Kurt Snyder is a living example of a person’s ability to change. From seventh grade throughout high school Kurt found himself falling further and further into addictions.
“It wasn’t just alcohol. It was pretty much anything and everything, and it destroyed my life,” he says. “When I was younger, I felt like I had potential. For example, I was a good wrestler, but drugs and alcohol took me down a path that left the things I loved behind, including my family and the love of my sport.”
After high school, Kurt tried attending college before dropping out. Kurt found himself wandering from place to place until he ended up in jail in North Carolina, which was the first step to his recovery.
“My mom bailed me out, and then she was like, get some help, so I went to my sister’s in Texas. Her husband was in recovery, and he helped me get in the door of recovery… When I entered treatment, it was a life-or-death decision because if I was going to keep going, I knew I was going to die by the circumstances of my lifestyle,” he says.
Kurt would spend 128 days at an in-patient facility in San Antonio where he re-learned how to live his own life one day at a time.
“The trick of it is, if I live today the best that I can and I honor my values, you can put days like that together, and pretty soon you’ve created a better history for yourself… and your future looks different, too,” explains Kurt.
After leaving San Antonio’s treatment facility, Kurt decided to go back to school and earn his degree as a counselor. He came to Bismarck, where he wrestled for the University of Mary, taking third place in Nationals despite his age and health disadvantages.
Kurt also passed all his classes with exceptional grades, and upon graduation, began working in Bismarck.
In 2002, he began working at Heartview which at the time had only eight staff members and out-patient services. In 2005, the executive director position opened up, and Kurt applied and was accepted.
Since his time there, Heartview has grown to 121 employees with four locations in Bismarck, one in Cando, and one opening this summer in Dickinson.
“The mission of the facility just fits my life,” Kurt says. “We’re there for the people who are suffering… It’s not really work when you love it and it’s what you’re meant to do.”
Kurt will celebrate his 30th year of sobriety on June 10th and is incredibly thankful for what his life has become. “I remember in Texas just praying and hoping for a second chance at life,” Kurt says. “And I was given so much more.”
Learn more at heartview.org.