Lori: Well, first off, calling the very, very first time I picked up the phone and called, and I left a voicemail. I thought, “Well, I won’t hear from them in about a week maybe, if that.” Cole called me back probably in a half an hour and just made me feel so comfortable, put me at ease completely. You’re always able to get somebody on the phone. If they aren’t right there and you leave a message, you’ll get a call back pretty much instantly. That’s a huge thing when you’re sending your child somewhere. Emily: A lot of people have commented on how different I look, how different my whole energy is, actually. A lot of my teachers and people from my school that I saw coming back; they just noticed a spring in my step.
Lori: Yeah, that’s true. The first time she was seen back at her school after being discharged from Paradigm, she came into the dining hall, and the deans just almost fell out of their chairs. It wasn’t drastic. I mean, I think she still looked the same. She’s still the same Emily. But to them, there was definitely something different. They just said, “Wow, she just looks amazing.” Actually just yesterday or the day before, my husband said, “Emily is just so happy. She seems so happy.” It’s just such a relief for us that she’s happy and doing well in school and cares about the things that matter. It’s good.
Emily: For me, my favorite therapy here was music therapy. I liked the art therapies a lot. It was a way to get everything out in a creative way, and it was really easy to open up through that. Music was the best for me because that’s what I connect with the most.
Lori: One of the reasons, one of the many reasons, we chose Paradigm was because of the arts therapies because she is a musician and comes from an arts high school. It was definitely a huge plus for us, and I think it’s wonderful for the kids because no matter what their interest or hobby is, there’s something they’re going to want to do, as far as the arts therapies go.
Emily: Back in my jazz classes, there’s this girl named Zemma [SP]. She’s also a jazz singer. She’s a sophomore, but she’s really good. She was like, “I’m so happy you’re back.” All the jazz majors were like, “Thank God. We were really worried. We’re really happy you’re back here. We’re happy we can actually make eye contact with you and that you can actually talk to us, and you actually will talk to us,” because I couldn’t even look at anyone in the eye before.
Lori: She was under the cloud last year.
Emily: When I got back, they asked me about what happened. Like, how shitty was it? It was like, actually I can’t complain. You know? They took us to the beach, and people cared. It was really a guy that I actually gained a lot from it, and they were actually kind of surprised and like, “Are you okay? Where are you?” It was like, “No, I’m here. I’m comfortable here.”