When hope seems lost in the throes of addiction, a beacon shines at Restore Detox Centers, where Darla Wiseman, the house manager with a heart as wide as the sky, crafts a sanctuary for those seeking solace on their journey to sobriety. Alongside her, Steven Ginsburg, the visionary founder of Restore, joins the conversation, offering a window into the soul of the center and the profound impact Darla's nurturing presence has on the community. In our heartfelt exchange, we explore the delicate alchemy of support and independence that defines the daily rhythms at Restore, where structured programs blend seamlessly with moments of personal reflection—a combination that nourishes the fragile seeds of recovery.
Listen closely as we pull back the curtain on the tranquil Poway facility, a place where homeliness meets healing, and where every individual is cherished. Group therapy sessions emerge as a fluid dance of shared experiences and individualized attention, led by facilitators committed to meeting each person right where they are. It's a place not just of treatment, but of transformation and connection, and you're invited to join our mission. By reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org or joining our movement, you can be part of a compassionate community that extends its hand to those longing to grasp a new lease on life. With Darla's story as our guiding light, we reaffirm our dedication to those on the path to sobriety and the unwavering belief in the power of human connection to restore lives.
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery: 1-800-982-5530
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This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey there, welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. I'm Steve Coughran and I'm here, of course, with Steven Ginsburg, but today we have a special guest. Her name is Darla Wiseman and she is the house manager at Restore Detox Centers in Poway, california. Darla, welcome to the show.Darla Wiseman:
Hi, it's great to be here.Steve Coughran:
So let me kick things off by asking Steven this question here. Obviously, you have this knack for finding super talented people and just people that jive so well with the Restore community. How did you find Darla Steven, and what do you think are some of her greatest strengths? And not to put you on the spot? But I thought we'd kick things off like this.Steven Ginsburg:
I love being put on the spot. I am really excited that we're on with Darla. I'm excited to be on this podcast with two of my very favorite people and Darla's story is hers to tell. But to be concise and to answer transparently, darla is a miraculous success story at Restore. She's an alumni of Restore and she's done a remarkable job with her program and she's done a remarkable job with her treatment. And because of who Darla is and what she brings to the table, we felt after a certain point in her journey and recovery that she'd be a tremendous asset to the community at Restore and that her living testimony would serve the community members at Restore so well. So Nicole and I my wife Nicole and I put our heads together and turned to Darla and said hey, we'd really love you to be part of this solution here. Darla God bless her heart left a fully vested career that she had going and wanted to commit her life to her recovery and to people who are pursuing recovery and she joined the ranks at Restore and the rest is history. And she has just been such an absolute pillar of hope, of empathy and of the solution and living proof of concept a day at a time. So she is a blessing in every way. Shape and form Well, and I could definitely attest to that.Steve Coughran:
When you go to the house, I mean, and you meet Darla for the first time, at least for me, my experience is like, okay, this woman has a lot of love and support, but this woman has her stuff in order, right, she's organized, she's on it, she has a story about her that makes people feel very comfortable and very safe in the house. And so, darla, where does that come from? Is that just like a natural ability within you, or is that just like, I guess? How do you go about making people feel very comfortable and very safe when they're in such a vulnerable position?Darla Wiseman:
Well, first of all, thank you for all the kind words. It's really much appreciated. I think part of it comes from we haven't been there before, definitely, but I've always been a very empathetic person where I kind of can feel for the person. So that's part of it. I think it's important that you meet people on their level, no matter what environment, and just treat them like you want to be treated. It's the bottom line and you know, welcome, mom. Just in all walks of life.Steve Coughran:
It's just part of kind of who I am and I love that and for those just to paint the picture of the actual facility here in Poway, california, I mean it's such a beautiful setting. It's up on top of the hill, it has a panoramic view. There's a pool in the back. I mean it's just, it feels very intimate, it feels like a home away from home and not some like staunchy, sterile place where you go to get treatment. Steven, maybe you could just briefly introduce the genesis of the house, Like how did you find this gem? It seems like such a remarkable thing that you found here to launch Restore through.Steven Ginsburg:
