To say that Erik’s life has changed for the better would be an understatement.
Two years ago, Erik’s top priority was chasing his next drink. For a decade he had struggled to stay sober, spending some time homeless, some time in jail.
“I was like a zombie. Constantly sick. I just got so hopeless. I was so sick of being sick,” said Erik.
Erik got help through an outreach worker from Umbrella Society for Mental Health & Addiction, funded by United Way. He stuck it through detox and was introduced to Foundation House, a recovery house for men.
Now, even with the added toll of COVID-19, he’s celebrating two years of sobriety.
Although Erik’s work as a contractor dried up due to the pandemic, he kept himself busy. He painted the house, fixed the fence, refinished the dining room table where all the men gather to share meals and truths. He’s been going to more meetings that has benefitted his recovery.
“My self-esteem and confidence is up,” he says. “There is so much happiness on the inside, it’s hard to describe. Good things just keep on happening since I’ve been sober.”
He adds: “My mom and sister are super happy. It’s nice to be an uncle, a brother and a son again.”
Erik is the senior member at the recovery house helping the other 11 men who live there. Now he’s running AA meetings himself on Thursday and Friday nights.
Even more good news: Erik has been offered a paying job with Umbrella to do outreach work to others who are struggling, talking to the homeless and other vulnerable populations.
“It’s a good way to give back,” he says.
YOU CAN GIVE PEOPLE LIKE ERIK A SECOND CHANCE.
You can GIVE the gift of counselling and help other people who are struggling.
One in 4 people on Vancouver Island struggle with mental health issues, often connected to addiction. The person you are helping could be a friend, a colleague or a family member.