It was in January 2018, that Mohamed decided to accept help for his addiction. Before that, he says his efforts at recovery were “half-hearted.”
“I was an addicted, homeless person and it was really taking a toll on me. My environment was not particularly safe,” shares Mohamed candidly.
As life spiralled out of control, one day a shelter worker approached Mohamed. He offered Mohamed “empowerment” and “ownership” over his own recovery. Detox and treatment finally became the next steps that Mohamad was ready to take.
“At the detox centre, for the first time I got to sleep for as long as my body needed and eat as much as I wanted,” says Mohamed, who took this recovery opportunity very seriously.
“I got a sponsor a month after I became sober, even before coming into treatment,” shared Mohamed. “My sponsor was very strict and insisted that I called him every night. Having a friend in recovery – someone I could call was great.”
With his sponsor’s watchful support, Mohamed entered treatment at Renascent a few weeks later. His time at the Madison Avenue Centre proved to be an incredible learning experience.
“Treatment was great. Having a mix of people in the Centre was really helpful. Some people were quite young, some were older, some had been in prison, some were working for government institutions, others were like me, and many of us needed a new lease on life.”
Despite their differences, according to Mohamed, all of the fellow alumni he met while in treatment had one thing in common. “We felt that alcohol or drugs gave us that shine that we needed.”
Today, many years after leaving Renascent, Mohamed’s future looks brighter than ever. Since then, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts program and is now planning to do his PhD. He has also written one book and has another on the way.
Still, even with years of recovery under his belt, Mohamed lives the tenants that he learned in his early days. “I continue to pray, journal, meditate, and be of service. Success demands that I do the right thing in my recovery life.” He shares a few keys to his recovery:
- Humour – Finding humour in that despairing journey toward recovery was really nice. Being able to look back and laugh has really opened me up.
- Honesty – I really came to understand the importance of “saying the thing” regardless of how difficult it was. Being dishonest and keeping things to yourself is the best friend of addiction.
- Sponsorship – My sponsor took on a big brother role, even though he didn’t have to. That’s the relationship that he has to his sponsor. My sponsor used to say, that “as we heal from the inside out, our outsides begin to reflect our health.” I know that to be true now.
- Routine – In treatment and after treatment, I could stay present and get into a routine. These environments helped me tremendously. Talking walks and developing a spiritual routine were some of the habits I developed that helped my recovery. In the same way, we can model bad habits; we can model good ones.