Hunter’s Story: Unpacking a Complicated Past

After struggling for years with addiction, Hunter was admitted to Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre (Sullivan Centre) in the height of Ontario’s fourth wave of COVID-19. Though this was his first time in treatment, Sullivan Centre wasn’t new to Hunter. He sat in that exact building 17 years prior watching his father graduate from treatment. With his father in long-term recovery, Hunter knew that he was in good hands at Sullivan Centre.

“I had seen first hand the changes in my father after he attended treatment at Sullivan Centre. I think his recovery is a testament to the strength of the program and my father’s willingness to change,” said Hunter.

Having “gotten his Dad back” at the age of 15, Hunter’s path soon changed as he too started drinking at around that age. Dealing with unprocessed emotions – some stemming from his father’s addiction – Hunter used alcohol to cope with his feelings for years until his parents approached him. They encouraged him to consider treatment and Sullivan Centre was the first choice.

“I had to go to Sullivan Centre to process my own emotions. My father’s addiction had a significant impact on my life and for years there was a steady progression of me ignoring how I was feeling,” said Hunter.  “I think I normalized what I was feeling and thinking in a number of ways, which probably was not healthy.”

Having learned new ways of coping with his emotions and having found a strong sense of comradery in the recovery community, Hunter started on a new path. After attending inpatient treatment, Hunter participated virtually in Renascent’s donor-funded Continuing Care Program, which provides additional support to clients to help protect their newly found recovery.

“Continuing Care was great. Many of the guys I met in treatment do not live close by, but I was able to see and stay connected with them. It’s been a nice way to stay rooted in the program and it’s incredible to watch their progress in recovery,” shared Hunter.

Hunter who is an avid writer, blogger and videographer, remarks about some of the significant difference attending treatment has had on his life.  

“It’s incredible, after going to treatment I got my creativity back. There were times that I thought it was gone forever,” said Hunter. “I also re-discovered my love of reading in treatment. I lost the ability to read when I was in my addiction because I simply couldn’t concentrate. That’s massive gift that Renascent gave me. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone like my mother to see me be creative once again. She was my biggest champion.”

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.