My Journey to Obtain Mental Well-being and Independence

By: Reece Gatliff

My journey to obtain mental well-being and independence has been a long one, full of twists-and-turns, numerous setbacks and triumphs, and mighty struggles. This journey would, over time, take me to Alliance House, to a better life.

A year ago I was a wreck. Staying at an extended-stay hotel, away from home, I chose to go into residential treatment in Salt Lake City (SLC); the treatment program I chose was slated to last a year or more. I had a choice to only stay a month in a hospital in Ohio, but I chose the harder option because I knew that what is hard is oftentimes the good in life.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was the reason for going into treatment, extreme and very baffling OCD. Many a time while staying in residential treatment OCD thoughts cropped up and made it difficult to persevere. Trying, trying, always trying I failed again and again but kept on trying to beat the OCD; my initial attempts to beat it failed.

In October, having been in residential treatment since May 20th 2016, I briefly went to wilderness therapy in southern Utah. Sometimes, I wonder if it was for the best but the whole truth is wilderness gave me some of my worst life experiences and also some of my most wonderful ones. I furthermore figured out just how to win against it after a good long fight, leaving wilderness therapy in mid-November.

After a few hiccups and, after going out one of one residential treatment center to another, I was finally able to triumph over OCD. I applied to college and moved out of treatment into an apartment. This is the part of my story where Alliance House came into play. After a long while, I started attending Alliance House regularly, getting to know some great members and staff. I recently acquired a Transitional Employment (TE) opportunity at Wasatch Brewery.

Alliance House gives my life purpose. I love volunteering my time, always feeling both welcomed and useful. A year ago, I couldn’t imagine I’d be living independently in SLC. Nor could I imagine making something of myself as a writer, son, brother, and friend. I am hopeful for the future.


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