The New Pines Hope Lodge Oasis New Beginnings Center

By Jowita Bydlowska 07/18/13

Our unique new facility is not just another overpriced rehab. We're another overpriced rehab that takes cutting-edge whole-person treatment therapies to a whole new level, guaranteeing a unique new you!

Some typical residents enjoy the New Pines Hope Lodge Oasis New Beginnings
Center experience.
Photo via

Dear New Guest,

Welcome to the New Pines Hope Lodge Oasis New Beginnings Center! We are very happy to have you with us and hope that your stay will not only mark the new beginnings of your new sober journey but will also leave you with some large new psychological baggage of wonderful new memories that you will cherish forever as you take a new lease on life full of green tea, yoga and—most important!—many nonsexual hugs.

Once you arrive at New Beginnings, you will be directed to our pleasant Intake Room. Here you will have five hours to sit in silent contemplation, or swear, roll your eyes and direct increasingly nasty jabs at the variety of actors employed to play the roles of Intake Nurse, Therapist and Counselor. Following the Intake, you will be guided to the New Beginnings Store to pick out a pair of flip-flops, a set of pajama pants and a generously-proportioned hoodie. At this point we will take you to our renowned First Room, where you will have the option to complain about said room. Next, we will take you to Your Room!

At the New Pines Hope Lodge Oasis New Beginnings Center you will experience a generous range of unique stimulating exercises designed to promote a new sober and sane you. Besides a rigid schedule of Meals, Gym, Check-Ins, Group Therapy, Meditation, Tennis and Scouring Tile and Grout, New Beginnings is renowned for its unique cutting-edge therapies that will instruct you in the As, Bs and Cs of Abstinence, reBeginning and reCovery!

Here is a peek at seven of our most successful, revolutionary approaches:

1. Finding Your “Higher Power”: A young 16-year-old named Henry—desperate for drugs—once ransacked the doctor’s office in the rehab facility he was involuntarily visiting. He noticed a box portraying two people walking hand-in-hand on the beach at sunset, and inside were some chalky pink pills. He quickly swallowed them all. Soon young Henry discovered that there was indeed a power higher than himself as the extended-release laxatives kicked in and brought him to his knees—and also his bottom. This case served as a model for our most successful unique therapy, where we prove to our new guests that they’re most assuredly not in control and that a Higher Power is! Following their recovery, Guests will revisit the New Beginnings Store to purchase an electric appliance to serve as their Higher Power until they work out an appropriate substitute. (Die-hard atheists get a 50% discount on toasters and doorknobs.)

2. Balancing Cheerios: This unique technique is based on the popular AA adage: “If someone said I had to balance a Cheerio on my nose to stay sober, I would.” At New Beginnings, we put our Guests to the actual test! Our Credentialed Researchers have found that this experience is optimal preparation for future 12-step work—in addition to teaching the unique skill of balancing Cheerios on the nose. An alternative version of this therapy, “Going to Any Lengths to Get It,” involves watching My Name is Bill W. on a loop while counting individual letters in the Big Book.

This unique technique is based on the AA adage: “If someone said I had to balance a Cheerio on my nose to stay sober, I would.” At New Beginnings, we put our Guests to the actual test! 

3. Looking for the Animal: New Beginnings has, after careful study, developed its own unique variation on the common rehab experience of horse riding (or horse-painting). Looking for the Animal involves locking a group of Guests in a pitch-black warehouse with an unidentified animal. This technique is based on the metaphor about the blind men groping an elephant. Each one touches a different part—leg, trunk, tusk, tail, etc.—and in the end they compare notes and realize that each man’s perceptions are entirely different. The lesson: While one’s subjective experience is true, it may not be the whole truth. This teaches Guests to learn to tolerate their fellow addicts and to practice nonsexual hugging as Guests bump into one another stumbling around in the darkness. It also helps them overcome their fear of pit bulls! 

4. Keys to the Kingdom: This therapy is conducted in the same dark warehouse and involves Guests searching for a set of Keys. The Animal may or may not be present! The set of Keys may or may not exist! The confusion and frustration triggered during the search eventually leads to a recognition of the pointlessness of the exercise, which in turn provides Guests with a unique education in how to tolerate the most common feelings they will face on their new sober journey into the real world.

5. Psycho Drama: Psychodrama is a common therapeutic tool involving role-playing various scenarios. At New Beginnings, the psychodrama is a unique role-playing scenario in which Guests interact with a group of Actual Psychos, who have been generously donated by a local facility for the criminally insane. There will also be a surprise special Guest—the one and only Nancy Grace! This form of therapy prepares our guests to deal with such powerful triggers as fear, rage or frustration while on the outside.

6. Mad Men: Named after the popular TV series, this treatment tool is actually two tools in one! The first part, based on exposure therapy, involves Guests sitting in a room while a group of men and women silently walk around chain-smoking and knocking back cocktails—a test of Guests’ capacity to withstand triggers for alcohol and nicotine cravings. The second part, lasting 24 hours, tests Guests’ response to the even more powerful trigger of boredom as nothing else happens in the room.

7: The “F*ck This S*it” Room: This treatment is introduced as early as Week One of your stay at New Beginnings. And uniquely, it is entirely optional! You will be taken to a large room with neatly arranged furniture and a variety of inspirational posters on a wall (“With Great Attitude All Things Seem Possible”). You will find your cellphone charged, your belongings strewn around the bed and your suitcase standing in the corner. At the sound of a bell, you are presented with two options: either doing nothing or packing while shouting “F*ck this s*it!,” thrashing and trashing the room (tearing down the posters is strongly suggested), and calling your estranged partner and pleading with him or her to come and pick you up. Depending on your stamina, this treatment may last anywhere from an hour to a whole night. You’re welcome to book the “F*ck This S*it” Room at any time during your stay.

Disclaimer: New Pines Hope Lodge Oasis New Beginnings Center accepts no responsibility for harm caused by exercises involving pit bulls, life-threatening inertia, or sudden onset of religious fervor. There are some studies suggesting non-sexual huggery has been associated with priapism. All practices, preachings and prices subject to change without prior warning. (Please note: Accidental recovery might occur.)

Jowita Bydlowska is a Toronto-based writer whose work appears in Salon, the Huffington Post, Random House Hazlitt magazine, Elle, Fashion, Chatelaine and elsewhere. Her memoir, Drunk Mom, was published by Doubleday Canada. She is currently working on a novel.

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Jowita Bydlowska is a copywriter and author living in Toronto. She is the author of Drunk Mom: A Memoir. You can find her on Linkedin.