1124 was my apartment number after my second time in treatment at Northern Addiction Centre in Grande Prairie. I did good after my time in NAC. I got a good job making $35/hr, got my truck back, was working things out with my girlfriend, and I got a two-bedroom apartment where I could have my daughter and guests come and stay with me.
But, like I said, it was my second time after treatment and I'm here now so obviously I wasn't doing as good as I thought or portrayed. Sure, I got all the material things back and started working on some of my relationships with my friends and family. But I didn't get a sponsor or attend meetings regularly. In other words, I wasn't putting in the effort to maintain my sobriety and I wasn't working on myself or getting to the root causes of what led me to use in the first place.
These root causes caught up to me 9 months after treatment the first time and 4 months after NAC. I could have a job and fool people into thinking I was sober for a while, but I wasn't fooling myself. I knew I still had a problem and was still trying to suppress it with drugs and alcohol.
While using one night, I was going through my drawer and found a piece of paper that said "hell" on it. I flipped it over and it was actually my apartment number 1124 upside down and backwards. On the other side was an eviction letter. I was high and frantically left my apartment. I told my boss I couldn't work and needed to get help again.
I was homeless, jobless, and high. I would allegedly steal trucks so I wouldn't be seen in my own vehicle by "those watching me". I was suffering from psychosis. It ended with my truck being impounded and charges being laid. This left me walking the streets alone, scared, and tired looking for a new home/a way out. During the day I would go to Wapiti House (formerly Rotary) and watch people get high and narcaned. At night I would sleep at Oasis Church. I had it with life and I had it with drugs leaving me unsure of what to do. Until one day at Wapiti House I found a letter on the ground and the words on it said was:
"Don't be afraid to start over. This time you're not doing it from scratch, you're doing it from experience."
I lost myself trying to please everyone. Now I'm losing everyone while freeing myself.
After finding that letter, I got sober while being at Rotary and Oasis. I applied to NAC again as well as Rising Above. I would take whatever came first. I was sober for 18 days, relapsed on New Years, and sober for another 11 days before being accepted into Rising Above.
The first thing I noticed in Rising Above was the shape of the wall at the front of the classroom. It looked like the shape of a house. I finally found my new home. I found my way out. Every day I spent here I pictured the white board as a window on the house with 1124 written on it - because if I don't pay attention in here, hell is waiting for me out there.
If I can give anyone advice, I would say don't just get into treatment to fill the blanks of appease people. Pay attention, respect others, try not to interrupt. Because next time we may not be lucky enough to receive an eviction letter from hell.
Satan loves to take what is beautiful and ruin it.
God loves to take what is ruined and make it beautiful.
In the last three years I've been to treatment three times. Relapse is part of my story but I'm not giving up and neither should you. Keep fighting and share your story with others.
- Anonymous Participant