I had been bouncing around various recovery houses and treatment centres for 5 years with some success along the way. I had a taste and knew that a better life was out there but I had no idea how to get there on my own. Defeated after my last relapse I decided to give the Last Door a try.
I soon realized that recovery could be fun when I met some like minded people who shared similar interests with me and got a chance to share my passion for mountain biking with others while I was in treatment. I went to group, did lots of written work and enjoyed the many recreational events Last Door offers.. but my best times were taking new guys downhill riding for their first time when there was some free time.
6 months later I left Last Door but unlike other places I had been too, I was always welcome back any time. Today I am living free from my past obsession with drugs.
I recently was able to finish my college education at BCIT and I like being an active member of New Westminster’s recovery community. I am 2 years clean now and a contributing member of society, a worthy father and a good family member.
Thank you Last Door for helping me find “a new way to live”.
Clean Date: March 15, 2011
My Clean Date is Aug 7th 2011
My life before I cleaned up was far from reality. I was a guy who talked about what and where I wanted to be, although I was never willing to put in the work to follow my dreams. I was that guy looking for the easy way out.
I had built a solid career and some great relationships over the years while having some success. As my using progressed everything else was affected in a negative way even though I was the last to admit it. I started taking people and life for granted. I lost respect for others and most importantly myself. I started stealing to support my addiction and before long I was lost and in some serious legal trouble. I had let all the people I really cared about down and lost their trust.
I came across the Last Door. At first I struggled with the Program and couldn’t wait for the time to pass. But through applying myself and doing the work suggested I quickly found myself engaged in the people and the Program. I became inspired and wanted to inspire others. I never thought my life was going to change the way it did. I was just looking for some days without using back to back and I thought that would be enough for me. I didn’t expect to get a life and make some great friends at the same time. My last month in treatment I started a coarse at Douglas College. Four months went by real fast and by the end I almost wanted to stay forever.
Myself and 3 other guys from treatment who I consider to be some of my best friends moved into a house together. It has been a very interesting year and a half to say the least, but overall my life has been steadily getting better. I can say I’m proud to be clean, and proud of what I have accomplished in that time. I have really enjoyed being able to be apart of the Last Door as an Alumni over the last year. I have so much gratitude for them and the support they give me. I really enjoy being able to come back and teach Martial Arts with guys in the house. Putting in the work and doing the things suggested.
I’m currently living my dream – I recently had a Fight where I was able to have my family, friends and some Door Boys come out and support me. The most gratifying thing since I’ve cleaned up is for my family to to say they are proud of me and I’m representing the family name well.
THANKS LAST DOOR!!!
My name is Blair and I am an addict,
I grew up with what every kid dreams of; a loving family, friends, playing sports, I had hobbies. But I was also picked on, the brunt of many jokes, ridiculed and beat up. I was beat up almost every day from Grade 7 till the end of Grade 9. I was angry and alone.
I started hanging out with people younger than me and started breaking the law. I would move cities in hopes of a new beginnings at every new stop, but so did my addiction. He had plans for me. I was in Kelowna in 1999 and my Mom and Dad helped me come home to go to school and work in the family business. I did great in school and I was also taking drugs while in school. It was 2005 when I first admitted to my parents that I had a problem. I went to treatment and used every weekend. I lost my job at my parent’s tugboat/watertaxi company and relocated to Calgary. Addiction, crime, homelessness were the three words that were my profession my beliefs of myself were that of; alone, scared and dead.
It was late October 2006 and my parents had tract me down through a private investigator (I had been in Calgary Remand for 4 1/2 months prior). They called me at the homeless shelter and said they were coming over to take me out to dinner.
I looked into the mirror at myself and began to cry. “Look at myself, look at what I have done to myself”. My parents and I had that meeting and they had some letters from home. Needless to say they bought me a bus ticket back home. One way of course. If I showed up at the bus station I wanted help and if I didn’t well don’t call us anymore. It was October 23, 2006 and I got on that bus. I got into Vancouver and my parents were there to greet me along with my childhood friend Nik. The next day was to be the defining moment of my life.
