Days before coming into recovery I was a lost soul. I felt like a ghost walking in my own life. I was continually numbing from having the inability to look behind me at the journey I’ve been on. I was doing drugs and keeping people at bay, keeping anyone from getting close to me because it was honestly easier to write people off before making any sort of connection. I was dead inside and just wanted it to end. I wanted to live, but it was heavily eclipsed with not wanting to even exist. It was a weird place to be in. On top of all this, I was so unsure of myself and who I am. Being bisexual/two-spirited on its own has brought a lot of uncertainty about who I am. Whether it was from losing the girl I loved from the bottom of my heart to a car accident or my choices to put myself in abusive relationships with guys – all of it led me further and further into a downward spiral of hating myself, not respecting myself and most importantly not loving myself. I was committing spiritual suicide daily. Every chance I got I was using drugs or drinking, most of the time on my own.
I left a civil engineering career in 2016 to become an artist. I thought that it was the career that was killing me, but it wasn’t. It was my addiction. Not just using drugs, but my habits. My lack of ability to work on the hurt I was feeling and carrying is what led me to be sad and so angry all the time. I discovered artwork in 2016 and it changed my life. It was the first time my heartbeat for something again. Artwork saved my life, I decided to dedicate my life to it. I made a decision to put myself into a treatment facially for my 30th birthday to see what untapped potential was like. I wanted to see if this was a chance to get happy.
On May 19th 2020 I was dropped off at the Last Door Recovery Centre in New Westminster. To be honest, I used all my drugs and went on a bender after my visit to the centre 4 days prior. I was dropped off by my brother still high and really unsure of what I was even doing. All I knew was that I needed help, regardless of how bad my demons wanted me to stay out and keep using. I wanted to leave shortly after my check-in. I kept looking outside the blinds thinking everyone was talking about me and not wanting me there. But my roommate Chris changed that. He really was the reason I stayed the first week. He assured me that nobody was talking shit about me and that I was safe. I was worried nobody would like me for being two-spirited. He said, “if anyone has a problem with you, they have to go through me first, you’re safe here.” So I stayed. I still thought in my head nobody wanted me there, but I stayed. I made connections with the guys. At the centre, I slowly began to collect key fobs as time passed and I dove into my first set of 12 steps. I started to work on the trauma and hurt I carried, as well as diagnosing my anxiety and getting proper medication – it changed my life. My shoulders began to relax and my confidence started to build. It was here I met some people I call my best friends. I had so much fun at the recovery centre for all the things we did together like paintballing, lake days trips to the mansion up at keystone and even journal parties at night time.
Fun in recovery is possible, and it’s honestly a huge part of the program. Connecting and meeting people like myself or with a similar story made me feel safe. I had a caseworker that really took the time to change me and my thought process. He was a huge part of my story and still is, he is now one of my really good friends. What keeps me clean today are my friends I made in treatment – Kiefer, Christopher, Jeremy, James, Matty M, Matt D, Joel, Dylan, Malcolm, Tanner, Yianni, Dustin, Kris, Steve, Jack, Scott, Rav, David, CD, Austin, Riley and so many others are taking a year clean this year. We are the covid crew, we got clean in a pandemic. The Last Door made this possible. If we can do it, so can you. It was with the help of these guys, the Last Door and the fellowship, I was able to love myself again. I gained the confidence to being bisexual, first nations and just being me. I laugh more. I smile more. I don’t look at the ground anymore. I look forward and talk to people and have conversations. What a life.
Fast Forward to today, I am taking a year of clean time on May 19, 2021. I never thought in a million years I’d be this happy and content with who I am. I love myself, I have my family back (I’m even doing renovations for my dad’s house – something I’d never do in addiction). I am a part of society, I help out where I can. I also volunteer at the last door and connect with the new guys. My business is booming with projects and work. I moved out of treatment after 10.5 months. I did 140 days in primary care and the rest of my days in transitional care – where I got to adjust to normal work life. I moved out with 3 of my besties and we have a place in New West we can call home. We practice recovery, hit meetings and honestly, we live the best life. We are happy. I am happy. And it’s all because of recovery. Thanks, Last Door for helping me find myself. <3
Rain and the Community painting a recovery mural for Pride 2020