I walk into the Haven as an individual in long-term recovery, and someone who has been through the Haven, and I can feel it right away. It’s that magic I always hear about that the Haven has. I feel that sense of belonging as I walk into the office, whether it be just to say hi or to vent about my day. I enjoy saying hi to familiar faces or talking to those that may be unfamiliar. I have a little over five years sober and I owe it to the Haven which has given me my life back and is where my road to recovery began.
Before the Haven, my life consisted of doing pills, shooting up heroin, drinking, and doing any kind of drug I could get my hands on since the age of 12. I was stealing, lying, ruining relationships within my family and anyone else who cared about me. I eventually got into legal trouble and became a convicted felon and another statistic in the revolving door of the criminal justice system. I had no sense of reality, no sense of being, and no meaning or purpose in my life. I felt it was my destiny to be miserable up until the day I died, and, even at times, wishing and hoping for death to come. I was depressed, lonely, and had no hope of escaping this single cell prison I had been in since as far back as I can remember.
The Haven changed all that for me. The help and guidance I received from the therapists down to the night staff, was remarkable. I was able to learn so much about myself such as my thinking errors, negative self-talk, and self-defeating behaviors, all of which kept me in that dark place of hopelessness. They showed me a new way to live and provided me with the necessary tools to navigate through life in a healthy and positive way. The community and support that the Haven provided has been imperative in the continual maintenance of my recovery. My life now is something I would never have imagined five years ago. I am now a full-time student at the University of Utah, graduating this summer with my degree in Social Work and as an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor. The Haven will always have a special place in my heart, and I would not be where I am today without the Haven, their staff, and the magic that happens when you walk through those doors.
- Chris B.