By Paul C., Renascent Alumni
Paul admits drinking became a problem for him from “day one.” He took that fateful first drink when he was a teen and as decades passed, the toll drinking took on him and those he held dear grew.
“The last five years of my drinking were painful. There are old pictures that I look back at, and I know when I look at them I was dying on the inside,” shares Paul.
Lost in addiction, Paul visited detox centres “on a few occasions.” On his last visit, which was prompted by Paul’s wife, there was a counsellor who posed an important question, “What are you going to do?”
The truth is, Paul had no idea.
“I knew at that time I couldn’t go home and I had to go somewhere, otherwise my addictive tendencies would repeat themselves. I knew that if I didn’t start this recovery journey I was going to be a statistic – I was going to die,” says Paul.
Spurred by this latest detox visit in August 2004, Paul attended Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre. “It felt like I was in a very safe spot at Renascent,” shares Paul. “It was the first time that I stepped away from the world. I put everything on pause to focus on my recovery.”
Paul’s time at Renascent laid the groundwork for his own 12-step program and recovery. He completed Step 2 while at Renascent and left with hope and belief.
Today at 65, Paul has almost 20 years of recovery under his belt.
“Everything is different in recovery. I had this dream and it came true. I have been gifted this incredible life, and I never thought I would get there,” says Paul, as he gushes over the relationships he has built in recovery, as well as his that with his six grandchildren. “My wife is my best friend and I probably hurt her more than anyone. I have a truly blessed life.”
When asked about what has helped him stay in recovery, Paul shares the following advice with fellow alumni.
– “Be sure to complete Step 3 early in your recovery and turn your will over. Sometimes we think we cannot properly complete Step 3 because we did not do it perfectly. You just have to work on it. You just have to make the decision to turn your will over on a daily basis. I established that by saying the Step 3 prayer every morning.”
– “Read daily and action your recovery. I read reflections daily, like they are my horoscope. Whenever I read them, I think about the personal work that I have to accomplish each day. I want to be an example for others, so that someone benefits from my story. I know that God’s will was never for me to die drunk. So each day, I ask God, “What is my Mission today?”’