When I was 14 I started my first job, washing dishes at a Motel. At the Motel, alcohol was easily accessible and I began drinking long before the legal age. My brother who was two years older than me started selling marajuana at the motel. Management of the facility did not turn a blind eye to this activity, but rather they encouraged it. Having drugs and alcohol accessible at a young age did not help launch me on the best path but lead me into a cycle of addiction.
I was 42 when I met the love of my life and shortly after she became my wife. She was the best thing that ever happened to me and one of the hardest things that I would have to grieve. Like myself at the time, she was an alcoholic and we would do drugs together. After about a year and a half into our marriage, my wife passed away suddenly due to drugs and alcohol.
As I was grieving losing the love of my life, shortly after I lost my job. I didn’t even notice my life was falling apart because I was drowning so deep in drugs. The cycle of taking drugs to numb the pain resulted in me not being able to pay my rent. I had no wife, no job, and no home. I was homeless and hopeless.
Last February, I was on the streets hungry and cold. I fell asleep on a bench and rolled off in the middle of the night onto the cement and smashed my face. I woke up in the hospital being told that I had lice, COVID-19, a burnt leg, and was experiencing drug-related withdrawals. During my treatment in the hospital, I was approached by someone who asked me, “Do you want to change your life”? Feeling desperate for change I said, “yes!”
Desperate to change my life, I arrived at the Calgary Dream Centre (CDC) and experienced a supportive community of individuals who provided the care that I needed, and it all started with a meal!
At the CDC, for the first time in a while, I felt safe, cared for, and loved. Having consistent meals and a roof over my head was critical to starting my recovery. With a full stomach and a safe place to rest my head at night, I could finally focus on my recovery. Not too long into the program I began to see real life change take place. I could see my mind, body, and spirit being transformed from the inside out.
After completing the men’s program on May 6th, 2022, I moved into the tower at the CDC. I am proud to say that today I am working as a Recovery Support Worker with the CDC.
I hope that my story will inspire individuals to look past their addictions and to know that recovery IS possible. If I can come from being homeless on the streets and addicted to drugs for over 40 years to working in a treatment centre, I believe that anyone can do it.
The Calgary Dream Centre is saving lives, and what better investment can you make?