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3 Years Sober and Loving Life

What brought you to ATC?
Substance abuse, anxiety, depression & emotional dysregulation. I didn’t have a vision of what life as an independent adult was like. I had no direction for life after high school.

Had you been to any programs prior to ATC?
I had been to a wilderness therapy program called Eagle Quest in Northern Utah when I was 17.

How did you feel about enrolling prior to arrival? What emotions were you experiencing?
I was feeling pretty anxious and wasn’t sure how my stay would go and how life would look like afterwards. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take the steps to become independent.

How did you feel while acclimating during your initial time at ATC?
Acclimating to St. George and ATC was very difficult at first and I was just going through the motions. But after some success and insight of who I was and what I could become during my first few weeks of ATC, I fell in love with progressing as a person and continuing to better myself while learning values and skills.

What did your goals look like when enrolling at ATC? Did you know at the time? If not, how did you start to figure that out while at ATC?
When enrolling, I really had no set goals for myself but just the thought that I needed to go to college and to develop the skills of an independent adult. I started to have a more clear vision and develop a set of goals during my time at ATC through my experiences, therapy sessions, and one on one’s w/ staff. All of this created insight of myself that I completely lacked upon arriving to ATC that helped me identify the best path for me.

What life skills did you learn at ATC that you have found to be the most important? Why? (maybe top 5?)
balancing my emotions, keeping a balanced schedule, working w/ others & authority, and stepping out of my comfort zone & trying new things. For me, I feel the biggest reason I’m 3 years completely sober, no longer depressed, and balanced is because I allowed myself to step out out of my comfort zone and try new things and meet new people while not using drugs & alcohol as a crutch. I had so many experiences in ATC that made me step out of my comfort zone and without these experiences I would never have even known the power of doing so.

Where did you work while at ATC? What was this experience like? How did you get connected with your job opportunities? Did a mentorship evolve in the workplace? If so, how has that impacted you, your story, your experience and where you are now?
I worked at both Polo Ralph Lauren and Panda Express while also attending Dixie State full time. This was a great experience for me as I learned to balance such a busy schedule while also seeing what hard work was and what it took.

How did you prepare to transition out of ATC towards the end of your stay? What emotions were you experiencing?
When it was time for me to leave ATC I felt absolutely confident in my ability to function and live on my own since I had been providing for myself while at ATC consistently for some time. Overall, I was feeling a great sense of accomplishment and because of the real life experience of paying for rent, groceries and all other necessities while at ATC I felt no anxiety regarding my transition out. Before ATC, i would become greatly anxious just thinking about living on my own one day and all of the responsibilities that i felt would come w/ that.

Where are you now? What are you doing? What goals are you working towards? Did any of these evolve while at ATC?
I still live in St. George and I am now working at ATC as a staff colleague. Down the road I would like to get into management consulting but find great fulfillment in teaching the skills and values to current ATC clients that i learned and gained when i was a student.

Is there anything else positive you would like to say about ATC, your experience or staff that were meaningful to your personal experience?
I will forever be grateful for the experiences I went through while at ATC and all of the staff that helped mold me into the man that I am today. I learned many great values during my time here that make me who I am today. I truly feel because how greatly and genuinely staff and my peers believed in me I was able to begin to believe in myself and what I can accomplish.

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