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Voices for Recovery

Aaron Cooper (09/18/2009)

My name is Aaron and I am the founder of eRehabCoach ( ); I'm a happy, fit and addiction-free person. My life today is really good, but it wasn't always like that. In fact, it was quite the contrary. Once upon a time, most aspects of my life were in shambles. I was in debt, overweight, with constant shelf-eyes induced by substance-abuse hangovers and sleep deprivation, living a life largely kept together by the grace of the people who loved me.  I managed to break the patterns that were sustained in the rehab process and, that itself, provided opportunities for constructive change and progress.

At that point in time I was addicted to cocaine, cigarettes, food, gambling and alcohol; and although this may seem excessive in itself, my journey to get there actually began 17 years before and saw me indulge in just about every vice known to man. During this extended nightmare, I was ushered from one institution to another, in and out of psychiatric therapy, daily counseling, clinics, psycho-analysis, rehabs, retreats, CA, AA and other recovery assistance programs too numerous to mention.These extensive mobilizations led me only to discover that many of these well-intentioned recovery options were affecting my self-esteem negatively. Because I wasn't getting any better, the process was making me feel worse and actually fueling my addictions. What I needed more than anything were tools so that I could help myself, in my day-to-day life, where I would find myself in my most vulnerable situations. In the absence of constant professional help or help from a loved one, I was in a way, helpless. So in one fateful moment, I decided to take a fresh approach.

I'm still not sure whether it was more inspiration or desperation that moved me, but I wanted to develop a connect-the-dots model that stacked the deck in the favor of rehab success. What I discovered in my learning was that much of the world I had built around me (activities, relationships, friends, entertainment, career), in short my lifestyle, was structured to encourage and facilitate my addictive ways. It fascinated me but more importantly, it gave me what was to become the key to my self control. I started observing, recording and analyzing my day-to-day patterns, along with those of my addiction co-dependents. I felt that I couldn't always rely on myself to record the facts at first, so I entrusted my parents to help me with this until I was ready to do it myself properly. God bless them, because lesser parents might not have understood the value of this critical collaborative role. Anyway, the new insight that this data provided led me to create lifestyle-changing tips, rule-based best practices, specific measurements and situation-appropriate tools to modify my recurring weak points; and started keeping score of the results. This in turn helped improve the other recovery activities such as counseling, because it transformed my rehab into a truly collaborative process. I formulated the eRehabCoach model by trying it on myself until it eventually worked. I kicked my addictions.  


The Beginning of eRehabCoach
Wow!! The feeling was amazing. I couldn't believe it. I was very proud of my achievement and after six months of being clean (that's long for a daily user) I started wondering whether I could help others who were in similar circumstances. So I started telling a few people about my experience; their suggestions were that I try it on someone else. I began by offering my methods and tools to the people who I used to indulge my bad habits with, and, for those who took it seriously, it worked too. I then went on to consult some of the professionals I had gone to over the years, to fine-tune the eRehabCoach model that is available from this site today. This knowledge, learning and model is available to you via accessible, secure, realistic and everyday tools, free of anyone's judgment but of your own performance results, which are conveniently kept track of for you on this site. Since developing this model and being its Guinea Pig, I have been addiction-free. At the time of this writing, I'm weighing-in at a trim 170 Lbs. (down from 196 lbs.), enjoy a stable career and take a lot of pleasure in exercising; all part of a seemingly impossible turn-around for a self-admitted "career addict." My life is much simpler, much happier and in control. Oh, I still have my share of challenges, especially since becoming a family-man, but thankfully addiction is no longer part of my life - and never will be again.

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