Tom’s Story: In Recovery, “The Rewards are Immeasurable

“The six-week virtual program at Renascent was my last of four attempts at rehab,” Tom says. “And it stuck. As of this moment, I’ve been in recovery for 21,418 hours.”

As with all journeys, Tom’s path to Renascent started with a single step.

“I’d been fighting addiction for four or five years,” he recalls, “and I had three ‘sticks in the fire’ that just about killed me: my marriage had broken down, I was navigating a chronic disease, and I was burning out at work.

To cope, I was drinking heavily.”                                        

Despite having experienced other programs, Tom quickly realized Renascent was different. For the first time, he was introduced to a program that fully embraced the 12 Steps, which proved to be a gamechanger. 

“The incredible thing about the 12 Steps is that in them, alcohol is only mentioned once,” he notes. “The rest is all about exploring how to change yourself and your behaviour. You really do have to deal with your past traumas, because if you don’t, you’ll end up using again.”

Tom characterizes his virtual group as having a “nice dynamic,” noting that he learned something from everyone present, even though each was at a different point in their journey.

“Renascent does a really wonderful job of meeting people where they are,” he says. “I saw other people struggling and learned a bit about harm reduction, and about celebrating what we could – whether it was a week sober, a year, or a fresh start after using again. The curriculum was also refreshing and very current, unlike programs I’d experienced in the past.

I would recommend Renascent to anyone.”

Inspired by what he learned, today Tom serves others as a counsellor. He’s completed the necessary education and volunteers at a homeless shelter, where he works with people at their most vulnerable. “We cover a range of topics, not just addiction,” he shares. “Boundaries, gratitude, willpower, breathing practices – anything that helps people move on to the next phase in their lives.”

As he does, there’s a message he wants to share with anyone who is struggling.

“You are not alone,” he says. “There are other people who struggle too, and it’s not a statement on your character. What’s ahead of you may be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and it’s a humiliating, humbling  thing to surrender to it. But to bounce back from this is just unbelievable.”

Most of all, Tom’s grateful for the many gifts his journey has brought.

“I would bet my life on the Promises of the 12 steps,” he notes. “Freedom, happiness, peace – these are the positive things you experience in recovery. As it says in the Big Book, they may not always come as quickly as you’d like, but I can absolutely assure you that the Promises do come true.

You don’t know it until you get there, but the rewards are immeasurable.”

Renascent’s Virtual Intensive Treatment Funded is funded by the Ontario Government. Learn more about the Program.

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.