STORIES OF HOPE

We understand that every struggle is different. Experience the stories of people like you, and how they overcame crisis to find hope and recovery.

“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.” — Debbie

“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.” — Ivan

“After I was discharged from the Waterford Hospital, I was glad to hear U-Turn was open. It has provided me a place to meet other people with addiction issues. It’s a great place to socialize and make new friends. U-Turn has changed my life completely. Now I am able to be around people who care. My confidence has improved a lot; I find I am now able to stick up for myself, hold my own, stand on my two own feet and not be afraid to express my option. Tammy and Jeff are always there to listen to our concerns and problems. We attend a lot of group meeting and self-hep groups. My life has improved immensely since joining U-Turn. It literally saved my life. I now volunteer there every week. I wouldn’t want to change anything about how my life is going now spiritually and socially. — Ivan S

“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.” — Eileen (Parent of recovering addict)

Daniel’s story

Christine’s Story

My experience with U-Turn was my start in recovery. At wits end, I had my cousin get hold of Tammy. We met at U-Turn where Tammy kept me safe and talked to me until 3:00am. For the next six weeks until I made it to the recovery house I would stay close to U-Turn and take part in meetings there. U-Turn gave me my wings back. I have been flying ever since.” 🙂 — Collette

I attended rehab February to March of 2018. On my first week there I was introduced to U-Turn. The warm welcome made feel so at home. They made me feel as if I was family as soon as I walked through the door. I felt as if I was a member my whole life after my first meeting. I attended every meeting I could while I was completing my rehabilitation process. I felt so moved by what Jeff and Tammy are doing that as soon as I returned to my home town I have been working with Eastern Health and other organizations to create a small group of my own which I have Named AHA (Addicts Helping Addicts). I am one hundred percent sure the reason for my successful recovery is the love and support that was shown to me at U-Turn and Open-Door ministry. Much love and respect. — Justin H

I first entered U-Turn on july 27th, 2018 while at the Grace Centre. They have volunteers to pick people up to experience the [U-Turn] meeting, which for me was an eye opener and an amazing experience. So every Friday and Saturday, while at The Grace Centre, I would attend meetings at the U-Turn Centre. I left the [Grace] Centre on August 19th, went back home to St. Johns and every Friday since I haven’t missed a meeting. It’s where I consider my new home and family. It’s so powerful to sit and listen and speak. We are all there for the same reason—to stay clean, and I am so grateful for U-Turn and the two Angels that run it! — Duane H

“My name is Dale B and I’m an alcoholic. I came into the rooms of U-Turn at the age of 58 years old, after a long battle with alcohol. U-Turn as become my safe place. I feel like I belong; that the people I have met here are just like me and understand me, and I understand them. It has been my saving grace. Without the rooms of U-Turn, I don’t want to think of where I would be. I have learned how to deal with my problems, how to love people, but most of all how to love myself.”

“U-Turn has been a turning point in my life. Walking my path in life was difficult enough on its own, but when my addiction developed it was like this fog that had rolled in and left me with no direction in life. My path had disappeared and I didn’t know where I was going, only that it was nowhere good, and that I didn’t know how to get back on track. But when I finally got the nerve to walk through the doors of the U-Turn Centre, it was like the fog had finally lifted and the sun was shining, exposing the better path in my life, the one I was meant to be on. By continuing to go to U-Turn, I am even able to help other people find their way back to a path of success. — D. Snow

“I first came to U-turn not as an addict but as the loved one of an addict. I came to U-turn blind with absolutely no knowledge of addiction. The first open meeting I attended I was taken aback by the love this [U-Turn] family has for each and every member. I listened to people share their stories from the darkest points in their lives and I watched fellow members cry tears of pain because they could relate to the next persons story. I watched people hug each other and tell each other they loved them. I listened to people tell each other how proud they were of each other and how strong they were, cheering each other on, praying for each other’s recovery. I have seen members drop everything they were doing when another member was in need and come together as a family to help. I have watched this family celebrate milestones together and mourn the loss of fellow members.

Being part of the U-Turn family has taught me that addiction does not discriminate. I have seen so many good people going through hard times come through the doors of this Centre, be welcomed with open arms, zero judgment and treated with the upmost respect. It has also taught me to be empathetic, to try and understand the disease of addiction and to always keep people’s feelings in mind.

