for me that He put into action that night he flattened my tire and wiped out my memory of my pin number. God is always right on time. I am so grateful for that. I try to live my life in such a way that would be pleasing to God these days. I take my kids to school, I go to work, I go to meetings, I help others. I comprehend the word “serenity” and I know peace.

And I thank you, the Watershed, for giving me my life.”
-Ellisa H., KS

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