Alumni of the Month June 2011 Chris B

Hi, my name’s Chris and I’m a Door Boy.

First off I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has had anything to do with my journey in recovery since coming to the Last Door as well as anyoneChris B reading this, for taking the time to read about how Last Door has helped turn my life around.

For many years my life was controlled by addiction but I seemed to be the only person who wouldn’t recognise it as a problem, or at least I wasn’t willing to do anything about it. I used to think I was enjoying myself but when I look back at it now, I was always miserable and depressed, I hated myself for how I had treated my family and the people in my life, I couldn’t hold a meaningful conversation with any one, and I was letting my life pass me by and anything I had going for me I passed up for drugs. On the tail end of a relapse after a previous treatment attempt, I showed up at the Last Door completely broken and defeated. I was underweight, scared and desperate and unable to look anyone in the eye. I was on bail looking at spending a large part of my 20’s behind bars and I was willing to do anything to change the way my life was going.

One of the first things that I noticed about the Door was how happy and open everyone was, this was something very foreign to me but I had hope that if I stuck around I would find some of what they had. Within my first few days at Last Door I realized the importance of NA in the lives of the people who lived there. I listened to people talk about going to meetings, getting a sponsor and writing the steps, people encouraged me to do the same and through doing so I learned about applying spiritual principles such as honesty, open mindedness and willingness to my life and I got to feel the dignity and self respect that comes along with doing the next right thing.

Another part of life that I didn’t seem to comprehend until coming to Last Door was taking responsibility for my actions. As I said earlier when I first came to Last Door I was looking at serving a serious chunk of time in prison and I was dealing with the court system throughout my treatment plan,  and in the end I had to serve out a sentence and for once in my life take some responsibility for the choices I had made in the past.

Throughout my stay in prison I would always think of the peace I had found in my life while I stayed at the Last Door. I stayed in contact with several of the people I had met in New Westminster, but when I stopped making the phone calls required to stay hooked in I found myself losing the hope of a better life I had once felt and I made the decision to relapse and no longer put energy into the people I had known in recovery. Luckily enough for me, there were people who were not willing to stop putting energy into me and came to visit me and re-inspired me to do something about my life, for that I will always be grateful. I remember a major point of surrender was when I looked back at my life and I came to the realization that in order for me to have any form of dignity in my life, I was to return to the way of living that I was shown to live at Last Door.

Asking to come back to Last  Door was by far one of the greatest choices I have made in my life to date. Even though I needed to take the time to relearn how to practice principals in my life I was assured that through writing the steps, it would help sort through the unmanageability in my life.   After coming back I made a decision that I was going to make recovery a way of life and that I was in it for the long haul, I took my time on the steps and I invested my time into the relationships that matter most in my life today -my family, friends in recovery and other addicts trying to get clean. The life I have today is something I couldn’t have even thought of before coming to The Door, I have dignity and self esteem. I feel like an equal not only in my family but in society in general. I have friends in my life that I laugh with, that I know I can trust with talking about anything that is going on in my life and I get to watch them come out of the same misery of addiction and getting a life that they enjoy living as well.