Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Odyssey House has been a great help in my life!"

This week's story is from a graduate of the Adult Program that has gone on to live a successful, productive life. He continues to "give back" by helping our organization secure grants. We are proud of him and acknowledge him for all of his hard work! Here is the story in his words....*

Odyssey House has been a great help in my life. In August of 2003 I was in jail for the first time in my life, for drug abuse. I was only there for a day, but it started to get my wheels turning about what I was going to do with my life, for the first time in years. In September of 2003 I checked myself into Odyssey House of Utah to try and get my life back on track. Odyssey is a drug rehab, serving 3 distinct centers, the Women & Children’s, Adult, and Adolescent center. All I wanted to do was quit using drugs, but in their program, I was given more than I could have ever hoped for. I was given all the tools I needed to stay clean, but above and beyond that, I learned to live a functional, positive life, hold a job, gain a sense of self-esteem and the ability to rebuild that which I thought was destroyed – my relationship with my family. Without writing 150 pages, I can’t tell you everything that Odyssey House gave me, but I can say that now 5 years has passed, and I am graduating from the University of Phoenix this year with my BS in Human Service, I have bought my first home, and I am getting married in September. This is my life now. I can assure you it would not have been my life without them.

Odyssey teaches many of the same rules for life, that my employer tries to instill in it’s members. We all have the ability to be good people. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly. We all have the ability to be honest, productive members of society. An open, honest, environment will help people get well, and truly bring out the best in people.

Tomorrow, I will have been working at my job for 4 years. This is the longest I had ever held a job before. I love my work, and know I will be working here for a long time. Without Odyssey House, I know that I would not only have never gotten a job where I have one today. I know that I would not have been able to keep it even if I had, but more importantly, I wouldn’t have been alive to ever apply. I know that the way life was going, I was lucky enough to live long enough to get into treatment.

-JE, Salt Lake City, UT

*Some elements of story were changed to promote client confidentiality

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"From the hospital to healing..." The scary reality of overdose

This weeks story is a story very common among adolescents who elect to abuse heroin once painkillers become unattainable....

I woke up in the hospital and was told that I had overdosed on heroin; my friends had left me in the bathroom of a shopping mall where I easily could have died if I had not been found. My home life was good and my parents were supportive but I chose to look to my friends for advice and thought thatmy friends were all I had and they let me down. I started using drugs at age 12 and by age 15 I would go to any extreme to get my drugs even if it meant stealing. After the overdose I was referred to Odyssey House for treatment and am very close to graduation. I had not been to school since the ninth grade, but now I have a 3.8 grade point average, will graduate from Odyssey Academy with a high school diploma and start college in the fall. No other treatment program seemed to work for me. Odyssey House has given me a new hope for the future. I have changed my life.

CF, Holladay, Utah

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Story... Stay Tuned!

Hi all,

This weeks story will be shared with you tomorrow, on Tuesday! If you would like to hear of a story from any individual in the future based on their age or sex, please let me know. We feel that it is important to hear stories from users from various backgrounds and ages.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Since I came to Odyssey" - A Profile of Change

Hi all,

Another Monday and, as promised, another Profile of Change. This week's contributor is someone who has nearly completed all of the residential levels of our program and is right on the brink of moving into transitional living. She has made great strides and is very proud of her success. Here is her story...

"Since I came to Odyssey"
CW, 17, Salt Lake City, Utah

Since I have came to Odyssey House I have opened up and talked about things that I swore to myself I never would. I have learned that helping people means holding them accountable and standing my ground even if they do get mad at me. I have also learned that it is ok for me to say no and stand up for myself, that I am worth it.

When I look back to before I came to Odyssey House I couldn’t even look myself in the eyes. I always tried to cover up what was really going on with me and who I really was. Now when I look in the mirror I say positive things about myself and more often then not I believe them.

I have learned so much about myself and why I do the things that I do. I have always tried to hide the abuse that happened in my past. I told myself that it wasn’t a problem and if I gave myself time then I would get over it. When I was using I wouldn’t let myself feel all the pain that I kept inside. If I started to feel it I would use more and more, because I felt like it would take all my pain away. Now I know that in order for me to move on and let go of the past, I have to let myself feel the pain and work through it. I also know that it will never hurt as much as it did when it was happening.

I have also learned how to be assertive and stand up for myself. Before I came here I never felt like I was good enough or worth enough to stand up to others. Now I know that I am worth it and I care about myself to much to let others hurt me.

I have also learned how to reality test things and how to hold others accountable for what they have done, instead of trying to take responsibility for them. I have also learned that I can not change my family. I have to do what I need to for me, so that I can have a healthy life.

I am beginning to build a healthy relationship with my dad, and I am learning how to set appropriate boundaries with my mom. I have graduated high school and right now I am attending a local college in Utah. Which are two things that I never thought possible before now.

I am proud of the changes that I am making and the changes that I have made in my life and I am finally doing it for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Story of My New Life" - A Profile of Change...

Odyssey House Profile of Change - RC, 16 years old

As promised, each Monday we will provide to you a real story* as told by either a program graduate or current client. This week's resident is a 16 year old male that has now achieved honor roll status with his grades for three consecutive semesters and has just advanced to a new level. He provided the following story that depicts his change and growth....

*Some elements of the story may have been changed in order to ensure client confidentiality.

"Story of My New Life"

I stood in the doorway at Odyssey. I stood there thinking for a minute. Then I walked on through the Odyssey doorway ready to change my life around.The first day it was scary for me because I did not know what to do. At first I was not willing to do the work. I was not following the rules, and being disrespectful to staff. Then after the first month, I was doing better.

I remember walkting through those doors and thinking about running, but now I don't think about running anymore. Now I am a sophomore (4th level out of 6 in the program), and I am doing better with the things like negative peer groups, respect, lying and lots more. I want to be there for my son when he talks and walks. I also want to stay sober and be with my family and have a great life with them.

As I start my new life I walk and think every day of my life, and say to myself what is it going to take for me to start doing things right? I think what kind of life do I want for myself and for my son and family? As I sit and think I finally know what I want in life. I want to be somebody that is always happy for what I do best at. I want to be able to help people out when they need it. I want to be there for my brother and be a positive role model for all of them, so that they don't end up in prison or dead. Now I know that there are a lot of different things to do in life and in Utah instead of using or being around bad influences. We all can do something different like go fishing, camping, or being with your family.

Now I can look at myself and be happy for who I am and for what I do. Now I can tell my family how good and great I am doing here, and tell people that I am doing a ngreat job in school. As I am looking at how great I am doing in school, reading, math, and in this program, I know I am going to do great in the real world. If I work my butt off this year I can be done with school in the 11th grade. I can tell people that I finished with school in the 11th grade. Before I got here I wasn't doing well in school. Now I know how to read, and write.

When I walked in the doorway I did not know who I was. Now, look at myself, it's like I am a new man and a whole new person. When I finish Odyssey House I will leave here with a lot more tools, and skills. I can be a lot happier and a lot more respectful, and be happy for all the changes I have made since walking through those doors on that cold winter day in Utah. Now I know what I want to do with my life and how to use the tools that I learned from Odyssey House. I walked through the doorway with my old bad life. I am walking out of here with a new lifestyle.


-RC, 16 years old, 3-time honor roll since admission
Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hello Monday!

Mondays always mark the beginning of another week of changing lives... I'm going to try and share a success story with you each Monday starting Monday, March 9th. It is important for the clients of Odyssey House Utah to express themselves and their motivation for remaining clean and sober. Thanks for lending a listening ear... or a reading eye!

For more information, visit our homepage or feel free to Digg our Odyssey House Utah Squidoo Lens!