Leaving the Fish Tank for Bigger Waters

Wayne image

Please say “hello” to Wayne. Wayne has been a resident in our Bent Crandall Program for the past year, a Residential Program at Sound Community Services. Tomorrow, Wayne graduates and leaves the fish tank for bigger waters.

Wayne has battled substance abuse as well as two mental health diagnoses; he is clinically depressed and has a suicidal identification. In 2005, Wayne had a major suicide attempt due to his substance use and not taking care of his mental health. His journey is long, it’s been rough, but thankfully he is here to share his story, and receiving the help he needs to continue living his best life.

Wayne states, “I’ve been able to gratefully come into Bent Crandall. It has given me support and helped me stay connected with mental health services and be active in NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcohol Anonymous) and gave me some structure.”

Our Bent Crandall Program has a large fish tank that was given to the program by a previous resident a couple decades ago. Over the years, different residents have cared for this fish tank, but then there are times when the fish tank doesn’t get the attention needed. It takes the right person to take care of it and Wayne had taken on that task. Wayne states, “I found working with the fish tank gave me a sense of responsibility to help me be coupable for something. If I didn’t feed the fish, they didn’t get fed. And I want to be able to say that today I am responsible for even something as small as a fish tank. It helped me get a part time job, maintain it, and gave the encouragement I needed to say that I can do something successfully.” He also enjoys doing it because other people get to look at it as well.

Once Wayne graduates on Friday, he’ll continue his mental health services at Sound Community Services including one on one therapy and medication management, which he strongly believes in both services. He needs to be able to talk about his struggles and take his medicine in conjunction, which is helpful in keeping him stable and on the right track.

He states, “the staff at Bent Crandall have really helped me.  At times I would fight and argue, I’ve had bad days, but they help me maintain. I can be angry, it’s not the end of the world. The next day, I come and talk like an adult. It’s really helped me to feel like I’m not just a product of the things I’ve done. Being treated like an adult has really helped me feel like I am adult. Being able to communicate as an adult, to be able to talk reasonably, is a new concept for me.”

“It’s important for me and my growth to find something that I enjoy doing that gives me a sense of accomplishment and responsibility and I don’t think I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if I had continued what I was doing” states Wayne.

Key to Wayne’s success is continue working on his recovery and keeping a structure and we have the faith that he’ll succeed. Congratulations Wayne, the fish and all of us are cheering you on!