My story began Sept 3rd 1979 in London Ontario. Raised by a loving, caring and beautiful family. I was the second child and the middle child of two amazing siblings.
I grew up in a great neighborhood in a middle class suburban area. Life consisted of soccer,hockey and summer vacations with the family. From what I remember as a child there were no problems besides the odd playground fight and the normal banter with my parents and siblings. Overall I was blessed.
As I grew older I began to develop self esteem issues. High school came along and all I did was live in fear. Am I dressed right? Is my hair ok? Why am I not as big as the other kids? Needless to say all I did was compare and sit in self pity. At the time I had no idea why I felt this way, I just thought I was crazy. When I was 14 I was introduced to my first drunk and I thought all my problems were solved. Every single thought stopped. All the fear and insecurities vanished and I was a new man with a new found confidence. Every weekend from that point on involved alcohol. Parties, bush bashes it didn't matter I was drunk. Everyone I knew was doing it so I thought this was normal. Things changed in my late teens when I was introduced to cocaine. Drinks and a few lines and was on top of the world. This carried on for quite some time and by the age of 21 I was in my first treatment centre. I did 28 days and I made it through the program but I did not last long afterwards. I was drunk a few days later and once again the cocaine was flowing. This cycle repeated itself for years with countless failed attempts at getting sober and endless pain and heartache caused to my family who watched helplessly. In those years it was a living hell. Councillors, endless attempts of different fellowships and a few more treatment centres. The whole time my family never gave up on me even when I had given up on myself. In these years I tried the "geographical cure" numrous times, from Alberta to Montreal to Toronto and Vancouver. Everywhere I ran, the same problems followed with me. I was the problem and no matter where I went the end result was always the same. Toronto was a suicide attempt and waking up to my parents at my bed side in the hospital. Vancouver my hopes and dreams shattered with me ending up on east hastings one of the most notorious drug infested areas in the nation. Finally my rock bottom losing absoulutely everything back in Toronto and overdosing on cocaine. After all that I had given up. I didn't know it at the time but I did something I had never done before. My desperation caused me to surrender my will over and ask for HELP!! I was living in an attic on a blow up matress. I wasn't giving up much but at the time I thought it was everything. I packed a bag and that was it, I was done, I couldn't go on anymore living this life of hell. That is when I entered a recovery home that changed my life. It was a 90 day intensive treatment program of ask, listen and do as your told. In those 90 days I found things I thought I could never have. I found hope, I found self love and respect and learned to care for others. The biggest thing I learned was to be vulnerable. For once in my life I started sharing my secrets and no one judged me, they just loved me. They had all been down the same road as I had and we formed an unexplainable bond. After leaving the recovery home I felt reborn. I had something called trust and faith and believed in something bigger than me. I beleievd in spirituality.
Recovery has saved my life and has given me more then I could ever ask for. Most importantly it has given me the ability to be a son, brother and the best thing of all an uncle to my three little monkey's. Spiritual Soldiers is a way to share our experience, strength and hope and our way to give back. It is to tell you that you are not alone. You are not weak by choosing to ask for help. In fact it takes tremendous strength to admit you can't do this alone and admit you are powerless. Recovery saved my life and spirituality brought me inner peace. Today I walk a free man..