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Alternative Options client testimonialI struggled with depression, eating disorders, and alcohol and drug abuse since I was 12 years old. By the time I joined the outpatient group for eating disorders at Alternative Options in 2007, I had been through two inpatient facilities and had seen several therapists. Despite all of my family’s attempts to help me recover I remained depressed, sick, broken and confused. When I first entered Alternative Options, the outpatient eating disorder group was relatively new and consisted of only three patients including myself. Because the program was in its earliest stages, the staff did a lot of work to make sure we were getting as much out of treatment as possible and it was not long before I actually saw our suggestions being put into action. One of the things that touched me the most about this was the staff members took the time to sit with us individually and in groups to listen to our suggestions and thoughts about what could be done to make the program better. After about my thurd month in AO, the group had expanded from about three people to ten or more. It was also not too long before I felt stable enough to seek help for a drug and alcohol addiction that I had been denying for a while. The chemical dependency was just as effective and the staff worked hard to teach me how to identify the root causes of my behavior and how to take accountability for my actions. Before Alternative Options, I was used to facilities where therapists and counselors would not ask patients how they could serve them better and directors would make decisions based on impersonal surveys and evaluation forms. AL was the first place where I encountered counselors and staff members who showed me that they were willing to pit just as much time, compassion, and effort into my recovery as I was. They were there to encourage and challenge us whether we were smiling, crying, yelling, or just numb and a lot of times their dedication and compassion were the only things that made me want to
keep going.

All of the beautiful people who work at Alternative Options have made a huge impact on so many lives, including my own. I am currently a recovering bulimic and drug addict and I owe a lot to the Alternative Options team for showing me that I am capable and worthy of health, sobriety, and happiness.

In a nutshell, Alternative Options saved me. I was broken, hurt, sad, scared and scarred woman. I had definitely hit rock bottom. I was given the number to Alternative Options through my insurance company and I was hesitant to call, even though I knew I needed the help. I called, left a message and a few hours later Jackie called me and asked to meet with me. We arranged a time and I went down to the office.

The moment I met Jackie my spirits brightened. I knew that she was there to help me with this difficult journey. She is very open and honest and ready to help. After speaking with Jackie, I was entered into the eating disorder group.

I WAS (keyword: was) a self-mutilator, otherwise known as a cutter. As well, when life got too stressful, I purged. Perhaps that is a form of Bulimia, but I wouldn’t throw up after I ate, it was only when I stressed out about things. As time went on, I was purging multiple times a day die to stress and anxiety. I had no way of expressing my feelings and I kept so much bottled up that on November 1st 2010, I purged and cut more that I ever had before. I entered the hospital for a day and when I was released, I was referred to Alternative Options.

Alternative Options helped me come to terms with my past, deal with the present and be hopeful for the future. I learned life-ling lessons that I continue to use up to this day and will continue to use for the rest of my life. I am forever grateful for Alternative Options and for Jackie and Sue. I do not know where I would be without them. In addition to Jackie and Sue, I met wonderful women who shared similar issues and we are forever bonded through A.O. and what we shared with one another.

Thank you Alternative Options for being a safe and open place for me during the most trying time of
my life.

- Christina

Danny O'Dell has been my daughter's case manager for almost a year. Mr. O'Dell has been the major catalyst in my 17 year old being clean and sober. She is now healthy and happy.

I, myself, have been sober over 28 years and have never seen a finer counselor. Danny’s group always seems to have the most adolescents that are dedicated to working a program, and the ones with
long-term sobriety.

He has also been the driving force behind my own personal change as a parent, by looking at healthier boundaries and sticking to consequences.

Danny is also one of the most trustworthy people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I shared things in his parent group I have not shared elsewhere. He cares about his clients, is reliable, happy, and just a joy to
be around.

I highly recommend Danny for any position or endeavor that he may pursue. He is a valuable asset for
any organization.

- Debby

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