We have been privileged to be part of the recovery stories of thousands of people in our communities. Here are some of their stories of courage and hope.
“My name is Bill. I am a recovering Alcoholic. Before I found the rooms of recovery, I was a daily drinker. I lost everything I had, but material things can be replaced. Though my excessive drinking I was losing the people around me and any self-respect I had for myself. It broke my heart when my wife took my son away from me. But it was my fault; I should have listened when she told me I had a problem and needed help. But I didn’t listen.
I can’t change the past or undo the abuse my alcoholic behavior caused the people around me. But today I have gotten some contented sobriety through the help of some special people a U-Turn, who showed me a new way of life through doing the twelve steps of recovery and through service work. Someone at U-Turn told me about the Alpha Program that was meeting once a week where I attending school. I attended this group during the fall semester I attended College. At the end of the semester I got a certificate for completing the ALPHA Program. That gave me a way to finding my higher power and restarting a relationship with God. It got me back into church and being around people in community. I used to be a shy person, but through the help of U-Turn, they are helping me tear down the walls that I put up. Thank God for U-Turn and the people associated with it.”
“My name is Alex. I’m a recovering addict/alcoholic. Just over six years ago, pills and booze had me defeated. Booze and pills were what “normal” was to me. But it was like living a death sentence. I was only existing and hit my rock bottom. It was a living hell.
Thank God for U-Turn and the awesome people there, which helped me get my life back. I reached out and they were always there for me, and they still are, thank God for them. We all cross paths in life for a reason. I will always be in recovery, God willing. One day at a time—that’s all we have. Because of U-Turn, I am now almost six years sober and drug-free! I feel loved now, inspired, and worth something. Without my U-Turn family I would be nothing, just a shell of a person. It feels so good to know that they will always be there for me. Life is awesome now.”
“I am the mother of a recovering addict. When my son admitted to me that he was an addict, I became consumed with getting him help. I got him into a program in Alberta and when he was stabilized I had him transferred here to Newfoundland. I thought that the methadone program was the cure-all that he needed, but it wasn’t long before I realized that it wasn’t. He wasn’t changing, he wasn’t getting better. The only difference in him that I could see was that he had gone from a $500 a day addiction to a $7 a day treatment program. He was working but still having a very difficult time; he was still thinking and acting like an addict. I spoke with many addiction counselors and even sent him to see one, but we were still getting nowhere. One mental health and addictions counselor told me that the best addiction counselors are reformed addicts; they would be the best people to help my son and me understand why he wasn’t getting any better mentally.
I went to see Jeff Bourne at the U-Turn Drop-in Centre. He knew exactly what was going on in my son’s life and why. I didn’t have to tell him because he had gone through it himself. My talk with Jeff cleared up a lot of questions I had and he explained to me that the road to recovery is long and there was more to recovery then the methadone program. A few days later my son went to see Jeff and joined a 12-step program the following Friday night. He is also in the 12-step study group. I am proud that he has taken this initiative, and I can see a change in him. He looks forward to going to U-Turn and his 12-step meetings. I’m seeing a difference in him that I never thought I would see again. I am also proud of the fact that he has talked some of his friends into going to the 12-step program and they too are now getting the help they need.
The U-Turn Drop-in Centre is an anchor for all the recovering addicts in this area. At the Centre you can stop by for a chat and a coffee with people who understand what you’re going through and support you and don’t judge you. It’s nice to know that I can stop by anytime during the day and talk to someone, that I don’t need an appointment and I can vent to a friendly ear. I attend the open family meetings. I look forward to them and my son looks forward to me going with him.”
“My name is Justin. I am a recovering addict. My drug use started at 16 years old. It started with weed and at 18 years progressed to harder drugs. At first it was a party thing, happening on occasion, but as time progressed so did the disease. For 14 years I was in full blown addiction, losing everything good in my life, destroyed myself.
My recovery began slowly coming to U-Turn, then attending The Grace Centre. Once I finally accepted defeat, recovery got easier. Once I started U-Turn, I knew I wasn’t alone. I am thankful for the U-Turn family for taking me in. “It works, if you work it!”
“I am a recovering addict and also struggled with social anxiety. I have been attending U-Turn for 5 years. It has helped me improve my self-confidence. I feel at ease around people. It has helped me to stand up for myself, hold my own and stand on my own two feet no matter how difficult the situation is. It has really had a profound positive effect on me. U-Turn has certainly changed my life for the better. I don’t know what would have happened to me if U-Turn hadn’t started in this area.”
“About 2 years ago I was introduced to Jeff and Tammy at the U-Turn Drop-in Centre. Even though my son was underage and there was not much they could do to help him, they put their hands out to help me as a parent. They helped me understand what was going on with my child. I have learned so much from them … The words thank-you will never be enough for everything they did for my family. I think if it wasn’t for Jeff, my son might not have made it to treatment. The aftercare they have given me since my son has been in treatment has been amazing. The centre truly saved my life and I am not the only parent that feels that way. Without the centre I don’t know what would have become of me with my son’s addiction.” — Parent of recovering addict