Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who has battled demons on her own, who’s incredibly proud of this season’s group of patients and explains
During graduation, we saw Dr. Drew sending off each patient, did the rest of you get to says a few words to the patients too?
At the end of treatment there’s usually some kind of goodbye, not usually so formal like this one, usually you get a coin for accomplishing the whole program, but we all got to say something to a patient. We were told who we were going to talk about and it was really nice. When I watched them walk into the graduation, I got really teary-eyed, because I’ve experienced something with each one of them, and to watch them look so different from when they came in just left me awestruck. It was very emotional to see that they all came through, including Drewbee. They came in so broken and shattered and now they just have that light in their eyes, that’s the beauty of doing this, for me, being able to be a part of this team means being able to see the hope come back into their eyes. I was told to address Cinnamon, and then I also addressed the whole group, too, because I watched them all kick and scream when they got here, but now they have hope and a glimpse of reality and sobriety. They all got the chance to go into sober living after this show, that was what was so great about this season, they all got the opportunity to go into sober living and still to this day, most of them are in a sober living house and being treated and taken care of by Dr. Sharp and Dr. Drew. I still talk to all of them in some way, whether via phone or text or whatever, and I can see that they’re all still trying.
There was a lot of talk of relapse before they finished treatment, Eric worried that he might, and Jasmen said she worried for Deanna which turned into a big issue between the two of them. Is that common, to think of relapse before you’re even done with rehab? Or is it just a way to address your fears?
I think it’s just part of the reality. Deanna and Jasmen were very close up until the last two days or so, and their last day was an explosion. I was predicting that there would be an explosion mid-way through with them, and the fact that it happened the last day was kind of a miracle, that’s what happens when you get really close. You just never know. They’re all going through different emotions and situations. I think Jasmen was talking to her in a very healthy way and addressing her fears for Deanna, and Deanna realized eventually that it wasn’t about Jasmen, it was about her and her addiction.
Who do you keep in touch with the most?
I keep in touch with Eric and Deanna and Jasmen and Heather, we’re in contact often, but I really have spoken to all of them at some point after the fact, and I know that they’re all doing well, and that five of the eight of them were in sober living as of two weeks ago. They know that if they need any guidance they can pick up the phone and I’m here for them. I’ve learned so much from them and from this experience, and I’ve learned so much about human beings and love and patience and compassion, but I also learned so much on a treatment level. I’m eternally grateful for this season, more so than ever before, because I’m much more trained to work in treatment and to understand this disease. I felt like I was able to handle things differently this season. People ask me why I got back each season, and it’s because I always feel like I have more to offer. The thing I realize about this show is that our purpose is to help people or help people feel something, and if that happens, we’re making a difference and I get to be part of that, and it’s an honor.
I remember the first time I watched the ending of Sober House, I got teary, and I remember somebody asked me how I feel and I said “I feel really sad,” and they were like “Are you sure it’s not proud?” I was afraid to say I was proud, and watching this episode was bittersweet too, it was a proud moment. And this season I also think I proved I could be an action hero without weapons! I’m just so grateful that people welcome the show into their houses, and me too, whether they like me or not, week after week.
How does the show help you, as far as your own treatment and recovery goes?
It helps me immensely. There’s always something happening in the facility that’s meant to be therapeutic for the patients, there’s so much you don’t see, but it’s therapeutic for me too. It just reminds me that I’m only an arm’s length away from my next drink, and this process gives me hope and keeps me sane. I’m so passionate about helping those who need to be helped because I’m constanty reminded of how far down the scale I was. We say that if the show has helped one person, that’s really all that matters, and I can tell you that because of this show, I am still sober.