It was October 24, 2006. My first day clean! I made a phone call and talked with Dan M. of the Last Door. He said to come by tomorrow and check us out. I remember the next day my parents dropped me off and we had our parting hug at the base of the house stairs knowing that in time this house, the guys were going to help change me. I reached the top of the stairs and a giant of a man grabbed me and said “My name is Pete Q, welcome home. I looked behind and saw my parents crying, smiling and walking toward their car. From this day forth the transformation began.
For the next six months I worked Last Door’s Program like my life depended on it. Cause it did. My sponsor Pete, guided me through and the boys in the house with their energy showed me a new way of life. So many memories were created at Last Door, the Door Slam, the many dances and fundraisers, the Lions playoff game (and Galers’ 60,000 person wave), groups, amends, coffee’s, movies on Tuesday’s at the old Uptown theatre, meetings, clean time , all of this was huge in me finding myself. Over time it got easier taking more clean time as the years wore on.
I left the door in November of 2007. By March of 2008 I owned my own condo on 12th and Queens, had a full time job and a steady girlfriend. This clean life really works! Little did I know it was only beginning.
Over the next four years so much has changed. My parent s hired me back at the family business. I have gone back to school twice for Addictions Counsellor and Operating a Marine vessel. I met my wife in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous and we own a townhome in Surrey with our 7 month old daughter. I learned to play the bagpipes three years ago and had played in a military pipe band for two and a half years and finally today after two years of dedication and persistence and working my program and the program of NA, I am a proud member of the Canadian Armed Forces. I was in Montreal for 14 weeks of basic training and am now posted in Borden, Ontario for the next 18 months. I have been through deaths of Grandparents, loss of jobs and family emergencies, but I have always used the tools I learnt from the Last Door.
I owe my life to the program of Narcotics Anonymous and to the boys past, present and future of the Last Door!!
A special thanks to Dave P. and Micheal P. whose powerful groups made me the man I am today.
THANKS LAST DOOR!!!
Clean Date October 24, 2006
Before I went for treatment I was losing my sanity. My life was full of misery, isolation, and loneliness. I denied that I had a problem and I denied the fact that I needed help. I lied, I stole and I cheated. I threw away a two year marriage because I was unwilling to do anything about it. I had pushed my friends and family so far away, that I thought it was easier to just not contact them, then it was to actually tell them what I was doing. I began avoiding all non addicts; I started belittling all the people who had normal lives, families and hobbies. My life became narrowed and my only concern was confined to the daily maintenance of my disease.
On September 22, 2011 I had hit my rock bottom were my insanity had finally risen higher then my walls of denial. I felt forced to get honest about my disease I phoned an old friend of mine that I knew had gone thru treatment. He picked me up from Kelowna and brought me straight to a meeting in New Westminster called “winners” where for the first time in my life I stood up in front of two hundred plus people and said “My name is Lance and I’m an addict. I collected a hug and a white key fob and then sat in fear, listening to people share about their stories, and thinking to myself “is this it? Is this what it’s going be like for the rest of my life”?
After that meeting I was taken straight to the Last door, where I was welcomed with a lot of friendly smiles and tons of energy! I was so overwhelmed from the day I already had, now all of the people, all the new names, the new faces, the fear, after laying down to go to sleep for the first time at Last Door, it felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that everything was going to be o.k….. It felt like home….
It didn’t take me long to make new friends, real friends, something that I didn’t have when I was in my addiction. My feeling of loneliness immediately started to ease, there were people around me laughing, having fun, living and enjoying life, their new life, life in recovery. It was hard for me not to get inspired, I wanted what they had, so I surrounded myself with the people that were doing recovery and felt I had become a part of something. I built a support group and got myself a sponsor. My sponsor guided me threw a set of steps and my support group held me accountable for all my actions. I stayed in primary treatment for six months and then five months in secondary treatment. In that time I learned how to live with spiritual principles like honesty, willingness, kindness, compassion, and acceptance. I have gained self esteem, morality, integrity, and dignity. Instead of isolation I have found fellowship. Rather than constantly trying to get by on my own limited power, I have developed a conscious contact with a power greater than myself I had found a new way to live.
