“I just want my kid back!” – Parents everywhere (You are not alone)

I’ve been to many acute units and Fire Mountain is the best! Being here has changed my outlook on life and helped me through a lot. If there is anyone who is willing to do the work, send them here, because although it’s hard (and is never easy), it is the best place to come to.

Just an FYI on Kevin…….Even with the half year away from high school for treatment at Fire Mountain, he has now officially graduated from high school ON TIME and with the rest of his class!  It can be done folks!  You have to believe.

We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone there.

Fire Mountain truly changed my life for the better. Not only did I receive the diagnosis that would forever change the way I went about my struggles, but I met amazing people that inspire me.

FMRTC changed my life. I finished the program not knowing how I would survive once I left, but it turned out that internal conflict wasn’t something necessary. Everyone that I had met there, including the other residents, helped me find my new perspective on life, especially my amazing therapist. There are most certainly hard days and now, I know how to manage them and keep living the best life I can because of what they’ve taught me. I was able to move out and continue my undergrad and hope to one day become a psychotherapist myself. But as of now, I am a behavioral therapist at 18 years old.

I never thought I would see the day I would be able to help people and use the struggles I went through as motivation, unable to see that there was a future in store for me, but here I am, following my passions. I hope to one day be able to return the favor of everything FM did for me and to go back to beautiful Estes and work for them.

Before coming to Fire Mountain a lot of my issues were from my family and stuff that was going home.  There was a lot of changes going on and transitions in my life that caused me to have a lot of stress.  I started to use a lot, smoking marijuana and then I escalated and got into harder stuff like hallucinogens. I was trying to get away from everything and using drugs as an escape.

Initially I was very tense about coming to treatment but Aaron, the owner and director, said that he could see a sense a sense of relief on my face and that now that I was here I could get away from my stresses and clear my head and figure out what I was doing while I was there.  I blended in quickly with everyone at the facility and was able to become more close to the group and integrate quickly.  I just felt comfortable. What I liked about the house was that you could go up to a staff member or anyone and tell them that something is going wrong and that you need to talk and they would take the time to go through it with you, whether it is something small or something big.  They would help me to identify my triggers and support me in my recovery, and I really appreciated that.

After I left Fire Mountain I think the biggest issue that happened was there was something between me and my parents and when I had my first argument about me doing the dishes that turned into a bigger thing and I ended up calling my therapist from Fire Mountain and looked for some support and she was able to provide that for me.  We talked about things and figured out my part in the argument.  I changed so much while I was at Fire Mountain and I expected the world to change too but once I figured out that wasn’t the case I was able to adapt and apply my newly acquired skills from Fire Mountain to real world situations. I started getting better grades and became much more passionate about school. I felt a huge relief and I was pretty proud of myself too.  Life is a lot more manageable and I know what I’m doing right now.  Now my life isn’t just getting high and eating captain crunch anymore, I have purpose.

I had severe social issues when I came here. They got better only because of the program. When I got here I was being bullied by everyone I knew and I was taking it it out on my family by being a control freak. Also, leading up to my arrival, I was fairly depressed and I hadn’t left my couch in two months and despite my level of intelligence, I had failed the majority of my classes the previous two semesters. While I was here, I dealt with a lot of social interactions that I wasn’t used to and I hated 80% of it. I was pushed farther than I was used to, but it made me a better person because of it, I was taught that people (other guys specifically) weren’t all horrible.

I learned a lot about myself and how to best deal with the confusing world around me. In exchange for all this experience that completely saved my life, I lost 5 1/2 months of my life, and I don’t regret a single moment for a second. Without Fire Mountain, my life would have taken one of three predictable paths. I would have died before the age of eighteen due to a heart attack, I would have hated myself and the people around me more and more until I had a complete breakdown, or I would have stayed the exact way I was, ruining any chance of achieving any form of greatness for the rest of my life. None of those paths were what I wanted for myself, so even though my experience here was a long and arduous journey of struggle and hard lessons, even though I hated almost every minute of it, I now realize that I would not have changed a single moment of it to make it easier on myself, because every moment of my current, wonderful life has only occurred because of my time spent here.

A huge heart felt THANK YOU to all of you and to the rest of the staff.

We appreciate what everyone has done for Sara and what you do every day for all of the kids.

We know her journey has been a powerful one and feel confident that she will continue with her work knowing she has your support. The friendships she has made over the last 5 months will be with her for life – and her sense of self feels amazing. She knows she still has plenty of learning and growing ahead of her and feels confident about taking it all in.

We’re grateful for what you have created Aaron and Chris and what everyone else continues to add making Fire Mountain the amazing place that it is. We’re blessed to be a part of it.

Thank you!!
Cathy and Bob, Sara’s Parents

To Everyone at Fire Mountain,

Thank you so very much for being there for our teens and their families, and for the incredible work you do with and for the kids. We’ll be forever grateful, especially for you, Aaron and Chris, for being there for our son, Adam over the past few years. Jim and I firmly believe that if it were not for your program, Adam would not be here today. You are so giving of yourselves, pouring your heart and soul into helping these kids.

As you have told us before, there is no magic bullet-the decision ultimately lies in their hands on which path they will choose. However, your program gives them the tools to help guide them in the right direction, equipping them with the knowledge and power and life skills necessary to make good choices.

With Love,
Susan, Jim and Adam “…he seems so much more positive and in control of his emotions which certainly wasn’t the case a few months ago.”

Hi Chris~

I just wanted to send you a quick note about Joe’s pass last weekend.  Overall, we had a really, really great time.  He was fun to be around.  We set up some more boundaries and structure this weekend as it related to diet, bedtimes, chores, etc, to try and more replicate what life at home will be like when he returns.. and he was very agreeable and we had no issues.

Sean pushed his buttons a few times but Joe never reacted negatively.  It was a new experience to see Sean being the one who was having a harder time controlling his emotions during those sensitive moments.  It is so nice to see him maturing emotionally- he seems so much more positive and in control of his emotions which certainly wasn’t the case a few months ago.  There were also several times during the weekend where Sean and Joe were hanging out and just laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

While I know there are many more challenges ahead of us and we all have work to do, I am overjoyed and optimistic that Joe is going to come back home feeling like he is in charge of his life and not the other way around.

Just wanted to pass this along and if you could please forward this to Aaron Huey also, that would be great.  I was telling Joe on the ride home how well I thought things went and how proud I was of him for all the hard work he has put in and he said “you should send a note to Aaron” as I think he was proud, so please share this.

Thanks so much,
Mike, Joe’s Father “You save lives and bring your light to dark places-such a gift!”

Dear Aaron and Chris,

We are so grateful that you live your truths so brightly and that we were able to find you! It is heroic, if unheralded, work that you do up there. You save lives and bring your light to dark places-such a gift! Thank you for lifting John up and bringing us with him. We will fee forever connected to you and are blessed to have you in our lives. Than you for everything you’ve done for us and for “having our backs!”

Sue, John’s Mother

Thank you for your dedication and concern for John and the many youth you have worked with. Best wishes in your ongoing work.

In gratitude,
Tracy “…having tamed the fear of being powerless, he changed, profoundly.”

His play became more integrated, he became more calm and confident, and having tamed the fear of being powerless, he changed, profoundly.