May 2016 Alumni of the Month – Zak

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I am Zak and I am an addict.

zakMy story starts in Cloverdale.  My family loved me, I got decent grades in school, and I put up a good front of happiness. But it wasn’t true. I always wanted something different. I never felt satisfied. I started drinking at 12 and by 14 I was using Crystal Meth. I was in denial about my addiction for a few years, drinking and drugging every day and telling people I was only an alcoholic because I only used drugs when I drank.

My first realization that I am an addict came when I was 16. I was justifying my addiction to somebody when they pointed out that I drank every day, and used every time I drank. I realized that they were right. I am a drug addict. That was shocking knowledge for me for about ten minutes. Then I used some drugs and felt ok about it.

I first found NA when I was 17 years old. I went to a meeting in Surrey and announced myself as an addict. People hugged me and invited me to go bowling with them. I had never felt like that before, but I just couldn’t stop using for long enough to find any true happiness. About 6 months later, my mom found my meeting list and had an intervention with me. She suggested that I go to the Last Door because I insisted that NA meetings be in my life if I am trying to get clean. I went to detox and came to the Last Door with 8 days clean.

I spent 11 and a half months at the Last Door Youth Program. I didn’t follow the rules, I lied to everyone, and I didn’t make any friends for the first 6 months. Despite all this, the staff and the clients still cared about me, they still tried, and they were always willing to help me out. I learned a lot about how to stay clean in treatment, and I can honestly say that I would not have been able to get clean without all the love and support I received there. I left treatment with 11 and a half months clean and a far better attitude than when I had entered treatment. I was super grateful that I was allowed to go back and visit whenever I wanted and the staff and clients were instrumental in getting me through some tough times I had after treatment. My recovery started to truly happen after treatment. I found out that my dad had cancer. I didn’t know what to do so went back to the Youth Door and was met with love and support by everyone there. That was a huge turning point in my recovery. I still wasn’t perfect. I’m still not perfect. But I began to have gratitude for the Last Door and what it did for me.

Today, I work at the Last Door as a summer hire before i go to University..  I am very grateful for this opportunity. I have quit smoking again (because I am not perfect) and am living the way I wish I had in treatment and the way I always wanted to when I was in my addiction. I have achieved every goal I have set for myself since getting clean and have gotten ambition for life. I am very grateful for everything the Last Door has done for me and truly believe that I would not be clean today if I had not gone to the Last Door.

-Zak
Clean Date: April 6 2014