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Drive to recover

Monday, August 05, 2019

Adam Larson can still remember the day he picked up a paint brush for the first time.

He had recently arrived at Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City Campus, and Art Therapist Jerilyn Klingenberg had invited him into her classroom. She guided him to an easel with a blank canvas and encouraged him to paint what inspired him.

Larson copied a pastoral scene from a National Geographic magazine, and he was proud of his work. For the first time in a long time, Larson said he felt good about himself.

“I took off running like Forrest Gump across the country,” said Larson, who has since moved to a group home in Springfield, Ore. “Jerilyn treated me, not as a patient, but as a human being with feelings. She was what kept me real.”

For Klingenberg, working with Larson was a joy. Not only was he open and willing to learn, he had an impressionistic style that immediately captivated her.

“He was so positive, and he had such a drive to heal and recover,” she said. “It didn’t take long to help show him the beauty he had inside of himself. By the time he left, you could feel his strength.”

Larson was a patient at Oregon State Hospital (OSH) for a year and a half, spending most of that time on the Junction City Campus. Since his discharge in 2017, he’s focused on staying sober, being a good role model for his two sons, and pursing his long-term goal of becoming a peer recovery specialist.

None of this would have been possible if he hadn’t received treatment for his mental illness and substance abuse at OSH, he said.

“When I was at the hospital, I was reborn,” he said. “I was given a second chance. Now, I believe in myself, and I know ways to cope with addiction.”

To learn more about Adam Larson and his recovery journey, see the complete article in the Recovery Times staff newsletter.


Adam Larson found support and comfort at Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City campus.

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