I think very much like the journey to finding people like Darla. It truly was purpose built and placed in front of us and the gentleman God rest his soul who built that house the charity that he chose through his lifetime to contribute to were charities that supported drugs and alcohol service. So he was building Restore without knowing that he was and that's a remarkable part of the journey of what Restore is and then to support what we're focusing on, that's in alignment with people like Darla. You know there's the house being the fabric and the foundation of the hope and the solution, and then there's an alumni member like Darla who's in alignment with that hope and that solution and families can meet her from moment one and understand hey, this is someone who's been in my seat, he's been a community member at this facility that was actually purpose built for this I call Restore the Remission Hub, and they'll see and feel and hear the solution that's provided is proven to work, and they'll understand both the beauty and the healing elements of their surrounding and the beauty and the healing elements of the people they're encountering are all in alignment with that open focus Save lives, get them away from the perils of addiction and alcoholism. And none of it is by happenstance. It's all by design.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, that's incredible and what a credible story there and what a great place to find here. But the place is just a place. It's just a building with walls and a roof. It's really like the people and the culture and just the process, the whole approach, that makes it feel warm and inviting. So, darla, I wanna come back to you. When somebody is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and they're at like rock bottom rock bottom, like life is dark, you know they're broken completely. It seems like they're in such a vulnerable place. So maybe you could talk a little bit about and shed some light on the daily routine for individuals when they enter a detox center like Restore, and how is the experience designed to support their wellbeing during this crucial phase of recovery?Darla Wiseman:
Well, first, you know people don't always come in here in the best of shape, and just making sure their basic needs are taken care of, you know they're comfortable, you know the food, water just make them feel cared for and that we're here for them and do what for them. What they can't physically or mentally do right now and I think that's important when they first walk in the door is getting them comfortable. You know, getting them some rest, having them just kind of feel human again on the basic level, is when they do come in and they're just feeling completely lost. And catering to that sense of making them feel not so lost is really key when they first walk in the door, at least from my perspective, because that's how I felt walking in it's scary.Steve Coughran:
It is scary and so I mean what's that like? It's like? Are you sleeping in you know bunk beds with six other people in a room, or are you like being monitored constantly or like cameras on you? Like security there? Like maybe like set the stage here a little bit for somebody who's not familiar with like a drug and alcohol recovery center and what that actually looks and feels like.Darla Wiseman:
So Restore really is a home away from home, and that's the best way to describe it. You know, you walk in. It's a house first and foremost. It's a very comfortable. The accommodations are phenomenal. You're not in a clinical hospital setting at all we do closely monitor our clients but it's in a very more loving, almost parental way in a way, as you care for a child in a lot of ways, because that's the kind of way it is in the beginning. But the rooms, it's usually one or two tops to a room and it's a nice. Like you said, it's a house, very comfortable. They can kind of make it feel like their own for their stay here in a sense. So you know you're not just living out of a suitcase and there's that sense of belonging when you walk in, and that's what attracted me to it. To be honest, I mean I looked at a couple other places but then saw the website and thought, okay, this is this, I know this would work for me. So that's kind of when people walk in the door, make sure that you know this will work for them too, because it's a nice environment where it's not sterile, people care. You can just feel that when you walk in and that's what I or the team tries to do for them when they come in.Steve Coughran:
How much freedom does somebody have when they come to restore? I mean, are you able to stay up as late as you want watching movies and eating some ice cream? Do you get a sleep in until whatever time? Or is it regimented out with like a strict schedule, like, okay, you're going to get up at seven in the morning, you're going to eat lunch at 11.45, and you're going to be done by 12.15. And talk a little bit about just like the daily routine in life at the facility.Darla Wiseman:
