On Dec 3, 2016 I was at a Christmas party for work. I went, ate, had a few drinks and came back early, but it didn’t end there. I decided to go out downtown afterwards. More drinks, more shots, I even drove after but that wasn’t even the worse part. I picked up my daughter and drove home after that…
I had already been to a recovery home, graduated and didn’t pick up a drink for over a year. Slowly I started to distance myself from my fellowship, ego came back and I thought I had it beat. I had ONE drink and put it down. I had TWO drinks and put it down. A few more weekends doing the same, this is great!! But then came the one weekend where I drank all night and started using again…and I never stopped.
I became a “weekend warrior” partying again and again. This lasted for almost 6 months. I wasn’t happy, I was disconnected, isolating from people in recovery and had no one to talk to. I knew what I had to do but I couldn’t do it until Dec 4 2016 when I woke up with a hangover, guilt and full of shame. I said I’d never hurt my baby girl and yet I drove home with her the night before? So much could’ve happened, accident hurting my baby girl, pulled over she would’ve been taken away or even worse….death! My pour daughter so innocent sleeping in the back seat not able to say anything or even know what was going on! What gives me the right to have that much power over someone???
I said what the FUCK? Was I thinking?? And I said never again!!!
I regained my purpose and refocused my life towards my daughter. I did a complete over haul on my life, started with church than reuniting back into recovery. Each day is a new day, constantly staying connected, sharing my thoughts but some days were still tough but I have never been more determined!! I’ve been working harder and harder on myself through my recovery and its blessings are truly shining through. My connection with my daughter has never been so strong and I believe you can see it in her eyes. My patience and understanding from my recovery has given me more opportunities with my daughter than ever before, seeing things for what they truly are and at that exact moment with her is a gift on its own. I’m not losing moments anymore making it about me and getting upset and frustrated. I’ve learned that as frustrated I get sometimes that it must be even harder for her. When she does act out or doesn’t respond appropriately, I give her more time, more compassion, more LOVE. She’s my child and I will love her for her and not what I decide or think she should be. I praise her and try to be the best role model for her as I can be. I do what she wants me to do and some will say she runs the show and maybe she does but she deserves it. She told me to quit smoking….and so I did it! Is it so bad she runs the show? I’ve gained a few extra minutes with her a day not stepping away for a smoke and I’m grateful for that time. Today we make memories that last, smiles that brighten up the world and laughs that will never be forgotten.
Recovery has given me more opportunities than I could ever imagine possible and I have now started to give back on my free time volunteering where I can. It took me almost a year to be able to do so but I truly believe that you cannot give from an empty well and my well was empty! The time I took for myself was much needed to grow and learn from my mistakes. I am not better or fixed or cured because I don’t drink… I still have to work hard at it every day fighting against the grain to do things I don’t want to do but in the end its all worth it!! This year was my year and thank you to all who has supported me and stuck by my side, you all know who you are. To the others who have been patient with me also thank you and the new year will be ours!!!!
I am Patrick Thanalak, a grateful recovering addict and today is my 1 year!!
The time of year has arrived where we believe the gifts are in the giving.. For the month of December we will have 30% off our entire website !!!! We give to you so in return we can give to others. With the month sales of December ALL PROFITS will be going back to the salvation Army to help those who are less fortunate at this time of year.
Please use promo code "salvationarmy " to apply promotion pricing.
Thank you for helping us help others !!!
The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become an addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. He didn't wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. Addiction creeps in unknowingly and sinks it's prongs deep inside. Once the line is crossed, the addict loses his power to choose. With all the darkness, sadness and consequences associated, the addict cannot simply stop on his own will!!!" My best addict thinking always landed me in a worse and worse predicament!! Chaos, desperation, fear and self destruction.....😱😱 Until I was beat down physically, emotionally and mentally enough to surrender and ask for help! That was the hardest thing I ever had to do...and the only thing I had to do alone! People are there to help me through everything else.....EVERYTHING!!! If you are struggling with addiction of any sort, please reach out to someone for help! Nobody should have to continue living that way!
by: _chris_howe_ (instagram)
Spiritual Soldiers hasn't been created as a business or brand trend. It's a movement, a way of life. A call to arms to raise awareness for addiction. We want to take away the depiction of the old man wearing a torn and ratty, tweed trench coat with the finger tips cut off his gloves clutching a bottle of whisky draped in a brown paper bag. We want to take away the misconception that "it could never happen to you" and place it right in your back yard. The reality is everyone is or has known some one who has been affected by addiction.
1 in 5 people are suffering from addiction in Canada alone. Only about 11% of that population is able to get help through treatment. Whether that is due to lack of support, space, or funding, this is unacceptable. Spiritual Soldiers is going to donate a percentage of its profits to the war against addiction. Through our clothes we want to instil a message.
The wait is over!!! we are proud to ANNOUNCE that our new line of clothing is now available!!
Chris howe speaks on stage at the Truth About Addiction event that took place at the Olde Walkerville Theatre on Wyandotte Street East in Windsor. (Photo by Cade Ryan)
Sometimes on days like this I need to take a step back and look at how amazing my life is today, and how greatful I am to have recovery. To wake up every morning sober, with a smile and positive outlook on how the day will turn out is truly a blessing. Today I don't have to worry about struggling and I don't have to worry about what kinds of trouble I may get into. Today I don't have to worry about any hardships that might be thrown my way, because I embrace the beauty in the world and accept life on life's terms, I have to always remain teachable and help others. Today I am spiritually fit and I don't need to worry because I know things will just work out exactly the way they are supposed to. When I laugh or smile it's not fake it's real, they are real emotions that I am finally able to feel again. It is possible to recover from that seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. It is possible to live a life filled with hope, faith, and courage. I am living proof of that. My life is not a struggle anymore because I surround myself with positive people and I try my best to do the right thing. Today I live happy joyous and free and you can to !! @bmariee3