Thanks to the Last Door for getting me up to the starting line for my new life in recovery I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have stayed at the last door and I am proud to say “I am a door boy”. The Last Door is where I got my heart back, it is where I learned how to be a better son to my parents, a better brother to my sister, a better uncle to my nephews and I am truly grateful for that.
My name is Lance P. and I am a recovering addict; my clean date is September 23, 2011
I started using drugs in my early teens, and by my late teens, things had gotten so bad I wanted to quit drugs. I tried on my own for a couple years, but it was starting to become clear that I could not do it on my own. I decided to try treatment, where I learned that in order to stay clean I had to change. But I wasn’t ready to do that. As things got progressively worse, I spent some time back and forth between treatment and recovery homes, until I had just about given up on being clean. I believed that treatment would never work for me, and there was no hope for me getting clean, I would live and die a junkie.
On May 18th, with the strong encouragement of a family friend, I decided I’d give treatment one last chance. That friend dropped me off at the Last Door, and I was instantly welcomed into a group session among people who I would soon form meaningful friendships with that I still hold to this day. I was told “welcome home”, and for one of the first times in my life, I felt home. I told myself “this time I will do whatever it takes to stay clean”. This time I was willing to change. Over the 6 months I spent at The Last Door, I completed a set of steps, I worked with a sponsor, and formed a solid support group of friends. Living clean was not only possible, but it was a lot of fun.
Today I have everything I could ever ask for from life. I’m 18 months clean, and it’s not a struggle to live without drugs. That alone is a miracle I never would have thought possible 18 months ago. I have good relationships with family, and friends, I have a job that I love, and I have plans for school and everything seems to be falling right into place for me. Today I am following my dreams and I can truly say that without The Last Door, and the staff there, none of this would have been possible for me.
Clean Date May 18th, 2011
As a kid I had all the advantages you could imagine; great parents, great life and great opportunities. As I moved into my teens and early twenties however I wasn’t a great success, but my life was manageable. At the age of 24 I went for a year trip to Australia and from that point on my partying became completely out of control. I continually treated my family horribly and I constantly stole, cheated and lied to them. I always remember the day when I woke up and I knew that I could not go on like this any longer! My life had completely spiraled out of control and I knew that it was time to make a major change!
I heard about Last Door from a friend of the family. He had been there for a few months and things seemed to be going very well for him! So the morning of December 27, 2010 I checked into the Last Door Recovery Centre. At the Door I learned about myself and how to become a responsible adult; especially from my counselor Darren Galer. I came into the house with incredibly low self esteem and hating myself, I was very self centered and really didn’t care about anyone but myself! Through many groups and through working the written exercises Last Door provides, everything in my life seemed to suddenly change for me! I began loving myself more and more and really started to become more open and honest! I gained many long lasting friendships especially with Colin R, Bob C, Mark B, and Mitchell H, they really helped me in my journey. I am so grateful for every moment I spent here and continue to spend as an Alumni giving back to the new guys!
What Last Door has taught me today is that I have made recovery a big part of my life. Today I try to live by spiritual principals and take a constant inventory of myself. I’m not perfect I’m only human I still have struggles in my life, but when times do get tough I know to go back to my basics! For the first time in my life I’m actually paying my own rent and my own bills and am no longer taking from my parents anymore! It must mean that I’m finally growing up and taking responsibility for my life. When it comes to my parents, my relationship with them is so much better!
Today I’m making things about them instead of only thinking about myself! One of the best parts about my life today is creating a relationship with my sister who for most of my life I ignored and alienated. As a result of this new relationship with my sister I now am spending a lot of time with my nephews. Declan and Connor whom I love both to death! Through working the steps in my life and the help of the Last door especially Darren for being my counsellor, Danny and Jared for being great group leaders, Louise with helping me with relationships and Dave P for the “heart to heart” conversations in the office. I’m eternally grateful. Higher power.
