It will be difficult to summarize all I have learned here at reSTART in two pages and to express appropriate gratitude to all those involved in my recovery process thus far.
Each staff member and therapist has his/her unique style and all have been equally affective. From Cosette’s laissez -faire approach, to Hilarie’s subtle yet direct prodding, to Linda’s interactive, non-threatening style, to Ann’s medical yet compassionate technique, to Gary’s hands-on supervision, I feel I have received the best of all worlds, and I wish to thank them all for their efforts and for the knowledge and wisdom they have imported on us all. There is a wealth of information and wisdom here; all that is required is an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn to set us back on the right path to productivity and true personal gratification.
Every student/participant I have met here has had unique and very impressive qualities and abilities that I admire and can learn from. Ranging from musical and artistic talent to impressive intellect in philosophy, mathematics, physics, anatomy, politics, history, and the whole gamut of arts and sciences, to admirable sensitivity and amiability, to street smarts to sense of humor to sense of duty and responsibility, to leadership skills and true charisma, to being in touch with their true wants/needs/desires, every single participant has demonstrated unique qualities that I admire. This also speaks to the diversity of the participants – geographic, artistic, and intellectual. The staff at reSTART can rest assured that they are making a positive impact on our world one person at a time, 6 weeks at a time, and changing lives for the better, one family at a time. You are all pioneers in your field, applying established and new knowledge about addiction and mental health to a new pandemic that is sucking the life out of millions of youth around the world.
What we, the participants, have in common is that we have all suffered and lost a great deal before arriving here. We have suffered from depression, anxiety, phobias, shame, and disappointment in ourselves, we have lost confidence and self- esteem, lost relationships and the respect of friends and family, lost jobs, possibly careers, and definitely, educational opportunities. We have lost years of our youth, and have suffered effects on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I dare anyone to say that technology/internet/gaming addiction is any less devastating or any less real than addiction to any drug. The biggest shame is that it affects bright, talented youth that would otherwise have great futures with so much to offer. It is sad to consider the impact that this disease is having on our society – both socially and economically. And we have just begun to see the tip of the iceberg.
On the bright side, we have been lucky enough to have friends, family and loved ones that cared enough to recognize the issue and insist that we seek help. I see my leaving reSTART not as an end, but only one step on a long road to recovery and to putting my life together again. I see this as a learning experience and an opportunity for introspection and self-examination that I otherwise would have had. I have become a more complete human being and have gained insight into myself, compassion for myself and for others, and have realized that there is so much more to learn on the path to happiness and fulfillment. I hope to continue to learn about myself through books, therapists, and other addicts alike. I hope to move forward with more knowledge and wisdom toward a more gratifying life. I hope to use the tools that I have gained during my stay here to lead a happier, more satisfying life; to continue to examine and to be in better control of my thoughts, emotions, predispositions and tendencies, preconceptions and misconceptions. To continue to grow as a human being with fewer blind spots and with greater freedom; freedom from the psychological and emotional barriers of the past and freedom to choose my own path to a fulfilling future: Freedom to enjoy life with balance and without guilt as I see fit.
With that, I express my most sincere gratitude to Jens, Lauren, Wendy, Alex, Stephanie, Camden, Peyton, Gary, Ann, Hilarie, Linda, Brooke, and of course Cosette and Dakota (and Jitters, too).
I leave here with much trepidation about the future, yet with confidence that I have the tools and the support I need to restart my life and to feel the joy of being alive again.
Dr. Ramin Moheb, MD, FACOG