The Journey of what has been the greatest period of my life to date began in Kelowna, 2017. I was spending three or four nights a week in the homeless shelter, and the remainder intoxicated on the streets, not having even a pot to piss in. I had heard about a program that had the power to change lives. I felt at that moment that I had been beaten enough. I was down and out and so willing to know change, I would have done anything to do anything. A friend of mine had come through Recovery Acres so I decide to make my way here, and after 12 days in detox, I enrolled in the program, clueless of what it was, or what was even being offered. All I knew was that I never wanted to use again, however I had no idea of what it would take to make that happen.
I was told, “It’s simple. The only thing you need to change is everything.” I didn’t like myself, I had no real relationships of value, and fewer people willing to associate with me. I literally walked in with a handful of clothes and a chip on my shoulder. Lucky I met some people that were healthy and patient enough to love me when I couldn’t love myself. I met Doug, the Recovery acres House Manager and there wasn’t one word he could say that I wouldn’t take seriously, like my life depended on it. He was the first person I met that had what I wanted.
Like many other clients before me, I was argumentative, stubborn and very closed off; I had an ego. I put my wishes and well-being at the front of the line. I spoke without thinking, I was rude, and I was struggling to listen, to really hear what was being offered to me. About a month into my recovery, something changed in me. This was also at the same time I would meet my three biggest supports of this journey. Beth took her time patiently watching me bounce ideas around, offering me advice, and gently guiding me to a more peaceful stare of mind. I am still just learning what my sober self is all about and her office is where I find who I am, who I am becoming and who I will continue to grow to be.
Brandon is a fellow Recovery Acres alumni and he remains my best friend today. We laugh, we cry, and we have learned what it means to be happy in recovery together.
I also met my sponsor, Clayton, at the Tuesday night meetings at Recovery Acres. He is another person who has what I want. He guides me through the steps, the book, and every struggle I have in my daily life.
I’m very grateful for all the staff at Recovery Acres. Each one has had a part in my recovery. Living in one of the Robson houses has been a good experience for me, helping me as I slowly integrate back into the community, back into everyday life, while having a healthy, safe place to come back to each day. At Recovery Acres I found more than just my sobriety. Being here has allowed me to build a solid foundation and get the tools I need to live a healthy life.
Now people tell me how much of a change they have seen. And for the first time in my life, I can feel it too. Today I like myself. Today I realize the best thing I can do to help myself is help another struggling addict. I am not cured by any means. However, today I have a daily reprieve from my disease contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. This is a spiritual journey not an intellectual challenge.
I’m so grateful to Recovery Acres and to Jeremiah for all the work he does to make this possible. I’m grateful to Beth for her unconditional patience and for knowing how to challenge me to get all I can from this journey. And I am grateful to all the staff that continue to support me and others who want it. I am over 9 months into this journey and hope to one day to “have what someone else wants” so that I can share what worked for me. I am truly fortunate to be able to say that I changed my life and it all started with Recovery Acres.