On July 27, 2009, I checked myself into a little treatment center in Orem, Utah, hoping to find some answers to my substance abuse problem that had been plaguing me for a little under a decade. My life had spun completely out of control as I watched everything of value in my life walk away from me, or just completely disappear as I struggled to keep my head above water. All the while, I told everyone in my circle that I was fine, and my situation wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
Unfortunately for me, I was right, things weren’t as bad as they seemed. They were much, much worse. In August of 2008, the company where I’d worked for nearly a decade let me go. They had written me up multiple times for doing sub-par work and not showing up. It was the first of many important things in my life that I would lose.
My wife of nine years left me in November of 2008 and took our two little daughters with her, four-year-old Brightyn and two-year-old Brynlee. I was in such a mixed-up place when they left me that I actually thought it was a good thing. I was tired of pretending that I wasn’t loaded or drunk when I was. I was also tired of hiding that I was selling drugs to afford my addiction.
My life continued on like that for the next six months or so, until I had a run-in with the law. Everything in my life came to an abrupt halt in the middle of July of 2009. I had left my two little daughters alone one night to get drugs, and I was arrested. I had to tell the cops and my wife, who was no longer living with me, that my girls were home alone in bed as I was headed to jail.
I spent nearly a week in jail and when I was finally let out, I continued to struggle. I decided it was time to do something about my problems. My family had been begging me to go to treatment for a long time, and I finally felt like it was my time. I was exhausted, humiliated, and beaten down by life. I was ready for a change.
I committed to a six-month treatment program. (Ninety days of in-patient and 90 days of out-patient). It was exactly what I needed to re-establish my power to choose and turn myself around.
I had dozens of life-altering experiences while in treatment. I learned that I was not a bad or broken individual. I was just a normal guy who had made a series of bad choices. Those choices put me into situations that I could not get myself out of alone. I learned that there were many people out there who were struggling with substance abuse issues, just like me. Many of these individuals had beaten their addictions and were living great lives. I learned that I didn’t have to fight my demons alone. There was help available and people willing to walk the path of recovery with me.
I was sober and working hard at staying sober. Around Christmas of 2009, my wife, seeing the quality of my sobriety, came back. After 13 months of living apart from each other, my little family was back together. My wife and two daughters moved back in with me into my parent’s basement, while we waited for the right time to move back to our home.
After completing my six-month treatment program, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do for work. The treatment center that I had attended asked me if I was interested in working in the recovery field. It sounded like something I would love to do. They hired me in early 2010.
I have spent over a decade now working in the treatment field. During that time, I’ve helped open treatment centers in Midway and South Jordan. In February of 2020, I joined the Wasatch Crest treatment family, returning to the beautiful Wasatch Valley where the roots of my treatment journey began. I love working in treatment. I love watching individuals whose lives have come off of the track a bit, struggle, and fight to get back on track. I could not imagine myself doing anything else.
In my career, I’ve been lucky to mentor individuals who have become invaluable assets to the recovery community. Many clients and team members that I’ve worked with now hold leadership positions in the substance abuse treatment field. I’m proud of my recovery tree, which includes the owner of one of the state’s largest treatment centers, marketing, and business development professionals, recreational therapy coordinators, program directors, and front-line staff.
In my personal life, my family tree has grown as well. My little family welcomed a son named Brock, who was born after I became sober and has never had to see his dad impaired. When I’m not working, I spend the majority of my time with my family or playing pickleball. We spend countless hours at the ballparks, watching my oldest daughter and son play softball and baseball. Brock also plays football and basketball, and my middle daughter is a dancer. There is never a dull night at our home, and that’s just how we like it.
My addiction didn’t happen to me overnight and neither did recovery come to me overnight. I worked very hard for a very long time to have the quality of recovery that I have today. My favorite quote out of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book says, “Adversity truly introduces us to ourselves.” I get the opportunity on a daily basis to see how I react to challenges and notice where I can improve. I am eternally grateful to be alive today and to have the opportunity to continually improve.
About the Author
Marc Turner is Wasatch Crest’s Program Director. Marc has worked in the substance abuse treatment space for over ten years. Drawing on his experience overcoming his own struggle with substance abuse, Marc thrives working in the trenches with clients as he helps them fight for freedom from addiction.
He is rewarded when he witnesses clients discover their true selves. Marc’s grateful to work in the foothills of the breathtaking Wasatch Range with a team that truly cares about every client.
Marc has an amazing wife and three awesome kids. In his free time, he cheers on his kids at sports games and dance recitals. He’s also an avid pickleball player.