I was born and raised in Windsor Ontario by my loving parents. I don’t have any sob stories about my childhood to blame my addiction on. I was given every opportunity to succeed. As a child I excelled in both academics and athletics and was popular among my peers. In my teens I began to experiment recreationally with alcohol at first and later dabbled into occasion drug use. On the exterior I had everything but internally I had a void that would grow so big my whole world would be sucked into it.
As I entered my twenties I was a daily drug user but i still managed to function and fit in for a long time. I had a good job, bought my first home and soon after had my first child. At this time my drug use was mostly marijuana with weekends of binge drinking and cocaine use. I thought I had it under control. My bills were paid and I had a material things to try and fill that ever growing void. Anxiety and depression started to creep in and I liked the person I was less and less every day. It was right around the time I found out my second child, my son was on his way that i was introduced to Opiates.
I did everything i could to hide my addiction from my loved ones but eventually it became evident i had serious problem. The physical addiction and mental obsession was out of control. I was no longer a functioning addict. Within 2 years I destroyed everything and everyone I crossed paths with. I lost my job due to performance and attendance. I lost my home to the bank after failing to keep up with mortgage payments. I crashed my car with no insurance and lost my license. Finally my family stepped in and forcefully removed my children from my care to protect them. I was 120 pounds and dying inside and out. The values I was raised with no longer applied and there was absolutely no limit to the things I would do to feed my addiction. It was the only thing that numbed me enough to get through a day. I had lost any meaning and purpose in my life. I had lost hope.
I was incarcerated eventually and as unpleasant as it was, it was the first step into my recovery. i was forced to at least physically recover from the addiction and look at what my life had become with a clear enough mind. Upon release I attempted to live differently but integrating back into society proved more difficult than i thought. The damage I had caused was immense and within weeks I was back at it again and before long i was back in cell. Upon release with a push from my family I checked myself into a 90 day intensive treatment rehab facility. This was the first good decision I had made in the better part of a decade. I immersed myself in the literature and people I was exposed to. I took a hard look at myself and began to face the wreckage I had created head on but I couldn’t do it alone. My parents, children, councillors and most importantly the other addicts i met were my driving force. For the first time in my adult life I didn’t feel alone. Complete strangers became my strength when I couldn’t stand alone. My ongoing journey of recovery has been the best years of my life. It has continued to open doors and brought gifts to my life i never thought possible. Today I’m able to be a father, son, brother, boyfriend, employee and a true friend to the people in my life. I’m able to get out of bed with no physical dependency on a substance to get through the day. Most importantly i’m able to look myself in the mirror and like the man i am today. My goal is to give away the gift that was so freely given to me and to extend my hand to anyone fighting this fight alone. There are no bad people. There are lost souls that need help to find their way home. Our goal with Spiritual Soldiers is to be that beacon of light.