“Today, I see a future for myself”: Brian’s Story
Brian called Harvest House from the mental health unit at a Toronto hospital in April 2021. His addiction had destroyed his life, leaving him with legal problems and no relationship with his family. After speaking with both his psychiatrist and his pastor, Brian agreed that he needed help. He began to search for treatment options. Many of the places he called had waitlists that were months long. The COVID-19 pandemic had even caused some places to shut down or stop taking new clients.
Then he called Harvest House. Four days later, he walked through the front door. Today, he is a graduate of the program and has over a year of sobriety, a relationship with his family, and hope for the future.
Within the first few months of being at Harvest House, Brian started to realize that he could not manage his recovery on his own.
“I need community,” he says. “Being able to trust people and have a sponsor and have people to talk to is a big help. It helps just to know that I’m not alone in this and there are other people like me. One of the things I love about Harvest House is that it’s run by people who have been where I have been.”
Brian’s time at Harvest House and commitment to recovery has begun to heal his relationships with his family. When Brian came to Harvest House, he had not spoken to his father in over seven years. Today, they speak almost every day.
Throughout his time at Harvest House, Brian has had opportunities to discover and practice some of his skills and passions, such as helping support those new to recovery. In May 2022, Brian started doing application interviews with people looking to come to Harvest House. In these calls, he speaks with men who are where he was a year ago.
“It’s really eye-opening to see how many guys are in the situation that I was in and are desperate for help,” Brian says.
After 18 years of drug use, Brian knew he needed to be somewhere that was long-term. That is a big part of why he wanted to come to Harvest House. During his year at Harvest House, Brian has come to realize that recovery needs to be part of his daily life for the rest of his life. He has said that his long-term goal is to work at Harvest House as an addictions counsellor.
“Since being here, I’ve found a passion,” he says. “I want to help people who are just like me. I love doing application calls. I love the new guys coming through the door. I went through all this in my life and I can use it as a positive. I can be the person who understands. I see a future for myself for once.”