So we do have a daily schedule through Monday through Friday. We do have a set time when we like to get them up. So it's not, you know, the crack of dawn, it's not you know, the rooster's not going up to get out of bed, it's you know. We eight, 30, nine o'clock, we get the clients up, make sure they get their medication, make sure they have time to eat, and then we start into our programming. But you know, we always ensure that it's not back to back to back and they have some freedom to. You know, walk outside and get some fresh air. You know, even just go to the room and take a moment or read a book for a few minutes. So, the schedule is set up by designed by purpose, I think by Steven and the team to ensure that they get the programming they need, but that they can also take some little breathing time, which I think is key when you're in an environment like this, because you can get overwhelmed, and it's designed that you know we get the programming. They have a schedule, but there's flexibility to accommodate people's needs if they come up.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, absolutely, and I've been up to the house several times and every time I'm in California I like to come up for group and I think that's one of the biggest value ads. So I have a question for you and, if you, if you want, we could ask Steven to put on his earmuffs here so he doesn't hear but let me ask you this Okay, Steven earmuffs. But, Darla, maybe you can describe what's the atmosphere of these group sessions, Because the group sessions are like so critical, like I mentioned. What's the atmosphere like, and can you share a little bit about Steven's facilitation style?Darla Wiseman:
So the groups are very open and comfortable. You talk as much as you you're comfortable with and or, if you're not quite there yet, we kind of see that meet you where you're at, do as much as you can to kind of get you to open up or a client to open up. And I think Steven runs his groups, his facilitating styles, much the same. You know he's got good stuff to say but he's not going to push people. We're not going to push people beyond their limit of being able to do it that moment. So our groups are kind of centered around reading the room a little bit and we do choose them by content. That way, when we choose a topic to sit down and do a group on is okay, would this be good for the group? And some people just people are all different. So the dynamic of the group is definitely a key part and when we do those groups and what's going to work best for them, so they get the most out of it.Steve Coughran:
No, I love that. And let's touch on a little bit more what you just said, Darla, by asking Stephen about this style. You know, what's always impressive to me is like when I go and sit in these group meetings, Steven's talking to the one even though there's a group of people around the table and everybody has their own set of unique challenges. But, Steven, you have this very distinctive style to talk to one person, to meet them where they're at, like Darla keeps saying, and just to connect with them. And I don't know if it's those big, beautiful highs of yours or what it is, but it just like sucks somebody's soul in and it makes them feel comfortable and they share. So, Steven, talk a little bit about your approach and how Darla was mentioning. You know you design your topics to be personalized. How do you do that and how do you know what to talk about and how to facilitate a group like this to be most effective?Steven Ginsburg:
I'm in the same boat as Darla. Thank you for the kind words and the affirmation that's to both of you. It makes my heart feel good. Restore is extremely focused on the solution. Restore is focused on the absolute depravity of relapse and doing everything humanly possible to get people into rhythm so they understand what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like to have a sober lifestyle In group. My focus is to help people understand what the foundation is about to live in survival and sobriety and then, above and beyond understanding what that foundation is about, the necessity to continue to work their program, a day at a time, to ensure that the disease that tells us that we don't have a disease stays where it's supposed to be, which is locked behind a gate. Darla is a tremendous living example of that process and of it being individualized. It says in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous we are like survivors of that sinking ship. You know everyone's joyful they got off that sinking ship. We're all in this together. Everyone in the community is me and I am everyone in the community, so I'm able to really make it personal from that standpoint. I understand their trudge, their walk with purpose, and I want to help them understand mine, because through people like Darla I can provide. There are so many times in Darla we'll tell you. I'll turn to Darla. We're like Darla, hey, where this is concerned, when people do what we describe and what we prescribe, how do people do it? She's like they stay sober and I'm like, and in case you're wondering, darla is one of them. So again, just a broad stroke to a specific question. And we repeat, steve, we repeat, we repeat, we repeat why Repetition procures results. Darla is a product, I am a product of that repetition and what a blessing she is. She makes my life easy because I can lean on her and her living testimony as I provide the solution.