Existence in Addiction, A New Life in Recovery
A former resident in the NLM Men's recovery program shares his story:
I finally hit a bottom I could not get up on my own...All the staff in the Mission truly care about the people. I am amazed at the compassion they have for the homeless and all they do to offer help to those willing to receive it.
It's been awhile since I really took time to go back to when my addiction began. As a young boy at the age of 12 I felt different. I felt I did not belong. School was hard when you were an outcast to the usual groups, the intellects, the jocks, and the preps, but there was one other group. I remember how easy it was to join in with these people, all I had to do was put on a false front and participate in their before, during, and after school, activities. And this is when I was first introduced to a friend that I would know for the rest of my life, a friend I would love and later come to hate. My friends name was addiction.
In the early stages of my using it was cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Being a true addict, from the start I used all of these substances in constant excess. As years went by my drug and alcohol use got worse. I was always looking for a bigger and better rush. I started trying other drugs and they gave me what I needed, another route to escape from reality.
By this time, even though I believed I was ok, my life was headed for a long and steady downward spiral. My life at home was always in turmoil, school was a joke and the R.C.M.P. knew me on a first name basis. I was now 16. Now this is when it got really bad, this is when I first tried the drug that would end up nearly ending my life, I was introduced to crack cocaine. At 17 I dropped out of grade 12, left home, and moved out on my own. Still unable to see that all this was a result of my addiction to drugs, I blamed it on other people and the fact that nobody understood me.
Over the next five years things continually got worse. I made many geographical changes and got and lost numerous jobs. At 22, I settled down in my hometown. This is where my bad life turned into a living nightmare. I ended up involved and living with a single mom and her daughter. During the next five years we would have a second daughter and we all would live in hell because of my addiction.
From 22 to 25 my cocaine addiction got so bad I robbed from family, my spouse and kids, strangers and anyone else I could find. I even wound up in jail. I was destroying myself and everyone around me, and that's when it happened!
I finally hit a bottom I could not get up from on my own. This is when I found out there was another group I fit into, a group with the same people like I'd met in high school, people like me who had found a new way of live in recovery. They got help from 12 step groups such as A.A. and N.A. Over the next three years I managed to get clean numerous times for a few months back to back, but would always end up relapsing. My last relapse was bad, lasting 9 months and bringing me to a place of either going back to life in recovery or remain in the existence of addiction. So I took the necessary steps.
First a detox facility and then a 28 day treatment centre. When I got into the treatment centre I had 28 days to examine myself, and also my previous attempts at recovery.
I want people to know that the program of recovery does work, if you are honest, open minded, and willing to do all of what is suggested. While looking back at my previous attempts at recovery I was able to see many things I'd done wrong. One that stood out the most was heading out to live on my own after completing treatment. So with this in mind I started to look around Kamloops for Safe Housing. Unsure of what I needed I prayed for God to help me in making my decision. The next day I got a hold of a counselor at the New Life Mission, and by the end of our conversation I knew that this was the place I needed to be.
The New Life Mission allows and helps people in recovery to grow. They give you an environment needed to work on a program of recovery, to work on learning who we are and what we want to become. They also help in another way, they help you to find a relationship with God.
All the staff involved in the Mission truly care about the people that reside in their transition houses and even those who don't. I am amazed at the compassion they have for the homeless and all they do to offer help to those willing to receive it. I truly believe that if other cities could incorporate a place like the New Life Mission into their society to help addicts and others in need, they all would be truly blessed. I owe the New Life Mission so much that I cannot express it in words alone, the only thing I can do is stay clean, become the best person I can, and then maybe one day I too could help others like me and give to them what has so freely been given to me.
- A Grateful Recovering Addict! (New Life Mission Resident)