News & Events

Life at The Ruth House: Stephanie Bryant

October 15, 2017

By BENJAMIN ZACK/Standard-Examiner staff

Stephanie Bryant graduated The Ruth House in August after she spent several years self-medicated with drugs for mental health issues. 

Standard-Examiner photographer Benjamin Zack documented Stephanie'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 Stephanie discussing her life. 

Click the grey text to listen to Tiffany describe how she became addict to the "wonder drug:" methamphetamine. 

“My brothers used drugs, so in my house there were drugs. So I watched them and they would clean, and they had energy. I’d been depressed and stuff, so I wanted to clean and I wanted to be up and doing things like that. And so I tried it, tried methamphetamines. And at first it was like the wonder drug. You know, I was cleaning. I was happy. And that’s where it started. I didn’t know I was bi polar then.”

Stephanie Bryant vacuums after closing at Hub City Coffee on May 7, 2017. The coffee shop is owned by the same organizations that run the Ruth House and Bryant occasionally volunteers there. Bryant, who has several physical and mental ailments, came to the Ruth House after more than decade of self-medicating with methamphetamine.
Roommates Stephanie Bryant, right, and Tiffany Bills embrace while taking a smoke break on the front porch of the Ruth House on April 19, 2017. Bryant and Bills moved into the Ruth House around the same time after they both got out of jail where they were serving drug-related sentences.
Stephanie Bryant sits with her roommates during a Sunday morning service at The Genesis Project church on Aug. 27, 2017. Bryant says she has agoraphobia and would often hide away and turn to meth when she was having problems. "I've grown strong," said Bryant. "I know how to reach out now."
Stephanie Bryant embraces recovery pastor Jay Salas during her Ruth House graduation ceremony at The Genesis Project on Aug. 27, 2017. Since being at the Ruth House, Bryant says she has found the means to maintain her medication and therapy in order to stay healthy.

Stephanie's son is also an addict who is in prison. Listen as she talks about her relationship with him.

“He’s proud of me. In prison, you can get drugs too. He said, ‘Mom, I’m sober too and I’ve had plenty of opportunities.’ And I’m like, I’m so proud of you. My mom goes to visit him, but I can’t visit him because I’m a felon. I might not get to see him.”

On her last day at the Ruth House, Stephanie Bryant holds onto her necklace while looking out the front door and waiting for her ride. Bryant's necklace, which she fidgets with when nervous, features a small butterfly-shaped case containing her brother's ashes. Bryant was able to get off of meth once before, but began using again when her brother, Gary, died in her arms.
Before leaving the Ruth House, Stephanie Bryant hung a drawing of Jesus on the living room wall. Bryant said she received the drawing around five years earlier and kept it close through multiple moves, but she felt inspired to leave it at the Ruth House.

Stephanie says she didn't have to go to the Ruth House, but felt it was necessary to stay on track with her sobriety. Listen to the lessons she learned during her stay at the house:

“I really felt that maybe this could change my life. I knew that if I made it past the first three weeks of being out of jail, that there was a chance for me.”

Stephanie Bryant leaves the Ruth House with a suitcase full of personal belongings as she moves out on Sept. 1, 2017. After graduating from the Ruth House, Bryant moved in with family in Draper. "I'm not going to put myself on a pedestal and be like 'I'm totally fixed,'" said Bryant, "but I know that I got the tools I need from the Ruth House."

 
 
Listen to more stories from the women of The Ruth House