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Good Shepherd Ministries
412 Queen Street East
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I came to Good Shepherd Ministries a few days before the COVID-19 lock-down started.
Because of my addictions, I got enraged at a roommate. I hit a lamp. I cut five tendons and the arteries of the wrist. I drove myself to the hospital. I lost nearly two litres of blood on the way. I lost consciousness and my truck went into oncoming traffic. I totalled my truck and four cars.
In only 15 minutes, I lost my hand and my truck and I was facing charges because I injured people. And it was because of what I had become with my addictions. I lost everything.
I stayed in the hospital for a week and I left the hospital after surgery.
I spent the next day drinking the money I needed for rent. I woke up with the landlord kicking me out.
I was homeless and alone. I had no idea what to do. I called a friend from AA – I had been trying for 12 years to get sober, but the longest I had stayed sober had been two months. My AA friend said to go to detox.
I went to detox, and a few days later I was here at Good Shepherd.
I was really scared to be homeless. I knew I could not stay sober in a regular shelter because everyone around me would be using.
This place really saved me. If I’d been in a regular shelter there is no way for me to stay sober. This place kept me sober. I eventually went to treatment at the end of May.
After treatment, I had two months before I could get into a sober house. I was afraid to be in a place by myself because I would relapse.
The DARE Program is the main reason why I am sober today. If I had rented a place by myself I could not have stayed sober. Being in a regular shelter would have been worse. They saved my life by taking me back.
Now I am moving to a sober house.
What I like about DARE is the fact that we have a group meeting every day to talk about tools to stay sober in this environment. And the staff are really helpful. You can tell they are not just working for money, they are working to help people like me.
If it was not for the DARE Program, I would be either dead or in jail. The Program matters that much.
My time in DARE is the longest I have been sober since I started trying to recover 12 years ago. I am 30 years old. I was 18 when I went to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
And it’s the first time I’ve got this far. I’m using every single tool that I’ve learned to try and stay sober.
I’ve learned that connection is the opposite of addiction. It’s not being sober, it’s being connected to other people. I’ve been a loner all my life. Now I realize I need others.