My parents would often take in up to seven foster children at a time. Because there were so many of us, we had to share bedrooms and beds.
When I was about seven or eight, one of these foster children molested me. I told my mother about it and I remember her telling my father, who then hit her and gave her a black eye.
I think my life changed forever on that day.
When I was 12 my father died of alcoholism.
Working summer jobs during high school, I saved up enough money to attend Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I graduated in 1980 and got a good job.
Although I drank a bit in my teens, I was now turning into a regular binge drinker. Two years later I was fired because of my drinking. That same cycle continued until the 1990’s when my mother died.
I bought myself a house, kept a steady job and remained sober for five years. By this time I was estranged from my sister and wasn’t happy.
In 1999 I sold my house and moved to Winnipeg. Within six months my drinking escalated and I lost my apartment. I was lonely and miserable.
I was using Siloam Mission’s shelter on a regular basis.
One morning in July of 2010 I just couldn’t get up. This went on for three days. On the fourth day I had a feeling that I have never felt before. I was so empty emotionally. I was tired and scared.
I went to Siloam Mission and talked to the staff at their onsite health centre. They called the mobile crisis unit.
To make a long story short, I went into treatment.
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