Our Stories

"Wow! It’s like night and day … my life, that is"


Steve M., 2012

My name is Steve M. I am currently in the DARE (Drug and Alcohol Recovery Enrichment) Program at the Good Shepherd Ministries in downtown Toronto. I had a rather good life up until approximately three years ago. I am an individual who had lots of friends, played in a variety of sports leagues, was on the yearbook staff in high school, and held down very good jobs at very successful companies. Life was good.

But then the unexpected occurred. I became broken, bankrupt, beat-up, and felt as if I did not have a purpose in life…I became an alcoholic: a terrible disease that took everything away from me. It was a fight I felt I could not win. I was hopeless. I was kicked out of my home; I had nowhere to go…I was scared.

My brother and his family were kind enough to open the doors to their home for me, until I eventually messed that up as well due to my drinking. I was given no choice, but to seek help. I went to detox facilities on three different occasions. My brother, fiancé, and a very special friend that re-entered my life, convinced me to seek this help I needed so badly.

After my third completion of detox, this same special friend of mine told me about the Good Shepherd, and specifically about the DARE Program. I was hesitant at first to come here. I already had my 21-day residential treatment program set-up to attend. Good Shepherd had a pre-treatment program available. Scared and nervous, I entered the program.

The first people at the Good Shepherd made me feel welcome. I knew this was going to be my home for several days prior to treatment, so I had to make the best of it. I was provided with a bed, desk, chair, locker, bedding in my own cubicle. My time here was what I required to prepare me for my 21-day residential program at Renascent. On top of daily group sessions and meetings, I was also provided with three meals a day and snacks in the Centre’s modern dining area.

I left the DARE Program en route to treatment feeling more confident and much more prepared for the challenge I was about to face, on top of a lot of hard work by me. Before I departed for treatment, I was encouraged by the counsellors at D.A.R.E. to return to the Aftercare Program provided for those who have successfully completed treatment. This is where I am today.

Feeling much more stable, confident, and with a better understanding of my disease, the Good Shepherd and DARE continue to assist me on my road to recovery. I was welcomed back to the Good Shepherd with open arms. I have my own space, regular meals, and daily counselling sessions, as well as my aftercare sessions.

Because of my time spent at the Good Shepherd and at DARE, as well as my interactions with staff, I feel like I can contribute again to society in a positive way. I am better, stronger, and faster today than I was several months ago. I have been asked to share my story with local high school students that visit the Centre as volunteers. This has taught me to give back to the community. I was also involved in the Clean-Up Community Event, thanks to the Centre.

Today, I am eager and ready to move onto the next chapter of my journey, with the assistance of the Good Shepherd, DARE, my treatment program, and a lot of hard work. I have my housing secured and am much more prepared to live my life happy, joyous, and free.








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