When a supportive employer helps pave the way to recovery

Michael had been employed at the same company for 19 years when they learned about his addiction.

“They were actually shocked; but I knew I was powerless over alcohol and that my life was unmanageable,” shared Michael candidly. “My addiction was getting more and more progressive. When I began struggling to do my work, and I wasn’t able to be present as a husband and a father, I knew I needed help.”

The journey to that fateful day when Michael was found consuming alcohol at work started decades earlier.

“I didn’t stop drinking after university. I kept on going and progressing through life, then one day I’m sitting there in my office with a tie on and I’m still drinking,” he said.

Michael’s employer was supportive of his recovery and proposed a plan to help him. This plan included paying for treatment at Renascent. Their support made all of the difference, enabling Michael to begin a journey toward recovery.

“It was reassuring to receive their support and it allowed me to concentrate on recovery as opposed to focusing on my job security,” he shared.

Within days, Michael was admitted to Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre (Sullivan Centre), and almost three years later, Michael would walk through the doors of the Centre again after experiencing a relapse.

No stranger to recovery, Michael credits a different approach to helping him remain abstinent this time around.

“I used to go back to work quickly – a few days after leaving treatment,” said Michael. “This last time, I went to treatment for myself and took an extended leave to allow myself the time to focus only on recovering.”

Today, Michael is working hard to maintain his recovery. He attends meetings regularly, works with his sponsor, and practices the other habits that he learned in treatment at Renascent.

“The best thing I can say is that I am present as a husband and father. I am gaining the trust of my family again,” said Michael.

The lessons Michael learned at Renascent have been valuable in keeping him abstinent since his most recent stay at Sullivan Centre. Below Michael shares some of those lessons.

Surrender: One of the things that Renascent helped me with was surrendering. My sponsor also spent a lot of time with me on Step 1. There have been many times in the past when I thought that I could drink like a “normal” person. Renascent and my sponsor helped me to understand that I am powerless over alcohol.

Shame: Having been to treatment at Renascent more than once, I felt a lot of guilt walking through the doors a second time. One of the counsellors there really helped me to get rid of that shame and disappointment I felt. With that, I was able to get into the program right away and did not spend the first week “in my head.” The worst thing is for an addict is being in your head.

Action Program: I also realized that recovery is an action program. You have to be constantly doing service, working with your sponsor, etc. Before, I thought I could go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every once in a while. Renascent laid the ground work to start my recovery. However, there is a lot of work that you have to do afterwards in applying the tools you gained in treatment via an action 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.