Where the heck is LOA Utah: Part Three!

A memoir about my journey to and through Rehab

Written by: Trey Herlitz-Ferguson, Regional Outreach Coordinator 

Read more about Trey and his work at Legacy here!

Read part two of Trey’s story here! (link to part two) 

As the weeks progressed and I settled into life at Legacy, the combination of being in the wild, consistent therapy, “I feel” statements (I’ll come back to these shortly), healthy eating, accountability, comradery, and a heart that continued to open – I really started to see the value in becoming a better man. 

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy, and it did not happen instantly after that first night. It took weeks of struggling to wrap my head around the amount of days until I would see my girlfriend again, loads of anxiety around my future, uncomfortable therapy sessions, a few group members I butted heads with, and time that allowed me to continue distancing myself from the frame.

Week after week I found myself feeling more and more proud of the man I was becoming. I began to really understand what Joe had told me on that first day. I thought about it often and began to fully realize the power of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Everything about Legacy was safely uncomfortable, and the more I remained open to it, the more I was able to grow. 

Throughout my time there there were pieces of the program I couldn’t fully see the value in until after the fact. For example, we were encouraged to use  “I feel” statements when we felt ourselves getting upset or worked up. What’s an “I feel” statement? Someone at any moment saying loudly “I FEEL” to get the attention of the group and then proceeding to describe what they were feeling and what they hoped could change in the future to help support them in not feeling that way. I partook and used these “I feel” statements, but often joked about how foolish they felt. Like, how is this something I could do in the future when I’m not at a place like Legacy? I’ve learned now that I can and DO use “I feel” statements productively; you don’t always say “I FEEL” outloud to strangers, colleagues, or even family… But you’ll find yourself saying it in your head. It’s a phenomenon also known as being self aware. 

Legacy is designed that way. What I got from Legacy was more than I could comprehend while I was there and even for some time after completing the program. My time spent away from the world – around support, around love, around self reflection – it all allowed me to reconnect with myself, to want more for myself, and to see the value in my potential. 

If you had asked me about my future before attending Legacy it would have never sounded the way that my present looks today. Since leaving Legacy, I have run and restructured a boys group home in Ogden, UT where I was able to positively impact the lives of dozens of boys. I have worked for multiple adolescent programs using my story to help close to 100 young men and women see the value in the process of recovery. Today, I am approaching 6 years in recovery. I live in sunny California where I am running my own aftercare coaching company helping teens and young adults in the Los Angeles area get the support they need to find the potential they all have. I have two employees. I’m financially stable and in a healthy and functional relationship with a supportive and loving woman. I have an incredible, best friend-like relationship with my parents and have reconnected with my siblings. And now… work alongside the team of incredible people at Legacy who saved my life. 

So Where the heck is LOA Utah?

Loa utah is the heart and soul of where my journey to becoming the best version of myself began. It’s the place that a hollow version of myself arrived only to become reborn. It’s the place that saved my life.

Part 1 | Part 2

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