It was a cold night, during the first few hours of January 2nd, 2016. After walking the streets for hours, coming down from a crazy and wild New Year’s party, I started feeling like life had turned its back on me. I decided for the umpteenth time that I truly did have a drug and alcohol problem. When I went to the hospital, they recommended that I visit Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, where I’d be able to find all the help I needed.
“I am very blessed to have crossed paths with all of the staff members at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.” —Dan
On my way to the Mission, I felt extreme shame and guilt. I never thought it would end up like this. And it was the first time in a long time that I’d admitted my own failure, to myself.
As I walked into the Mission, a frontline worker named Kelan greeted me. I asked him if they had any beds available. He looked at me, smiled kindly, and said, “We sure do.” I really thought I was going to be judged, walking in there. But instead, I was greeted with compassion. I felt a little better, already, having taken the first step.
In the morning, I was greeted with a delicious and hearty breakfast, and had the opportunity to connect with people who had stories similar to my own. I was extremely culture-shocked, over the next few days, but the comfort of hot meals motivated me to stay a little longer. And gradually, through chatting with fellow guests and staff members over meals, I made a commitment to myself, to see this thing through.
At the Mission, it felt like the staff members loved me until I was able to love myself. With the help of the Step Up Program, I was able to keep busy and stay clean prior to treatment. The staff then helped me get into a rehabilitation centre where I have completed the 90-day program, and have been supported in my first five-and-a-half months of being clean and sober.
If there is anything I can do to help the lives of others in any way, I would be honoured to do it. Through the grace of God and the Gospel Mission, I have reached a place where my desire is to give back. And for that, I am incredibly thankful.