I was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC as the youngest of 3 children. My brother being 10 years older and sister being 6 years older than me, I always felt I had alot of expectation to live up to. Both of them graduating high school, going to University and getting their degrees made me feel like I needed to do the same. Since we grew up in the same home and went to the same schools, it seemed attainable to go along the same path.
I got good grades and was highly involved in school. Captain of the rugby team, student leadership executive, the teachers all loved me. I felt like I had alot of leeway since I was so involved. I began doing socially acceptable drugs and drinking on weekends when I was in grade 9 but by grade 11 it had become a regular routine. It wasn’t just on the weekends anymore, I’d be drinking and doing drugs on weeknights, before school and during school. By grade 12 I had found harder drugs and fell in love with the party lifestyle.
I managed to graduate high school with decent grades and lost my license 2 months later. That’s when I discovered my drug of choice. I was immediately hooked and using it every day for about 3 straight months. From 18 to 21 years old, I was on a steady decline. I dropped out of University, lost my only job I had ever had and committed to my drug of choice. From then on I couldn’t hold a job for longer than a few months and there was no way I was able to save money.
From 21 to 24 years old, I was in a vicious cycle. I’d stop using, get a job, my parents would start trusting me again, make some money and then think to myself “maybe I can use normally.” Get high and go back to where I was feeling before but only worse. My addiction led me to attempting suicide multiple times but always failing to do so and ending up in the psych ward. That was my circle for 3 years. My family knew about my drug use now but couldn’t do anything to help me. Eventually I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted out of the cycle so I finally asked for help.
I had a childhood friend clean up at the Westminster House and she suggested the Last Door to me. She would drag me out to New West meetings while I was still in my addiction and introduced me to an alumni of the house who would eventually become my sponsor. Finally when the day came that I was ready to accept help she had the alumni reach out to me and help me get on track to get into treatment. Before I knew it, my brother was dropping me off at treatment.
The Last Door introduced me to a real program of Recovery. I had been to AA meetings before but never had a program, never had a clean date. With coming to the door I was introduced to the NA program. Working step 1 and finally admitting I was powerless over my addiction and my life was unmanageable has been the most pivotal point in my life to date. I’m at the point again where I haven’t used in a while, I have a job, parents trust me, life’s good but I don’t try and convince myself “maybe I can use successfully.” Today, I know I can’t use drugs normally and know exactly where it will take me if I do. I have no intention of ever going back to that dark place in my life.
Through the knowledge and experience of the staff combined with the NA program, I was able to do alot more than lose the obsession to use drugs. I was able to find a new way to live. Finally at the age of 24, I no longer live with my parents in my childhood home. I go to work every day, I cook for myself, I do my own laundry, I clean up after myself. I became an adult.
Living at the Last Door was an amazing experience. It is 6 months of my life that I will cherish forever. I made so many memories during that time and built some of the strongest connections I have ever had. I love that house with all my heart and hope to always remain an active alumni. At just over a year clean, I still go by the door about 4 or 5 times a week and hangout with the guys. A huge part in me staying in the community is the fulfillment I get from watching people get clean. To see someone come in on their first day not knowing what to expect and watching them take 30, 60, 90 days clean and start to appreciate that house and their life fills my heart.
I expected to go to treatment, do 90 days and move on with my life. I didn’t expect to grow such an attachment. The Last Door isn’t just the treatment center I cleaned up at, it is my second home. I cherish my key to that house and believe in what they do. I am proud to call myself a Door Boy. My life is forever changed, and for that, I am grateful.
Last Door Forever. Forever Last Door.
Clean Date: April 17, 2018