Consumer Testimony: I’m Proud to Say I’m Sober

Finding support and help when you’re an addict and suffering from mental illness is a challenge. In Modesto’s case, he did not know where to turn when he moved to a new country where he didn’t know the language. Born in Mexico City, Modesto came to the United States at the age of 16. When he first arrived, he had hopes of getting an education, learning English and securing a job to provide for his family. However, needing to find work to support himself, he dropped out of school to work as a farmworker. He soon turned to alcohol to cope with the day-to-day struggles.

“I remember hearing voices and thought it was normal,” he says.

After years of suffering from alcohol abuse, he was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. Eventually, he hit rock bottom and Modesto reached out for help.

In November 2017, he came to Pacific Clinics’ site in El Monte to begin his journey to recovery and wellness. He resisted support in the beginning, but learned to accept help from his treatment team who worked hard to find resources for Modesto and earned his trust.

At Pacific Clinics he receives medication support by working closely with our psychiatrist and nurses, targeted case management – to link him to community support services and continue to assist him with Section 8 housing requirements – as well as individual case management to assist with activities of daily living, increase social skills and verbalizing his needs, and individual therapy to work on depression and anxiety.

With the support of his treatment team, Modesto is also building stronger familial relationships. He recalls a day when his siblings spent the day together, eating at Golden Corral. They praised his improvements and encouraged him to stay sober. “It’s really hard in the beginning. People don’t see you in the best light,” Modesto says. “But now, my siblings and I have a good relationship and they want to see me do well.”

Modesto advises anyone struggling with mental illness or drugs and alcohol to come to Pacific Clinics and find support groups to help make things easier. “When there’s a will, anyone can do what I did. They can change and there’s hope.”

Today, Modesto is more than two years sober, attends AA meetings, checks in regularly with his treatment team and has housing. He focuses on accomplishing goals of learning more English through ESL classes, working towards obtaining a job and is an active participant at his church. His Mental Health Therapist Elizabeth Rodarte-Saldana says Modesto recently moved to a lower level of care, Field Capable Clinical Services (FCCS), “which is an accomplishment and a great milestone that he was able to reach that indicates his ability to maintain stability for at least a year.”

Mental Health Therapist Elizabeth Rodarte-Saldana; Modesto C.; LPT/LVN Gretchen Valdes