A Motivated Recovery
A special guest who is an alumni, and now a pivotal part of our admissions team, opens up about his inspiring recovery journey in order to give hope to others who struggle with addiction.
- Jake opens up about his personal journey as well as the story behind his inspiring recovery.
- Listen first, solve later – Peaks’ admissions team motto, and how Jake applies it to helping others
- How Jake was able to shift his mindset in all aspects of his life that required rebuilding from the ground up.
I just felt like a number at other treatment centers, like an assembly line of people who were just going through over and over. It is actually really sad to say; people are not getting the quality of care they deserve at these places. And then when you come to Peaks your treatment plan is individualized, it’s tailored to you and what your needs are. I came in with a backpack of trauma following me, legal troubles, the nonexistent relationships with my family, I had burned so many bridges. Then at Peaks, I was assigned to a great therapist, case management helped me with my court cases, and then I was in bad health so the medical team helped there. So I think having everything addressed as a whole, that is really what it took to turn the tide and get me out of the hole I was in.
hello everybody and welcome to another episode of finding peaks it’s your infamous president and founder chris burns grateful to be here i got my main man to my left a chief clinical officer jason friesma also known as the freeze let’s go and what am i also known as motivational specialist motivational special i got it down like that dude it’s like yeah easy peasy as my youngest son would say and to my right i’m just really grateful to have just an awesome professional even better person jake nieber one of our admissions coordinator um just really grateful to have you on today thanks for joining us excited to be here today for having me absolutely man coming off a heart day yesterday which is my second favorite day of the week and i just wanted to define heart day really quickly for the people um in the last year specifically in the pandemic i had watched myself use wednesday as kind of this pivot point to kind of coast into the weekend with a lot of my things spiritual mental emotional and physical and in the last year i found it necessary to turn that hump day into what i think we should call it in recovery which is heart day which is where people in recovery are called to become a little bit stronger a little bit more resilient and a little bit more connected and it’s been my experience that’s where the people in recovery get to pass everybody else so let’s go jake was actually is an alumni at peaks recovery centers about three years ago uh yep in march it’ll be three years nice man so he’s an alumni at peaks recovery um also uh an admissions uh coordinator as well with us but has also worked other positions at peaks i just kind of want to open it up to jake and talk with you a little bit about your journey and kind of how you got here both with peaks certainly but maybe even more specifically kind of your journey you’re from southern california been to multiple treatment centers specifically in that southern california area and we were talking a little bit before the show and and something that i was reminded of was that initial phone call that i had with your mom um and it was after uh to your point nine treatments and it was hopeless disconnected and in despair and she essentially told me on the phone what are you gonna do that all the other people that said they were gonna do something who couldn’t follow through what can you bring of value and i told her i don’t know what the other people did but what i can tell you is that we’ll care deeply and we will care more than the last place you were at and maybe just talk a little bit about your experience a in in california but maybe that breath of fresh air that happened when you came to peaks and kind of got to see the other side of the industry which is a caring component yeah absolutely um it was definitely a rocky ride to get to peaks my experience in southern california was was tough to say the least i went to 10 treatments in total peaks was my 10th treatment and so not only was my mother defeated i was defeated i mean we didn’t have a relationship because of it um there it was disconnected like you said i mean every time we would talk it was it was just like you know what are you gonna do like you know how are we gonna solve this and we were both everybody in my family it was just lost i mean it was it was just that that topic that that no one wants to talk about you know and so coming to peaks it was it was definitely a hard experience to want to do it again i mean for a 10th time you know you’re just you’re lost it’s like yeah what it what is going to be different and i have to say you know walking in the door i remember we had coffee when i came in within like the first week and that was something i had never experienced i don’t think i ever even met the owner um or president of a company before i had come at any other treatment center i just felt like a number at other treatment centers like it was just an assembly line of people that were just going through over and over and it’s it’s actually really sad to say but i mean people are just they’re they’re not getting the quality of care that they deserve at these places um you