12 Jan Meet Wesley Hooks, Outreach and Admissions Coordinator
When did you know that working in addiction recovery was for you?
It probably won’t come as a shock to most, but I am a person in long term recovery. I was about 6 months into residential treatment when I first realized I had a passion for this work. The program I attended allowed older residents to help facilitate groups as they progressed through the long-term continuum of care, so it was pretty easy to determine whether or not this work was going to suit me.
At 18 months sober I was given the opportunity to work in admissions and outreach for the program that saved my life. I finally had a sense of direction and felt like I was doing what I was put on this earth to do. It was that opportunity that created the foundation for where I’m at today.
What advice do you have for someone who is unsure about entering residential treatment?
Surrender. Give yourself a chance to become the person you always intended to be before addiction took over. Not everyone gets the opportunity to press pause and turn their life around, but you do. Go to treatment, learn about yourself and gain a sense of direction on where you want your life to lead. It works.
What would surprise most people about residential treatment?
Hahaha well, I suppose that depends on where you choose to go to treatment. My experience taught me that the program was there to work with me, not against me. I just had to stop working against the program! In the beginning, you might think that everyone is out to get you and tell you how to live your life, but it’s quite the contrary. The vast majority of people in this industry are there because they care, many have been where you are, and their passion for the work can show you a healthier way to live your life.
What are you most proud of about your work?
I have an enormous amount of pride for the work I do in admissions and outreach. I put my family through hell in my addiction and I can only hope that whoever they called when looking to get me help was courteous, respectful and informed. Those feelings are at the core of each call I take and I do everything in my power to be as comforting and informative as possible for the person on the other end of the line. A program is only as good as its staff and that starts when I answer the phone. If I don’t have passion and pride for what I’m doing then I’m in the wrong line of work.
What does daily wellness look like for you?
Daily wellness is a vital part of my success in life and recovery. It’s so important to be as healthy as the message I’m conveying to others. Having a diligent routine is key. For me, my mornings start with meditation and an hour-long workout. That allows me to begin each day with a clear mind. I combine that with consistent communication with my family, friends, and support group – the people who hold me accountable for being the best version of myself. Last but not least, goals. Without goals, I become stagnant and we all know where that leads. I am always setting goals and pushing to be my best possible self.
Favorite spot in Steamboat?
I’m actually born and raised in Grand County which is directly adjacent to Routt County, so I’m no stranger to Steamboat Springs. My favorite spots have certainly changed with time (and sobriety,) but there’s currently two places that stand out. My first stop after a long drive from Denver is usually Azteca Taqueria for a fish burrito. Next stop is Brainwash – IV Therapies to catch up with Dawn and stay current on my B12 injections.
I’m also looking forward to visiting Fish Creek Falls this year to try my hand at ice climbing followed by a soak in Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
Last book you couldn’t put down?
This could easily be tied to the daily wellness question. I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more because it’s so easy to get caught up with the bustle of the day and not make time for it. The last book I read was “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand and I couldn’t put it down.
What makes you happiest?
Living and working in Colorado! I enjoy all that Colorado has to offer and I’m especially fond of the recovery community we have here. We all look out for each other and the vast majority of us work in this field with the purist of intentions. It’s unfortunate, but I can’t say the same about many of the other states I’ve visited while doing outreach. On my free time, you’ll find me climbing mountains or hiking with my girlfriend and my dog, Kevin.