My name is Arielle Ashford and I am a person in long-term recovery. For me, this means I am a wife, sister, friend, and daughter. My story began January 26th, 2009, after being released from jail. On the suggestion of my therapist at the time, I made the decision to enter treatment at The Haven. I knew the moment my therapist suggested The Haven, this was the place for me. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go to treatment and to work on wounds that had not healed. The Haven was forward thinking and allowed me to come to treatment while I was on Vivitrol, which allowed me to have the space in my brain to truly “work” in treatment.
The Haven is a special place and the organic nature of the alumni group, the shared experience of treatment, the bonding on the trips, and the way alumni keep returning to The Haven to give back is what motivated me to peruse a career in social work. I stayed close to The Haven for social support throughout my degree programs. The Haven was my lifeline and a place where I found true understanding. In 2015, I graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s degree in social work with the goal of continuing to aid people who are seeking life-long recovery.
My experience at The Haven prepared me to continue to excel educationally, speak at the White House, move across the country, and marry the man of my dreams. My husband and I currently live in Philadelphia. We bought our first home last year and adopted a dachshund named Anthony Weiner. We are both passionate advocates of treatment and recovery. Although it can be challenging to live far from a place that is close to my heart, it has also given me the courage to live a full life in recovery.