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My Story by Mike Coleman

I was introduced to the Alliance House, by the University of Utah Hospital, 5 West Psychiatric Ward. I was admitted on the 27th of September, in 2016.  I admitted myself, due to complications from alcohol dependency and my issues of harming myself.

My issues with alcohol haunted me for quite some time. I started drinking in my twenties.  At that time, it was used to relax me and gave me the courage to be outgoing.  During my childhood, I was usually a shy kid and I had issues with self-confidence and low self-esteem.  I grew up in a military household, so I was expected to excel in school and sports.  I excelled in football and gained a scholarship to play at Dixie College.  That is where my drinking started.  I was young and living on my own for the first time. I continued drinking, socially, but I was able to function and excel at my career as an account receivables/credit analyst.

My drinking got out of control, back in 2010. This was during the great recession and the collapse of the housing market.  I was laid off from my job, as a Credit Analyst, with Staker and Parson Companies.  I was there for 6 years and I loved my job and the people there.  I had trouble finding work that paid me the same as my last job.  To make things worst, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and my father passed away, November of that year.

So, the combination of time on my hands and dealing with tragedy with my family, I went on a downward spiral. I started having panic/anxiety attacks and I used alcohol to control them.  I tried numerous medications, i.e. Xanax, Prozac, etc.  None of them worked, as well as alcohol did.  Sometimes I would combine the drugs with alcohol.  My drinking escalated from drinking beers to drinking 1 or 2 liters of vodka a day.

When I was able to obtain employment, my drinking still continued. Unfortunately, my anxiety/panic attacks did not stop, so I would drink at work.  This caused me to lose jobs and good ones, as well.  I started noticing withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, which I came to learn are called Delirium Tremens.  Symptoms include uncontrollable shakes, nausea, difficulty with walking, confusion and possible seizures.  To control those I would double my intake of alcohol.  I’ve been to several detox facilities and rehabs.

This last episode, I was dealing with the loss of my brother and sister. Both died within a month apart, July and August.  I relapsed after 7 months of sobriety.  I came into the 5 West Psychiatric unit to detox from alcohol and to get help with my anxiety/depression issues.  I was living on the streets for about a month.  During my stay there, I was introduced to the Alliance House.  I watched a video and I was impressed at what I saw.   At the time, I was looking for housing and I was told that they helped out with that.  After my discharge, I moved into a Sober Living facility.

During my stay at the Sober Living facility, I took my first tour of the Alliance House. I was introduced to the 3 units they have, which is the Business Unit, Culinary Unit, and the Career Development Unit.  I enjoy all three of them.  But most of all, I love the culture and environment.  Even the staff is part of the community and there are no labels or stigmas.  Everyone is great and everyone has their own stories and challenges.

 

 

By | 2017-06-05T03:19:30+00:00 February 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Wayne’s Member Story

MY EXPERIENCE AT CLUBHOUSE

I have been coming to clubhouse for about two years now.  My introduction to Alliance House was through a friend who was already a member.

I came at first expecting there to be nothing to do except the old model of an adult drop off center.  Boy was I ever wrong, much to my surprise. I found there was much to do, all of it was meaningful work not the usual adult make work of drop-in centers.

I have found much fulfillment: helping cook the meals; tutor students in math and science; or running and organizing the Clubhouse Closet.  Each of these activities has taught me things about myself and how to get along with others I work with.

At clubhouse there is no distinction as to who has what diagnosis or disability. We all work side by side as equals.  Some are talented in one area, some are talented in another; these are not barriers they are learning experiences.  We take these opportunities to make friends, strengthen our own resolve; this happens between both staff and members.

I have found not only a sense of belonging here at clubhouse; I have also found in a degree a sense of family.  I have gained people in my life I would have never met or been able to include in my circle of friends and family.

by Wayne

By | 2017-06-05T03:19:30+00:00 February 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Kyle’s Story

Kyle Robinson’s Story:

I was crossing Redwood Road and I got hit by an oncoming car going 40 mph. I ran into her windshield head first and flew 70 feet and was unconscious. The woman stood by my side with 3 other witnesses until the cops came. The women’s name was Tracy. And they filled out a police report. The EMT got there and rushed me to IMC Hospital and when I got there I was in a coma. I was hooked up to life support. I broke a lot of bones and was in surgery for 12 hours. I shattered my leg, they had to put in a metal rod and some bolts and screws to fix it. I had a compound break on my arm, the bone was sticking out.

They had to put a metal plate and screws to put back in place. Then when I was out they put me in ICU. My whole family came to see me and every day and night my mom and my grandparents were there. I was in a coma for 2 weeks and they had to put in a trachea so I could breathe through my neck. Then I was transferred to Landmark Hospital where I started to get physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech therapy (ST) every day. PT to get my legs and muscles stronger, OT gets me to re-learn tasks again. Speech therapy is to learn to speak again and work at swallowing. All my therapists were good to me and worked well with me. I also had a respiratory therapist who took care of my trachea and made sure I was breathing right.

He had to suction me to keep from choking on my spit and mucous. That means they had to shove a small tube-like thing down my throat hooked up to a basket to suction so I would not choke. It was not fun.  I wore a neck brace because I broke some bones in my neck. I was there for a few weeks. Then I was moved to a Care Center. They were not nice to me at all. They caused me to have a UTI and caused me to be dehydrated. I was there only for 2 weeks, then back to the ICU for 5 days.

Then I got sent to Hunter Hollow Care Center. They were much better. I stayed there until I was better. I was in their respiratory hall where a met a married couple named Leia and Paul that were respiratory therapists. They were great. I met another patient named Jen, she was great.

Then I started Occupational Therapy.  My therapist’s name was Cynthia, she was good as well. I also met my two speech therapists named Brook & Sarah. They were amazing. They helped me with talking and slowing down. I also had good doctors and nurses and some of their names were Domeras, Yonalen.

Finally I got the trachea out. Then I got sent to a regular hallway where I met the cool nurse Aj. He was a lot of fun. The aids were McKenzie, Samantha, Brandon, Katie.  And I still had therapy in the gym. I met a really cute girl named Shay (we’re just friends) and we started doing therapy together.

The feeding tube in my nose kept coming out and had to keep getting replaced. That was painful and no fun.

So then they said let’s put it in your stomach. And it made

me sick until my body got used to it. They took my trachea out and that was a relief and I started to eat real food again and was on a normal diet. But I still had to thicken my drinks and that was not fun. And a few weeks

later I got the feeding tube out for good. I started going to the bathroom on my own again. I could wheel myself around in a wheelchair and I got to go out once a week with my mom to the movies. It was fun. Then I started walking with a walker. Then I learned to do stairs again.       Then the next week I went to Wendover with my mom. I saw Night Ranger in concert and it was fun. I did not have to thicken my drinks anymore.  Then I got to go to my high school graduation and walk with a walker and got my diploma. It was amazing. And then I could walk without a walker. Just use a walker sometimes.

I got back to normal after 10 months of recovery. Then I left Hunter Hollow and said goodbye to everyone and went to Provo Care Center and was there for 4 months. Now I’m back home with my mom in Taylorsville. And PT still comes to me twice a week. It’s nice to be home. No more hospital or care center. Back to my old life again with my freedom.

 

The end.

 

By | 2017-06-05T03:19:30+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Member Stories|0 Comments