It has been cooling down and the weather has been very pleasant with temperatures in the mid to low sixties and many days reaching low seventies. It has been getting darker earlier which is a sign that winter is upon us. The leaves are changing and are becoming vibrant colors of orange and red. Recently the barn has began starting it’s winter preparations.
So far, the hurricane did not do much to Ironwood, and on the day of the hurricane, as the skies were opening up, the Farmhouse was doing deep clean. Both crews did pretty good and, even though we could not go outside to release some energy, we still completed deep clean in a short period of time which meant we had some free time afterwards.
Ironwood has had many horses come and go. Few horses remain from when I first arrived. Ironwood has a special Equine program that allows residents to learn what being responsible for another living thing is like. Recently, the Farmhouse barn has received a new horse. Her name is Athena.
The skills residents learn in the barn provide them with the empathy, commitment, work ethic, responsibility, and people / animal relations which are essential to becoming hard working and caring citizens.
The appearance and dynamic of the group is changing greatly, and with this acceptance and resilience is becoming more important and prominent than ever. The campus is growing closer through new experiences and changes, with many residents seeing themselves and their paths in the success of graduating residents.
A little more than a year ago, I wrote about the concept of “moving forward”. I will be touching on the concept again in this writing. I believe now, as the summer is quickly coming to a close, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the fun moments had and on the experiences that allowed us to grow. However, we all should have the courage to not get caught in the moments that didn’t go as we would have liked and accept that it is crucial for us to take the next step in our journey.
Reflection at Ironwood has taught me to understand the bigger picture and to think about why I did what I did. It also has taught me that learning to prevent the problem is better than choosing to react to the impulses that then lead to the problem.
Reflecting on it now, I know I’m ready. I’m ready to move forward in my program and in my life. I’m not going to dwell on the past; what good will that bring? I’m focusing on the present. The here and now. Some things I want to continue to work on are, again, taking accountability, being mindful, and self-love. I believe I can do it. I know I can with the support of my support team. I will not rely on them, but I know when to ask for help.
I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my time at Ironwood so far, my progress and what I still have left to work on. Something I have learned about myself is that my ability to uphold boundaries, as well as set them, is subpar. Especially with my family. I also learned about the cause of my overdose as well as that part of my substance use is caused by me not wanting to be in control of my own life. Something more positive that I have learned about myself is that I have the potential to successfully complete this program, given that I apply myself and put in full effort.
Ironwood was also difficult for me because I still struggled with being away from home, and also because I had to step up into a leadership position to hold the group together when times got tough. Helping people with their folders and goals brought me joy. Seeing all of the new people in my group learn how to be happy here made my days. Every day, Ironwood got a little bit better for me. I met amazing staff who guided me and listened to me vent when I was upset. Certain staff helped me with my biggest problem: my addiction.