Vice Chair, STC Alumni Association
Hello, I am Bryan D. I am a person in recovery. I have been clean from drugs since May of 1994.
I set my clean date as the very first day that I entered Stonehenge Therapeutic Community, which was August 23, 1994. I finished my residential treatment in March of 1995. One of my favorite program areas was Art Therapy. This allowed me to express what was going on inside of me, in a creative way. I was always creative when I was young; it enabled me a kind of escape from the outside world that I didn’t function very well in. I am very proud of this piece of art and have treasured it. It represents me and my feelings.
I will explain each of the parts of this piece:
- The red, pointy, sharp, and pronounced piece represents my feelings of anger, hurt, rigidity and frustration.
- The blue ball that is smooth and round represents my feelings of calm, serenity, disassociated state, isolation, and happiness.
- The black, dark, twisted and overflowing piece represents my feelings of confusion, anxiety, depression, and stress. Notice how large it is.
- The yellow all-encompassing part which is a band beneath the other feelings represents my feelings of fear, insecurity, neglect, abandonment, and caution.
- The fleshy orange part on the inside of the band represents my feelings of vulnerability, mistrust, and unacceptance.
- In the center of it all is the pink little box, which is sacred. That is me hidden away from all the rest; protected and feeling safe.
So much has changed today, yet there is still so much growth going on. I just turned 46. I have been clean for 22 years. I am still evolving by doing group therapy, such as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). I am taking a university credit that will be done soon in the field of Social work, working in respects to Mental Health and Addictions. This course is called Walls to Bridges. I am very proud that I have made this step. It is a big deal to me.
I still isolate to feel safe, but I push myself to get out as much as possible. I have a support worker through Canadian Mental Health Association. I am the vice chairperson of the Alumni Association at Stonehenge. I provide peer support to residents at Stonehenge, doing such things as bringing in speakers, and accompanying residents on outings.
I feel that we do recover and continue to be in recovery. There is no cure for addiction. It is lived experience.