know when you come to peaks i mean your treatment plan is individualized it’s it’s tailored to you to to what your needs are i mean i came in i had you know backpack of trauma following me i had legal troubles um the relationship with my family it was non-existence i burned so many bridges and you know i had assigned a great therapist case management helped me with my court cases um and then you know i was in bad health i had a medical team to help me out with that as well so i think just having everything addressed as a whole um that was really what it took to finally turn the tide and get me out of the the hole i was in yeah i think that’s really cool man and and i could i could feel that on the front end of like even with you when you showed up and i i know not to call this anymore but i was worried i was worried about your ability to navigate this process more specifically your ability to trust again right because when you get on the phone with a professional and you’re vulnerable and you say please help me and they put their best foot forward and they hurt you that is defeating and that’s got to be really difficult and um just to be able to reboot and and to be able to trust again and to lean into that is something unique and something that’s i think speaks wholeheartedly to your approach to recovery and more specifically the way that you work with families now yeah having had that experience i don’t know that there’s anybody we had angela in here as well as had a similar experience in madeleine and others and that admissions team again another shout out best admissions team in the united states right um but really leaning into these calls with the experience that you’ve had and being billing being willing to listen first solve later has been something that’s been set in here from other admissions people can you kind of speak to how that has prepared you to not be a good admissions coordinator but a great admissions coordinator and that is what i hear from the families that you get to work with wow that’s that’s amazing to hear i mean that’s an honor i mean honestly i i just i can relate with people it’s as simple as that like i’ve i’ve been through it i’ve seen my mom go through it you know and that’s something that still sits with me you know is the pain it’s it’s the struggle that my family went through to get me there and so when i get families that call um it’s being able to put myself in their shoes you know it’s it’s um it’s really close to my heart yeah you know and so i think um like you said listen first that’s huge because a lot of times people the uncertainty that comes with you know having a loved one coming to treatment or bringing yourself into treatment it’s just it’s through the roof you don’t even know what’s going on half the time who can i trust what do i do from here i mean it’s it’s a lot of calls like that yeah um and so i think having that relationship with people is first and foremost you know letting them know like hey this i’m someone you can trust um and our program is something that you know it’s which what you see is what you get you know we’re not hiding anything there’s it is really a place where you can come and have a nurturing environment and feel safe expressing yourself working through some of these underlying issues that are always you know intertwined with addiction um and and just the way i like to look at it too is what we do i mean have you heard of the you know someone described the difference between sympathy and empathy to me before you do it that sounds like something it could have been um but it’s like so the way it was described to me is sympathy is you know you’re walking along you see someone in a hole and you’re like hey man that really sucks that you’re down in that hole empathy is you’re walking along you see someone in a hole you get down in the hole with them and you’re like this really does suck that’s what it does suck yeah you know yeah and i think the biggest thing for me when i came to peaks is i was in a hole we all knew that everybody knew that but someone sat there next to me and said hey how are you going to get yourself out of this hole and i don’t think anybody ever asked me that they were like you’re going to do this you’re going to do that you’re going to someone genuinely is like cared enough to be like how are you going to get yourself out of this hole and put me in the driver’s seat you know allowed me to take responsibility for my own actions yeah so i love that too because we’re coming off the back of and maybe a lot of people still do it is this rock bottom approach you do this you do this because you don’t know you’re not informed and your best thinking got you here which is how i kind of got sober which isn’t trauma informed and really leads me and probably a lot of us in a way to have some really hard edges oh yeah you know jason what is it like on the clinical side of things just having admissions coordinators and specialists that really have big hearts and lean in and the very way your clinical team does it kind of sets the stage i mean it’s it’s weird just sitting here listening to jake because obviously i knew jake from back in the day like you did and um
