By BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner staff
Holli Van Tassell, 34, entered The Ruth House program last April, hoping to overcome her alcohol and methamphetamine addictions.
Standard-Examiner photographer Benjamin Zack documented Holli's stay in The Ruth House over the course of several months. The following are just some of the many images he captured, accompanied by audio clips from Holli as she describes her story.
Click play the grey text Holli describe her struggles with remaining clean and how to she moved to Utah from Las Vegas, Nevada, after multiple relapses.
"I was trying to find a job, and then the stress of not being able to find a job and living in Las Vegas... I got discouraged. And then I started using again. (...) It was my birthday and I had nowhere to go. I was on the streets in Vegas so this person was like ‘Fly up to Utah and start over.’ OK, So I tried that again. Yet another... just kept running and running."
Holly's journey toward sobriety had its pitfalls. Here, she describes how she was given one more chance at The Ruth House after a relapse:
"I had a relapse once drinking while I was in the Ruth House. I had started a relationship again with a former partner that has a severe drinking problem. I started making excuses about where I was at, getting mad at my coordinator about having me always to check in, back and forth with her, angry."
Holly says she grew up in a "chaotic" situation with parents who were alcoholics, which led her to develop co-dependent relationships.
“There’s a quote I read, and it’s absolutely fitting for my situation. ‘It’s easier to make your life hard than it is to make your life easy.’ I felt like I’d made bad choices ‘cause I was like, ‘This is too hard, I can’t do this.’ So I would just say screw it and give up, and just walk away from it. Then I’d get sick of it being hard and just being crap, I’d start trying again.”