236 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
and by this time I was feeling the negative effects of my solution: alcohol.
The following eight years are summed up easily: drink, suffer, recover, plan
to drink responsibly, repeat.
I met my now-wife, a lawyer in Vancouver, in 2016. We quickly fell in love
and decided to get married and start a family. My wife saw something in me
that I had lost sight of many years before. We married just four months after
meeting and already pregnant with our daughter. I now had a purpose and
a true desire to get sober and stay that way. White-knuckling it, I managed
to pull together a few stretches of sobriety lasting no longer than three
weeks. Travelling in Italy for our honeymoon, my alcoholism reared its ugly
head and started our trip off with a scary realization: no matter how badly
I wanted to control my drinking, I was powerless over when and where it
would show itself. It was obvious to me at this point that I needed outside
Soon after returning home I was checked into Edgewood Nanaimo. Edgewood
was a crucial step in my path to recovery. I met a lot of people I could
identify with from all walks of life. I watched my daughter’s ultrasound
from treatment, via Skype, and can vividly remember how beautiful the life
flowing through her body was. In the following weeks a shift began to take
place in my thinking. I started the shift from fear to love. I felt very fortunate
when my wife informed me that Derek LaCroix, Q.C., head of the
Lawyers Assistance Program, was going to be visiting Edgewood and
wanted to meet with me. After spending only one hour with Derek, I knew
he was going to play an important role in my recovery.
I left treatment after 54 days feeling like a new man. At first, life back
home was great. My wife was healthy, our baby girl was on the way and my
mental health was better than ever. But treatment wasn’t a cure. I didn’t
grasp my 12-step program when I got home. My disease slowly showed itself
again and I had two relapses, each lasting a week. The second relapse happened
when my daughter was just one month old. I was in disbelief that I
was capable of walking out on my wife and daughter. I knew this was not
the man I wanted to be. I buckled down and went back through the steps
with Derek, constantly uncovering wrongs that needed to be amended and
defects of character that needed awareness. I started a journey of spiritual
discovery. I commenced and maintained a daily routine of prayer and meditation
that continues to keep me spiritually fit, more often than not.
Today, I don’t fear alcohol and drugs. I haven’t had a desire to use in over
one year now. I’ve learned that alcohol is not the real problem: substance
use is a symptom of my disease. To treat my disease, and keep it in remission,
I concentrate on maintaining my emotional and spiritual health.