Alumni of the Month – Ben

Alumni of the Month

My name is Ben, and I am a grateful “Door Boy”. I grew up in Tsawwassen, British Columbia with my loving parents, sister and brother- I have only fond memories growing up. My parents provided me with many opportunities to succeed as I performed well in school, excelled in athletics, and maintained a great group of friends. From the outside, one would easily assume that I could and would pursue a long and happy life, and for the most part, I did. In my later high school years, I experimented with alcohol and drugs socially and that continued into University. In fact, my use of substances decreased after my post-secondary education and I could be described as a social drinker until my mid-thirties.

In actual fact, I had no idea how to deal with my emotions and I masked my feelings with humour and lies. As soon as I was able and capable to think for myself I became confused, angry and constantly in a state of internal conflict. Even I became to question my behaviour and treatment of others as I came across arrogant and rude. Instead of committing to understanding who I was, I became the person I thought others wanted me to be. Being a chameleon in order to gain acceptance and gratification. I based daily and important life decisions on impulsive emotions and had little idea how to discern right from wrong.

My entire life became a lie, fuelled by the indifference, scepticism, and cynicism of my worth. It was in this chapter of my mid-thirties that I found cocaine. Initially, I used it recreationally on weekends but eventually, it became a soothing mechanism for me and I turned to use it instinctively. This cycle became a way of life for me no matter the situation or circumstance I found myself in. My life as I knew it became unmanageable. I was aware of my self-induced chaos as I imploded relationships, severed ties with family and friends, I put my career in serious jeopardy but didn’t care. Inside I was spiritually dead and I had no idea there was an alternative or how to seek help. Through the desperate love and kindness of those I mistreated for years, I was introduced to The Last Door.

I was nervous, I was scared, and of course, I was sceptical. My expectations were to complete the treatment plan, become abstinent from substances, then return back to my old life. I came to The Last Door to arrest my substance abuse but little did I know it would completely change my life. I quickly began to realize that drug use was a by-product of the way in which I lived and understood life. At the core of my behavioural problems was a delusional way of thinking that was self-centred, intolerant, dishonest, and self-justifying. I learned that all of these ways of being were manifested by a powerful fear. Surrendering to the collective conscious of The Last Door community and in combination with a guided 12-Step program lead by knowledgeable and experienced caseworkers, I was able to accept and be myself.

I was given a platform that allowed me to become vulnerable and honest, without fear of judgement. I discovered that genuine, deep, personal connection is the opposite of addiction. I met humans from every avenue of life and now I consider them family. The Last Door leads by example and with love. I was inspired to change because I wanted to have what those that came before me had. I readjusted my thinking and now have compassion and a positive perspective on life, which continues to evolve in a way I never imagined. Today, I have purpose and motivation to be a better person, driving me to give back and help others. In my eyes, The Last Door and the people that make it, saved my life, and for that, I will be forever grateful. I can proudly say I call it home.

Ben

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