CLEVELAND - Cooking a meal for his housemates is something Eddie Zajaczkowski never thought he’d be doing.
“Once you come out of rehab that’s just getting you clean, that’s not really getting your mind clean,” he said.
Getting his mind clear is exactly what the 37- year old recovering addict said he needed. Now he spends a lot of his time tending to goats and chickens.
“I like the animals, I feed them, I take care of them,” Zajaczkowski said.
That might seem like an odd recovery method, but for Zajaczkowski and other men in the Seeds Recovery House, it works.
“It’s been a big step for me,” said. Zajaczkowski.
A big step, given he spent the last 6 years of his life, addicted to heroin, until he hit a crossroads.
“All the friends that died this year, are people I hung out with on a daily basis. Yeah, makes you open your eyes,” he said.
Trying to get sober for years, but nothing seemed to work, which prompted him to try something a bit more unique
“This is the first time I’ve ever been wanting to stay off, not wanting something to fill that void,” he said right before he entered his yoga class, a requirement at the Seeds Recovery House.
“These things help us, that’s where it comes from first. It’s helped us and we’re sharing our information and our experience with others,” said Marla Diop, Program Director and Owner of the Seeds Recovery House.
Diop and her husband started the house three years ago, offering yoga, meditation, farming, and clean eating-limiting the amount of sugar intake the men in recovery eat, as it’s highly addictive to those coming off drugs like heroin. This method is what they say helps heal not only the body, but the mind and soul.
“I’m not saying this will work for everyone, this is something additional that you have in the AA community now,” Diop said.
Meanwhile, Zajaczkowski, who has recently graduated the 90-day program, has his eyes on the future.
“Dave and Marla who run this, help me see my kid, now I’m starting to see her every week,” he said.
The program still uses the traditional 12-step method in addition to the holistic approach. it’s completely paid for by Marla and Dave Diop.
Zajaczkowski is one of two recent graduates the seeds house.
He’s moving on to train and work at Edwin’s Culinary School in Shaker Heights.