Getting Back on Track

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I had been a musician and photographer and had had a partying lifestyle for years and years. I was severely addicted to meth amphetamines. Then I entered the Progress Valley Men’s Treatment Program.

After I went into treatment, I learned that I had probably been depressed most of my life. I also suffer from anxiety. I know that anxiety and depression are issues that a lot of guys in recovery have in common. Stimulants tend to be a good antidote to anxiety. So when I got depressed and anxious I would gravitate towards stimulants as a drug of choice.

Eventually, my using was out of control and I was near death. I was an intravenous drug user. I had been arrested and was on probation. I knew that if I did a urine analysis I was going to go to jail. And if I got arrested again I was going to be in prison for a very long time. The gig was up. I knew something had to happen or I was going to be that way forever. I knew I needed help.

I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life when I entered Progress Valley. I just knew I needed to follow the rules.

While at Progress Valley, I started riding bicycles again. There were a couple of old junk bikes that had been left at PV and the program manager was okay with some of us working on our bikes in the garage. A lot of the guys had lost their license and couldn’t drive, so having access to a bike helped them look for and get work. So, we started fixing more and more bikes. Around Progress Valley I’m known as ‘the bicycle man.’  

Now I own a bike repair shop! My life has gotten more complicated in the last few years, but in a good way. I’m back to being the father that I need to be. I’m able to sustain positive relationships and I’m able to own and operate a small business with a team of people. I did it! Progress Valley was a magical time for me.

Message to Others:

It took a really long time to screw your life up. It’s going take more than a minute to get back on track. Patience is really the key. Try not to rush into decisions, take the time necessary to really think through things, to do what’s right for you. It may take a bit longer, but the right things will happen for you. I didn’t mean to start a bike shop, but I did! I was diligent about the basic aspects of starting a program of recovery and I was faithful to that. I was a good steward of the opportunities that I had. I know, patience can be complicated, but give it a try, it’s worth it.

— Brent



Start your journey here.

Life can be hard, and the road ahead isn’t always clear. But you don’t have to walk it alone. Find your next step at Progress Valley. Contact one easy number, 952-956-3100, for new clients and existing clients scheduling their next appointment.

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Founded in 1972, Progress Valley is a Minneapolis-St. Paul area-based nonprofit provider of services for people with emotional and mental health challenges and/or substance use issues related to drugs or alcohol. Community members can find therapy and mental health counseling at our Bloomington Mental Health Clinic. Clients from all over Minnesota and the nation can find help with substance use challenges with us as well.


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