Thanks Kyle F
Clean Date: Dec 27th, 2010
Life in Recovery and Retirement, from a Door Boys Perspective
My name is Akram and I am a recovering addict. I have been clean for 17 years. I cleaned up at the Last Door at age 42. I was an Airline Pilot who needed to change before I lost everything. With the help of Last Door I was able to return back to work, get my life back on track and fulfill my career responsibilities to my employer. On March 31st, 2012 I retired from my profession as an airline pilot.
On May 2nd, 2012 I began a motorcycle journey across the USA. The first portion of my trip lasted 50 days and then I came back to Last Door for a week and stayed in one of their Family Suites, I attended Group and shared my experiences with the new guys and lead by example what recovery is really all about.
I am now on the next portion of my road trip and this time I am sending blog emails of my trip to Last Door on a regular basis so the new guys can read my notes, look at pictures of my trip and feel assured that Last Door is a good place to be if they want to get their life back. It’s the best way I can show how life in long-term recovery is attainable while at the same time helping me stay clean.
Thank you Last Door for supporting me over 17 years of recovery experiences.
Clean Date: Jan12, 2013
My life before recovery and Last Door was a nightmare; since I was 14 I lived as the epitome of an addict. I was a person who lived only to use, a compulsive liar and a thief. I can sum up the life experience I gained in my years in active addiction as that of a career criminal and a hopeless addict. Then, at one of many bottoms, scraping along looking for the next place to start digging deeper or die, I found light. I was introduced to the Last Door Recovery Society in New West.
I left Calgary Alberta and went to BC for treatment. From my first day at Last Door, my life suddenly changed. For the first time I could remember I felt acceptance and love. For the longest time I had escaped feelings and left responsibility in my life by the wayside. The bond I felt at Last Door was so strong I knew I could change my life for the better. I put down my lies, deceit and self hate. I gave the program of recovery a chance and my life took off in leaps and bounds. I gained the ability to live with dignity and respect. I gained family. I gained a sense of belonging and friendship with an entire community the day I stepped in the door and have felt it ever since.
I grew up in Vancouver in a nice home with a large family with lots of love, I stated using alcohol when I was 13 years old, by the time I was 19 I started to get into hard drugs and quickly my life became unmanageable. By the time I turned 30 — I tried treatment but it didn’t work, and I ended up homeless and in and out of recovery houses for over 7 years.
My whole life consisted of emptiness and loneliness, this disease eventually took over everything. I hadn’t spoken to my family in almost 7 years and I was the guy panhandling on the streets. At the age of 35, while panhandling at a 7 eleven, someone I had used with who was now 8 months clean suggested I go to Last Door to change my life. Impressed by my buddies change it motivated be to consider going but it took me at least a year to get the courage to call Last Door.
In March of 2010 I arrived at Last Door where I spent 10 months there in their extended long term care and transitional living program. I was completely reprogrammed, while at Last Door I learned how to live for the very first time… I completed the written exercises Last Door provides, I reunited with my family and made amends, I also made lifelong friends who I have shared my journey with.
Today I’ve successfully finished the A to Z Personal Training Program at Douglas College; I am finally following my dreams to become a professional personal trainer. I truly never could have imagined life could be this good.
Today I spend as much time as possible at Last Door taking advantage of their Continuing Care Program as a Proud Alumni giving back to the new guys, letting them know anyone can lose the desire to use and change regardless of how bad it was.
Thank you Last Door for teaching me that giving is more important than taking.
Clean Date: March 3rd 2010
Alumni from 1 year clean to 8 years clean and friends of Last Door form the Tuna’s Hockey team, they made it to the finals of the Adult Safe Hockey League Tournament. They may have lost the series but they’re are eager to play next season. The team play’s approximately 30 games a season and at least one and sometimes two games a week.
These Alumni set an example to the new guys by living life clean while participating in social and recreational activities. Like Tyler B who just celebrated his 4 years clean and took his cake a few weeks ago. He is now on his way to China for 3 weeks and then off to Switzerland for 6 months thanks to the Capilano University Exchange Program, or look at John W who is enjoying father-hood and is finishing his schooling. Along with the rest of the team these Door Boys prove that life in recovery is fun and recovery truly is portable.