Max’s Story: Turing a Relapse into a Comeback

I first tried drugs when I was 12 years old and by the time I turned 18, cocaine had become my drug of choice. It remained that way for 30 years.

To be honest, it felt almost as though my addiction crept up on me. When I started using cocaine, it was just once a month, then eventually I was buying enough for two nights in a row. Interestingly, I was a functioning addict. I was able to refrain from using at work, but by the time I got home in the evening I’d make up for the lost time.

Finally in February 2020 – after attending treatment multiple times – I surrendered 100%. I entered treatment at Renascent; followed the counsellors’ recommends; and walked a path of honesty with myself and others. The result this time around was remarkable – I am still sober today.

My addiction has taken me to some very dark places. However, thanks to treatment and the time I invested in my own recovery, life is very different for me now. I am ok with myself – comfortable in my own skin. Before I used to have to force myself to look in the mirror.

Since leaving treatment in 2020, I was able to strengthen my relationship with my son. I know the toll my addiction had on him. While I cannot change the past, I can continue to be there for him. He knows he can rely on me now and that’s a big accomplishment.

I’ve built similar trust with other people as well. My friends now know I will be there for them. They know if they ask for help, that I will be there because I genuinely want it.

I am so grateful to Renascent for sticking with me. To be honest, I’d probably be dead if I didn’t get into treatment this last time. But thankfully, instead I was part of a miracle.

When someone relapses after going to treatment, they often have feelings of shame and those feelings are what prevents them from getting the help they need. I say, don’t be ashamed to come back and ask for help if you relapse. For some people a relapse will be deadly. I think it’s best to put aside any shame or pride you may have.  Getting help can save your life. Trust me, I know.

A lot of us hate the word “God” but for me, finding God and praying daily has been important to my sobriety. My advice to those who are hung up on the idea of “God” is to have an open mind. God can be anything you believe it to be.

I also always tell people, if you put half as much time into a treatment program as you do into your addiction, then you’d be successful. When you get to treatment, be honest, listen to the counsellors and have an open mind.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email