Q: How long were you a client at Benilde Hall?
A: Including Aftercare, 10 months.
Q: What groups or activities did you like as a client and why?
A: DBT, just because I'm an emotional guy. I grew up in a military family, so I was always told men don't cry, men don't have feelings type stuff. My parents were good parents, they just never really taught me how to deal with emotions. So that was just tough growing up. DBT just clicked; with the emotional regulation, using your wise mind, and all those kinds of things.
Q: What did you learn at Benilde Hall as a client?
A: Who I am sober and clean. I learned how to balance my emotions and my thoughts because not only am I an emotional guy, but I'm also an over-thinker. I just learned how to identify my thoughts, my emotions, and who Ryan is. It gave me direction and purpose.
Q: What is it like to work at Benilde Hall after being a client?
A: I love it because honestly, the first time I heard Ken speak, and Erin, and knowing their backgrounds and their history what they've been through; it gave me hope and meaning and purpose again. I really felt like for once all the mistakes and choices I made in life were for a reason now. I just saw what they had. I don't mean like material things, I'm talking about just that inner peace and just how passionate they were about helping and that's what I wanted.
The transition from client to working here has been amazing. At first, it was kind of scary. Now I'm just trying to learn the boundaries from being a client to being in the staff, and set those boundaries. I don't want to do or say anything that's going to be harmful to [a client’s] recovery, so just being mindful of that. But other than that, it's just been amazing, really. Just to have the fact that Ken and Erin had faith and belief and trust in me and never went by my background or what's happened in my past.
Q: How has Benilde Hall helped in your recovery?
A: Like I said, it's just given me drive and purpose. I show up 30 minutes to an hour early for work. I enjoy being a part of everything, and everybody here. It's been amazing.