“Recovery took a guy who was ready to give up and showed me that I have a life worth living,” says Matt.
As someone who assumed he’d “die an alcoholic,” he didn’t have much hope for recovery. “I drank heavily for 20 years,” he says. “When I was 42, nothing would stop me. Not my job, my doctor, my family. Everyone I knew suggested treatment.
I resisted for a long time. And when I finally ran out of excuses, I ended up at Renascent.”
The early days of treatment were tough. “I had a lot of anger and sadness and rage going into treatment,” Matt shares. “I’ve since learned that childhood trauma, addiction, and mental health go hand in hand. When I opened up to the counselling staff about things that happened in the past, I stopped fighting and being angry. I started to listen and understand I wasn’t alone.
Through the counsellors, I was able to unpack my anger and find hope,” shares Matt. With Renascent’s clinical team being in recovery themselves, Matt says “I thought if they could do it, then I could do it.”
Today, Matt contributes to that open dialogue by being of service to others. Involved with the Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Alumni Committee since its inception, he often reconnects with others in recovery and supports those currently in treatment. “I want to reassure them and comfort them,” he says. “People in the house are not going to listen to people they don’t know. I show real recovery. They can identify with me.”
He also finds solace in practicing mindfulness, prayer and meditation.
“I reflect a lot,” Matt says. “It’s about looking at myself in a moment of anger and thinking, ‘I have been way angrier than this, and if I can make it through that, I can make it though this.’ It’s about not letting the bad emotions rule my day.”
“We all have our own challenges,” he concludes, “and my life isn’t sunshine and rainbows every day. But now I’m calm, I’m a father, I’m a friend. I’ve learned healthy coping techniques. I no longer need alcohol, and I have a strong program to fall back on.
Recovery has changed my life.”