Monday, April 1, 2013

A Student's Experience at Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School

When I first arrived at Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School, I was in complete shock. I had no idea places like this existed, and I was always in denial about having issues so I thought coming to a place like this was “too extreme”. My excuses were “Oh, every teenager does this”. However, I soon came to realize every teenager might drink, get with guys, or pick their friends before their family. Although they didn’t take it to the extreme like I did.

I came to realize you have to talk about yourself to work your program, which I had a big problem with here. I would avoid by talking about my sister, mom, or friends. I would also joke about everything which was a huge avoidance for me because I felt that if I was joking and everyone was laughing, people would automatically think I was a happy person and that I had nothing wrong with me.

Cedar Ridge Academy students talk

I was too afraid of people judging me because I judged myself. I wouldn’t even let myself cry in front of people because I was so afraid of what their initial reaction was going to be. I wouldn’t even let myself talk about what was really going on for me, because I was always so afraid of what the other person was thinking. This held me back even more with my levels and myself.

Suddenly I had a wakeup call. Sitting in the girl's home family meeting one night, realizing I didn’t want to be on level 500 forever as well as be here forever. So I decided to talk about me and why I got sent here and my behaviors at home. When I started getting around and talking, I realized a lot of the girls could relate, which made expressing easier and that led to me talking about more in-depth things. Although at times it hasn’t been as easy as other days to want to open up and express, but when I push myself I feel a whole lot better.

Girls Student at co-ed Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School

I have had my struggles here, like having been on level 700 feeling like anything is possible and then dropping to level 600 and wanting to give up and not wanting to work for me. I always need motivation or I lose focus and go off track.

I’ve been here almost 10 months and I still sometimes don’t always know nor have the right motivation. However, as long as I’m working for myself, that’s when everything falls into place. I do have a goal to get back on level 700 again before summer - I just need that extra push. Thankfully, with great family support and my determination, I can see myself getting back up there again.  

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