it is wild that we’ve done this long enough chris that like the people that we’ve helped are now helping us um yeah and i have the privilege of meeting with jake every week every other week somewhere in there we schedule it every week it turns out to be every other week probably but um but just to watch uh the man you’re becoming basically and i i it made me actually want to ask you like what do you think kind of the inflection point was at your in your recovery like okay i can start to believe in myself and trust myself because you described so well us coming alongside of you and being like how are you going to get out of this hole when did you start to believe you could get out of the hole
like what was the moment that i took responsibility myself i think that’s a great way to put it better way to ask the question um that is a really good question i would have to say the first 30 60 days that i was in treatment i mean i was so broken beaten down and had to work i had to start from scratch i had to literally reinvent myself you know it’s almost like just taking the identity of who i thought i was who i had all this shame and trauma wrapped up in and saying like you know what i’m that’s behind me now i i think i need to completely start from scratch from ground zero and then build myself from the bottom and that probably started once i moved into the iop into sober living we had a server living house at the time um and so being able to you know get a job reintegrate myself back into society have a therapy meetings that i scheduled you know for myself making amends to my family
all those experiences i mean that was really the point is is once i started having that freedom to be able to go out use the skills that i had learned in treatment in these therapy sessions in groups everything that we do and finally start to apply it and then see results get positive feedback from others you know and stay connected with the community and have people be like you’re doing a great job you know how long did it take you to be ready to make amends with your family i think that could be helpful for people watching to know that like it doesn’t you know like because sometimes you talk to families where it’s like hey he’s been there two weeks i think he needs to be apologizing to us and he’s like okay cool wow i mean gosh that it’s touchy it is touchy yeah i mean there’s no right answer to that question right um there is some people that you won’t end up making amends to because it could do harm you know to to bring that relationship back right um but i would say the way it just worked out i mean my dad came out to visit i think i was within the first six months of recovery yeah and i did it then um it was great you know and those experiences bring us closer together i mean today i can say i have a happy loving relationship with both my mom and dad which is something i never thought i would have um and that’s been a blessing and then my mom came out to visit this was actually recently over summer this past summer she came out to visit and so that that took you know over two years to do oh it says the first time it was a little bit more deeply rooted
like you really speak to something so important that it it took two years not to get the courage up but for you to like do the introspection and figure out how to do it and probably to get the nerve up to do it i would imagine too because you value that relationship and there was so much damage there yeah shout out to your mom by the way yeah yeah yeah she’s a big listener um yeah are you what was the question you said uh the courage just like why did it take two years maybe that’s the question because i think it’s important for families to understand like you enter a process and it takes time before you’re ready to be like you know what i get my side of the street now i can understand how i cause damage right because families are used to hearing i’m sorry with no meaning behind it exactly yeah i think that was a big part of it too it was a gut feeling that’s what i would say um it was a gut feeling that i had and i just knew that the time was right i think you know going off what you said the introspection that it takes to do a you know proper amends with someone yeah i mean for it to really come from the heart i didn’t want it to be like that either because i know i’ve made so many empty promises and done this but my own living amends in a sense where in that two years i had you know built a life that i can be proud of um that was something that you know i think helped you know it was kind of like look i’m not just saying this this time like you know i have changed um and and there was some conversations i think leading up to the the men’s the actual conversation that we had where the relationship was in a better place as well so for for families like you’re saying i mean i don’t think there’s an expectation there for loved ones i don’t think there’s a hard line i don’t think it’s black and white i think everything um it’s it’s unique to the person yeah and i really love and i think we should speak to too really quickly just that immense process within the 12-step framework is a community-based resource and it really is about they don’t say it because in 1935 they don’t say shame but it’s really about dismissing my own shame yeah right and getting that the hell out of here so i don’t have to drink again right and the way we we fight shame is we go out and we make these amends but we have to change the behavior because to continue to do the behavior is only going to exacerbate the shame and so that’s why we call on really taking your time with this making sure you’re ready because