The Father I Want To Be

I came to Tamarack in 2011 looking for help with stopping my addiction to crack and for answers as to why I hadn’t been able to stay clean and make good choices in the past. Because they have a limited number of funded spots, I knew that the chance to go there was not something I could take lightly and I worked hard to get in.

The first three months were crucial. I didn’t realize then how wounded I was and how much that pain was affecting my ability to stay clean and make good choices. Tamarack is the only program I got because it focussed on what was really going on, the guilt, the shame, the pain. The staff offered to extend my stay because they felt I still needed to do more work and they helped me to do it.

When I graduated, I felt stronger. Hopeful. But as some of you will know, recovery isn’t always a straight path and after I left here, I thought I could use just one more time. One more time and I was back out for two and a half years.

I tried many times to quit the drugs and alcohol on my own, but it never lasted. I was on quite the tear when my son came into my life. I knew that addiction had taken everything from me and would eventually take my son if I kept on the road I was going down so when I tried to stop on my own this time, it was my mum’s suggestion that I reconnect with healthy supports and Tamarack was the first place I thought of. The only place I knew I could come back to. They were there with open arms, and invited me to the aftercare program. After 2 ½ years, the door was still open.

The Aftercare group and the counseling helped support me as I took a cold hard look at my priorities and started making changes, not just for me, but for the little boy who depended on me. I had to man up for the first time in my life and I have to be accountable now. My son is everything to me. I look forward to going home to be with him. He turns to me as soon as he hears my voice and his hands go up and that’s the best feeling in the world. I took six months off work on parental leave to be with him and to get acquainted with him. He knows who his father is and that’s the one thing I will never walk away from ever again.

Last month I took my six month chip for the 12 step fellowship I belong to and my parents were there. I told them I loved them for the first time in a long time. This is the first time I have honestly been sober without being involved in anything. Tamarack has helped my family be together.

To know that I am just a call away from being able to really talk is incredible. For anyone that truly wants help, the door is always open. My life has changed for the better because of Tamarack. They are giving my son his dad.

My hopes for the future are pretty simple: to stay with my current employer, go to movies on Saturday with my son, go to work and come home to my boy, stay sober and live peacefully

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