Chris’ life has been a long and winding path. The Harvest House graduate has been sober for over 5 years — a tremendous accomplishment given the significant personal and social barriers that stood in his way. Now, as he approaches the completion of his counseling degree and acquiring his own apartment, Chris has the opportunity to look back and take stock of his life so far.
“After entering Harvest House I looked back at my life and realized I had nothing to show for it. No kids, no wife, no money. Bill Main and Harvest House made me realize that God has a plan for me.”
This realization did not come easily for Chris, but with a tremendous force of will and the support of Harvest House he is now in a position to continue to grow into the person he knows he can be.
Chris moved between cities frequently during his childhood and often acted out in school. By the age of 13, he was self-medicating with alcohol and marijuana to overcome anxiety and social issues, and was expelled from high school before he was able to graduate. After this, Chris moved into fiber-optics installation and continued his hard-partying lifestyle. For a while he was able to maintain this dual lifestyle, working and maintaining a relationship with his fiancé while engaging in substance abuse, but eventually it came crashing down around him. After his fiancé left him due to his addictions, Chris spiraled downwards, lost his job, and moved to Ottawa. While he was able to maintain sobriety for a short period after his move, a back injury and subsequent opioid prescription changed everything. From there his addictions resurfaced, and he descended into a life of opiate addiction and crime. After a robbery arrest, Chris arrived at Harvest House and began the long, tough battle towards sobriety.
When Chris first arrived at Harvest House, he was not prepared to put in the work towards recovery. He recounts: “honestly, I just wanted to be out of jail. I didn’t realize how much work was necessary to become sober.” However, with the help of mentors in the program and the support of Harvest House staff, including Pastor Bill Main, Chris was able to stay sober, earn his GED, and graduate the program. Now, 5 and a half years after his first night at Harvest House, Chris is able to speak about the person he used to be and how far he has come. Reflecting on his experiences, he states: “I was in total denial about my addiction when I first arrived at Harvest House. Now, Bill and the entire community have allowed me to see God’s path for me, and I’m excited for the future.”