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The Ripple Effect of Healing: Mark’s Story

The Ripple Effect of Healing 

Mark’s Story | An excerpt from the Onsite Journal Vol. 2

I got sober when I was 20 and was abstinent from drugs and alcohol for ten years. Unfortunately, while sober from substances, other addictions and destructive patterns crept in: love, sex, and codependency.

After leaving a toxic relationship a few years ago, I relapsed and started using again. I became suicidal and was essentially unable to leave my apartment. In my ten years of sobriety, I had worked in the drug and alcohol treatment space in various capacities. I was very familiar with the kinds of help I could get from going to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. However, I knew I needed deeper healing. My mom’s therapist, familiar with Onsite, suggested I look into the residential trauma program at Milestones at Onsite.

“Before attending Milestones, I lived in constant fear. I suffered from depression, anxiety, untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, and struggled with multiple addictions. After working with the incredible team at Milestones, I feel whole again. I don’t wake up in fear anymore. I’m able to live to my fullest potential, helping others find healing. I’m pretty happy. That’s no small feat.”

What made Milestones different than the other programs I’d done in my recovery journey was the process by which I could address trauma at the root of my problems. I was introduced to several new trauma-informed modalities, including EMDR, breathwork, Internal Family Systems, and Psychodrama. Unlike the work I’d done focusing on my addictions, Milestones and the team helped me address the trauma and clearly connect it with the destructive ways I was dealing with it. Milestones’ clinicians specialize in trauma, but the holistic program curated a space for me to build understanding and an action plan around the behaviors I developed to cope with what happened to me.

“No other treatment center that I’ve experienced is equipped to help clients address the connections between trauma and addiction in quite the same way.”

I was also able to dive into trauma work alongside my family. The weekend family programming was so much more than my family joining me during my healing process. It invited them to do some of their own work as well. It allowed us to look at our family system to better understand the effects of our collective trauma. It opened the door for my family members to continue their own emotional wellness journeys and even attend Onsite themselves.

The caliber of clinicians at Milestones far exceeds any team I’ve ever witnessed. In my roles in the treatment space, I have visited almost every treatment center in the country, and I can objectively say, not just because I’ve been a patient, Milestones has the best therapists in the country. Every aspect of the philosophy and approach creates an environment for the team to work together to yield a much better outcome for every client they serve.

My journey was incredibly impacted by not only the world-class staff, but also the community with other guests. I found space to be vulnerable in a safe and supportive society. We witnessed each other’s process, but we also had a ton of fun, and I didn’t know how much I needed that. I left Milestones having done a lot of work around my trauma, and I wasn’t waking up consumed by fear anymore.

In the fall of 2020, after a series of difficult circumstances, including my father’s death by suicide and culminating with the loss of my career due to COVID-19, I became fully immersed in old medicators using sex, drugs, and alcohol to cope.

I reached out for hope, and after finishing an inpatient drug and alcohol program, I knew the next phase of work ahead of me needed to happen at Milestones.

“When life was too much, Milestones felt like my safe place.”

The two months I spent returning to do work with the incredible team at Milestones last year were transformational. I left with a newfound passion for helping others and the goal to facilitate the same expert-level care I experienced.

I’m currently working at a holistic addiction treatment center with men dealing with substance abuse and intimacy disorders. It’s been a valuable part of my recovery process to be able to help others. So much so that I’m going back to school this year to become a therapist. When I look at what I want to do with my life, simply put: I want to help people, I want to feel good about myself, and I want to feel like I have a purpose.

Milestones allowed me to address my trauma and find the peace, happiness, and purpose I believe we all deserve. This is what I tell people who are considering attending Milestones: Just go. It’s so much different than you expect it’ll be. And you’ll get so much more out of it than you ever thought possible. 


The team at Milestones has supported hundreds of people just like Mark to address the roots of trauma and create a plan to move forward into the life they want to live. If you want to learn how Milestones can support you or a loved one, connect with our team today. Learn more about the Milestones Experience.