Jerri Jorgensen from Desert Solace explains how helping her husband into addiction recovery prepared the couple to open Desert Solace, an addiction inpatient facility in St. George, Utah.
The Jorgensens Journey Through Addiction Recovery
Jorgensen was interviewed recently on the In My Head podcast, discussing her position as co-owner and family liaison of addiction recovery inpatient facility Desert Solace. In this interview, Jorgensen discussed how her experiences helping her husband battle his own addictions inspired and informed the couple’s decision to open their own addiction recovery facility.
When Jorgensen’s husband began his journey to overcome pornography addiction, Jorgensen learned the importance of setting boundaries and being clear about desired outcomes.
“I (told him), … ‘I’m willing to take this journey with you, but I am not living with someone in addiction’” said Jorgensen. “I was just really, really clear. I’m also really clear about boundaries, and that’s something that I teach the wives that I coach.”
Thankfully, Jorgensen’s husband was on-board and ready to do the work necessary to change. Jorgensen, herself, also dove into self-reflection and used the wisdom she gained to help others along the way.
When the Jorgensens opened Desert Solace, they drew from their own experiences when structuring the program. Because they found success as a team, they decided that Desert Solace’s program should focus not just on helping the addicted person, but on building up their support system.
Part of this involves teaching both the addicted person and their spouse and/or family members coping skills to help them when they come home from the inpatient facility. One of the most important skills spouses, in particular, can benefit from is learning to set healthy boundaries.
“Teaching them that boundaries are critical, and boundaries aren’t punishment,” said Jorgensen, is one of the most important lessons she has to impart. “(Boundaries) are for our safety. Because you can’t control anyone (other than yourself.)”
Jorgensen said that another important lesson she and her husband learned during his recovery was that of nonresistance, or “letting go.”
“There is a universal law called ‘The Law of Nonresistance,’” Jorgensen explained. “If we’re resisting,” she continued, “(We’re saying things like) ‘I’m not going to look at pornography, … I already said I wasn’t going to go there,’” In times like those, Jorgensen asks, “Where’s your focus?”
By allowing themselves to see their addictive behavior as one of a number of choices, rather than an inevitability, Jorgesen said that the anxiety surrounding the behavior is lessened. Once they allow themselves to consider other possibilities, the person’s focus isn’t on the addictive behavior anymore.
“Then (they) can turn (their) back on the darkness and focus on the light,” Jorgensen said.
The biggest conclusion that the Jorgensens came to is on the nature of addiction — that the end goal of recovery is to find a place of acceptance and belonging which allows for progress in recovery.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” said Jorgensen. “It’s connection to themselves, recognizing who they are at their core, without all the masks and all the stories and all the stuff that we put on ourselves … It’s connection with our loved ones, with our spouses, with our kids.”
In that spirit, Jorgensen said that one of the most powerful motivating forces behind her work at Desert Solace is watching her clients form stronger connections with their loved ones during the recovery process.
“We have guys that have graduated (from) our program and go, ‘Oh my gosh, my kids know who I am now because I’m present,’” said Jorgensen.
In operating Desert Solace, the Jorgensens hope to help others let go of their reliance on addictive substances and behaviors, reconnect with themselves and their loved ones, and set the goals and boundaries that will help them move forward in their lives.
“I’m going to do what works for me,” Jorgensen said. “And what works for me in this stage is sharing my story and assisting other people that may be experiencing the same thing, and letting them know that there’s hope.”
Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a top-rated chef, equine therapy and more. Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the recovery process.
1239 West 4200 North
St. George, UT 84770, USA
Note: Article contributed by KHTS AM 1220 & 98.1 FM