quite frankly if i haven’t changed the behavior i can’t make the amends because i need to show my family system this change of behavior and ensure that i don’t have to go back and do it again because then it just turns out to be just another apology and so both family and people in care i just i really encourage people to give themselves time and space to navigate that process because it’s an event and a really big process and it’s something we should get to if we’re doing this process well but to do it well we need to give ourselves time which is really cool and you bring up a good point man you said feeling safe here yesterday i was having a smoothie with a female client and i walked right in i said i i was looking at your list and it said it had all of these fruits that she liked and i saw strawberries and grapes and bananas and dragon fruit and i go in there and i know the exact one i’m getting for right and i go in and i get the berry the banana the banana berry burst and i bring it right to her and i’m like i got everything everything you wanted on here i’m so happy she takes a drink and she goes i’ve been working on this in therapy but i told you no bananas
she’s always and i need to not worry about what you’re gonna leave here thinking about me i need to tell you use my voice and say i told you no bananas and i said no i got it right here and i looked and i said you’re right it says no bananas and i was like i really appreciate you doing that that is something she had talked about with her treatment team potentially about using her voice and utilizing an opportunity and here i came the president and founder dropping off a 10 smoothie and she said you got it wrong that’s where i want peaks recovery centers to be because she deserves presence and in that moment i wasn’t present my goal in monday was to be present and very quickly she showed me that i have some room to grow which i thought was awesome yeah and i think that’s kind of peak’s culture is like people can come up to ownership and say hey you said you’re going to be here at 9 00 am you got here 906 i kind of hurts and i think that’s the safety and trust that we can build with the chris burns the jason friesman the jake neighbors and that can really foster connectivity and trust moving forward you know so what did i say i said well i’ll be back next week with a smoothie with no bananas you had my word yeah you know is there anything as we get ready to kind of um finish up here is there anything that you would like families to know again jake is admissions coordinator he fields hundreds of calls with not only vulnerable people but families that are just in chaos they’re hurt they’re in fear is there anything you want to leave the viewers with something specific that you just want to let them know to dismiss fear or shame or just create some connection is there anything you’d like to say before we wrap up um
you know for families i just know it’s really tough and i guess i would say you’re not alone i think that would be the biggest thing um that seems to be very comforting to hear for a lot of people because it feels like you’re alone in those situations i think addiction isn’t it’s an isolating disease that’s what it is um and it’s not just isolating for the person who’s in the middle of addiction the families are experiencing those the same feelings but they don’t get to use substances to drown those feelings out a lot of the time so it can be even more intense yeah um and so i think that’s that’s what i would say you know you’re not alone in this there’s a lot of other families that are going through what you’re going through and i would definitely you know just reach out reach out for help yeah that’s absolutely huge man it’s so interesting i was texting with madeline a little bit before he caught over here and there’s a guy coming in tonight she’s like if you could just reach out to him and just see how he’s doing he needs a little bit of support because his family has a bunch of substance use and he feels all alone right so when we leave here i’m just going to reach out just another person in recovery and just simple stuff like that there’s no and that’s another thing i just want to give a shout out to you in the admissions team of just i do all of the introduction calls at peaks you hear from the founder first and um i can’t tell you how many times i’ve gotten on the phone and they say um hey jake you know jake and i’m like do i know jake of course i know jake um if it wasn’t for jake we wouldn’t be there i have heard that at least three times in the last three months they’ll say something like jake has been working with us for four weeks he called us every week just to see how we were doing just to touch base and so families are experiencing the beauty that is your recovery man so thank you for coming on thank you for being who you are thank you so much for having me absolutely cool that’s awesome well all right we’re going to wrap it up here please find us on all your social media outlets as well as your podcasts we got instagram facebook podcast we got a tick tock tick tock tick tock yeah follow us on tick tock we’re releasing videos we’re going to figure out a way to get finding peaks potentially on instagram if that works we got a lot of viewers on instagram that have been hit me up uh in the message saying hey can we have this aired on instagram so maybe that’ll be a thing until next time let’s go