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, I love that. And to piggyback on that thought there, Steven, I've spent my entire career turning around companies. I mean, that's one of my specialties, and when I work with executives I always think to myself I would rather have somebody who has started a business and failed Like they've actually gone bankrupt and lost everything. I'd rather have somebody like that in a company's position leading the charge than somebody who's had this perfect track record. They've never had these failures, everything has fallen into place for them, and I think there's true power in that experience and like we can learn so much from our failures. I mean, that's a whole other podcast episode in itself, but I want to tie this back to Darla because, Darla, I think a lot of your empathy and just the effectiveness of your leadership comes from your own personal experiences. So maybe you can share a bit about your personal journey and your role at Restore, including any insights into how your own experiences have shaped your understanding of the recovery process.Darla Wiseman:
Okay. So when I first found Restore, you know it of course was a godsend, but you know I it took me a few tries, but knowing that Restore was always here when I needed it and that time would come when it finally clicked was, was a huge Thing for me. So it was a struggle, but coming back here and listening to Steven and knowing that as he calls it you know, we don't shoot our wounded was always in the back by mind, no matter what. And and I think my Going back and forth with Steven for a few years proved that, because like here I am, but I think I knew some at some level from the first time I walked in here that this is probably a place I was gonna end up. They used to joke with me when I was applying back the first time that you're just like staff and I wouldn't think anything up and I was just doing what I do, right, you know it was just what I did. And when the last time I came in and everything clicked. So I was in here multiple times. You know one of our, my roommate, so that feel like I'm rooming with staff, because you Really do make it up pleasant place and you. You understand that that really warms my heart. So it's kind of ended where I ended up. When it came to Working here. It wasn't even a question. It was more like I would have worked. I would have stayed working here for free, like I was coming in here every day, not that I was working for you, just being here. It was just that it was. It's where you want to be. I mean, it's just such an environment that helps my sobriety and to help others. It's just huge. But it really does help your understanding when your clients coming in here Do you You've been there or I've been there, I've been seen the pain, you know it just helps the overall Recovery for another person when you walk there, walk.Steve Coughran:
I see the ones to say yeah, I Completely agree and I definitely see that in your leadership style, darling. It's been an absolute pleasure having you on the show and I just love your insights and just the way that you inspire so many people out there. So thank you for coming on the show today and just sharing your journey and your story overall For those of you who are listening. If you want to learn more about what we're up to, you could always go to restore Detoxenterscom. But probably the best thing is is we love to hear from you. So if you have any comments or any feedback or you just want to say hello, you could always drop us a line by emailing us at hello at restore detox centers calm, and if you want to connect with any of us that that's Darla, me or Steven you can. You could contact us through that email address. Also, if you want to be a part of this movement and you want to support our foundation, you can also learn more by disconnecting with us at hello at restore detox centers calm. I know there's a lot of people out there that want to be a part of this because they have loved ones that have been affected. Maybe they were, you know, in recovery back in the day and now they want to give back and build a bigger community around this whole effort. So if you want to learn more about what we're up to in our foundation, go ahead and reach out there as well, and I'll turn the time over to Steven.Steven Ginsburg:
Thank you so much, Darla. I can't thank you enough. As always, you have my gratitude and respect, but thank you for living your primary purpose today, and we know that our primary purpose is to help the man or woman who's still suffering. You are just that living example and your testimony is just so poignant and I'm so proud To be alongside of you as we are together collectively, through something much greater than ourselves Restore, saving lives and the great part. Folks, if you reach out or maybe it would really help you that you'd want to connect directly with someone who's alumni, who's a team member you want to hear from someone else? We can put you in contact with Darla. She's happy to speak with anyone. She will provide you authentic insight because there is hope, there is a solution and, steve, thank you for helping us focus on the solution today.