Along with having attended open N/A meetings, I also attend Nar-Anon meetings offered at the Centre where I am learning to take care of myself while supporting my loved one. Being a part of this group with an amazing bunch of people gave me hope that things do get better and recovery is possible. It made me realize that I was not alone and that, unfortunately, there are so many families going through what mine is going through. Having a place like U-Turn to go talk about all of these issues, with people who understand has been a Godsend for my family. If someone asked me the first word that came to mind when I thought about U-Turn, it would be Unity! — Amanda B

“I can’t say enough about the U-Turn program. It has given me back my life by working the steps. I am a recovering Gambler. I have gambled for years; the VLT slots were my favorite. I Have Not Gambled In 3 Years. “One day at a time!” The program and my Higher Power gave me my life back.” — Margaret D

“I walked into U-Turn for the first time 4 years ago. It changed my life completely. Though my drug use I was stripped of all morals, self confidence and self-esteem. Through the fellowship of U-Turn and NA, I have it all back today. I felt so alone before coming to U-Turn. Today I have friends that mean the world to me. They are always there to help when uncertainties enter my life; always there for the right kind of guidance when I need it. The love and support shown to me since entering U-Turn and NA will never go unnoticed. I owe my life to U-Turn fellowship.” — Charmaine C

“I am a grateful recovering addict! I’m currently eighty days clean and serene and I owe it to a lot of people that helped me along my journey. Some of those are the fine folks at The U-Turn Drop-in Centre!

After a relapse from hell, I found myself at the Grace Center, an adult addictions treatment facility in Harbour Grace NL. I was skeptical at first to go because I’ve always relied on the NA program to stay clean. When I got admitted to the Grace I was so happy to see that U-Turn sent members in to run meetings and 12-step work groups at the facility weekly. I attended them all and really enjoyed sharing and hearing of the experience of strength and hope! They were also so kind as to arrange volunteers to come pick us up and drive us to their NA and AA meetings at the U-Turn Centre. It was there that I felt an overwhelming love and welcoming that you just don’t get anywhere else. They say you’ll never meet such down to earth people as recovering addicts. This has been proven time and time again to me by my new friends at The U-Turn Drop-in Centre! — Beaton W

“It’s been awhile since I last stepped into the U-Turn Centre and I can tell you that the place is easy to miss.  Jeff, Tammy and the U-Turn fellowship have created something very special.

My name is Aaron S, originally from Carbonear, NL.  For the past twelve years I have lived in Fort McMurray, AB.  I have struggled with the disease of addiction most of my adult life. My struggles with addiction began on the streets of Carbonear and followed me everywhere I went. Currently, I have been clean from all drugs for four years! How did I get four years?  With the help of people just like Jeff, Tammy and the U-Turn Fellowship.

My recovery journey started in Fort McMurray and is a huge part of my life. Recovery is a simple process for complicated people. It can be very difficult at times. When I get to travel back to Carbonear to visit family and friends, I know I have safe place to go, and that place is U-Turn. A safe place where I’m free from judgement, met at the door with a hug and a smile, and I get to hear an awesome message of recovery! U-Turn is providing a service that is priceless. I am truly grateful for U-Turn and all that is has done and continues to do for addicts seeking recovery. Thank you!

“It has long been said that there is no magic wand for problems in our lives. This is very true. In order to solve problems in life, it is a process; sometimes a long, ongoing process that needs patience and a clear, sober mind.

I first met Jeff at a local AA meeting in Carbonear, I gravitated to him because he was an addict as well as an alcoholic, like myself. I felt Jeff could relate to me more because my main weapon of choice was drugs and not so much alcohol. I was glad to know that Jeff and others were opening the UTurn Centre that would cater to more addicts than only alcoholics.

While living in Carbonear, I enjoyed being able to go to U-Turn, to sit and talk with Jeff and others.It was a time in my life when I didn’t have much family support and people had grown tired of listening to my problems, knowing that I had caused them for myself. Through sitting in meetings and trying to apply the 12 steps in my life—daily to this day—I have learned to deal with problems in my life much more effectively. I am not suggesting that Jeff or U-Turn have waved a magic wand and magically cured me, however, they have taught me how to be human and to evaluate myself and my behavior with the 12 steps. I still have character defects that I have to work on. I do feel there has been significant improvement and I try to stay away or minimize the exposure I have to certain triggers. I also still lean on me buddy Jeff from time to time.

I am glad to know that U-Turn and Jeff and Tammy are growing; so am I, and we are all beacons of hope for everyone who has walked the path of substance abuse. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living life on life’s terms. — Patrick C

“I always thought I could do it alone, recover from my addiction. All my life when I put my mind to a job, I could do it alone. My addiction was the exception. With the help of U-Turn, I am now a recovering addict. It was tough to admit that I could not do this alone, but with the help of my fellowship, I will succeed!” — Darrell T

“My addiction began a few years back; it started as a recreational drug which quickly turned into a addiction. A daily fight, I played Russian roulette with my life daily. I now have my addiction under control, I am 7 months clean and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help from U-Turn. U-Turn saved my life, I attend regular meetings, I share my experience, and open up to others. I never knew I could do this, but with all the love and support from my U-Turn family I am well on the way to becoming the person I have always wanted to be—clean, confident, and stronger than ever before. One Day at a Time!” — Julia

“I am on a Suboxone program and attend addiction counseling. It was difficult but once I started the 12-Step program at U-Turn with people that understood my life and feelings, sobriety is much better. I debated on going because of anxiety, but I’m so glad I did and I’m thankful for the U-Turn Centre and the friends I have made. Today, I never feel alone. As long as I continue the 12-Step program, I have faith that things will continue to get better.” — Anonymous