One North Dakota woman went from self-destruction to reconstruction in our latest Road to Recovery story.
“I was feeling all this rejection, and shame and abandonment and not good enough,” said Hannah Van Steenvoort.
Van Steenvoort grew up in Devils Lake. She was forced to grow up fast and take care of her sisters at a young age. That’s when her drinking began. She was 11 years old when addiction kicked in.
“It was very trying times growing up and I used that as fuel for my addiction,” said Van Steenvoort.
And from there on, her path led to bitterness and eventually drugs.
“The same week actually I graduated high school was when I tried meth for the first time.
And my whole priorities switched. Just downhill very fast. It was very deep, dark addiction,” said Van Steenvoort.
After many run-ins with the law, at age 19, she was court-ordered to attend the North Dakota Adult and Teen Challenge program. It’s a year-long, faith-based program that helps people in search of serious recovery from substance abuse. It was there where Van Steenvoort was able to get to the root of her addiction.
“Anger, codependency, rejection, grief and loss, failure, there’s just so many different topics. We just kind of dug into those root issues,” said Van Steenvoort.
And those issues aren’t an easy thing to face.
“It really isn’t called Teen Challenge for nothing. Like it is a very challenging program. I mean, who wants to look inside themselves, you know, it’s a very, very messy thing and that’s oftentimes why people are still in addiction because they don’t want to face the choices, the decisions they’ve made, the things that have happened to them,” said Van Steenvoort.
Her advice to anyone struggling? Find a group of people who are sober, who have real joy, because you are who you hang with.
She says she’s been sober since 2017, and now she’s on staff at North Dakota Adult and Teen Challenge. She says her biggest victory is helping others who are currently walking along their own road to recovery.