From Depression and Substance Use to Recovery – A Personal Story

May 1, 2023, Cañon City, CO – May is Mental Health Month!  This month helps raise awareness that recovery is possible, support is available and it’s important to reach out for help.  This story shows the reality of personal struggle, hard work and the journey to recovery.

Six years ago when she pulled into Westcliffe with all her belongings Candice’s life looked very different than it does today.  Dealing with a long-time substance use problem, depression, and trauma from domestic violence, she was looking for a new start.

After using meth for two years, Candice had stopped but switched her substance abuse to alcohol eventually ending up with a DUI.  It was shortly after her DUI that Candace got pregnant. “Getting pregnant was a huge wake up call for me,” said Candice.  The realization that she was going to be a mother, which was not planned, gave her the motivation and strength to reach out for help.  “My daughter gave my life purpose,” said Candice.  That’s when she called Solvista Health and began her recovery journey.

Over the past five years of hard work, Candice has taken part in group DBT therapy, individual therapy, and primary care services in the Solvista Health medical clinic.

When she was first asked by her therapist to share her story, Candice was surprised and didn’t view her story as a “success.”  After reflecting over the years, the desperate and dark places she had been compared to where her life is today, she realized how far she had come. “Learning to be mentally and physically healthier myself has helped me be a better mom and stabilize our home,” said Candice.

Group therapy has helped her learn to relate in a healthy way with others.  The group members build camaraderie through sharing their life experiences. In turn, Candace finds she takes things from the group setting into her individual therapy sessions to work on those in more depth. “Through therapy I have gained skills and coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of life,” said Candice.

What advice does she have for someone who wants to get help but is hesitant?  ”It’s worth it!”

“It’s hard work but life is hard so choose which “hard” you want,” said Candice.  “Actively seeking help and having a judgement-free person providing perspective when you’re struggling makes you a stronger and healthier person.”

She will be the first to admit she hasn’t “made it” and there are still plenty of struggles and stresses in life.  But she is working on growing her cleaning business, working towards transitioning out of on-going therapy and has a dream to start a parenting podcast. Consistent and steady work, getting back up when the bumps of life cause her to stumble, and setting goals have paved the way for her recovery.

To get started on your recovery journey, call Solvista Health, 719-275-2351,


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