Healing through pain As with any healing process, Holmquist-Burks notes, recovery involves some level of pain. It’s why so many turn to drugs or alcohol, conditioning themselves to seek out a quick, short-term solution. During their stay at Micah House, however, they gain a safe space to work through that pain over the course of time - it’s an option many have never experienced, or even considered. “You can either go back to the same thing you always do,” says Holmquist-Burks, “or find where you can be consoled, where you can be loved, taken care of, and walk through the pain with others.” And along with faith, this is the crux of Holmquist-Burks’s recovery, and perhaps the greatest indicator of lasting improvement: community. When he sees newcomers connect with their Micah House peers and develop meaningful relationships to carry within treatment and beyond, he knows the miracle beginning to run its course. “Birds of a feather,” he says. “If you hang out with people getting high, that’s what you’re going to do. If you can switch that up, then you can turn things around.”

The understanding doesn’t have to come right away, Holmquist Burks explains.They just need to be open to suggestion - something Holmquist-Burks had to learn, too, when he entered recovery. “It was hard to listen to others at first because of my own stubbornness,” he says. “So once I dropped that wall and became able to listen is when the healing began.” Working from each individual’s starting point personalizes the experience, highlighting their strengths and revealing specific areas for improvement. Addressing one area at a time through suggestion and feedback, trial and error, Holmquist-Burks looks on as an ever-growing sense of hope takes root, thanks to small triumphs stacking up throughout the healing process at Micah House.

“It’s important to meet the client where they’re at.” - Anthony Holmquist-Burks


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