Getting a Fresh Start

Daryl, pictured with his wife Jenny and dog Ruby, is getting a fresh start.

When Daryl was a teen, he thought he had found the cure for all of life’s problems.

“I took my first drink and thought, ‘this stuff fixes everything,’” said Daryl.

“I wanted to be a rock star, and I decided this is what rock stars do.”

Daryl left home in his 20s, pursuing his dreams. “I was the guy who could out party anybody,” said Daryl. “I was the world’s best entertainer, even if it was at my own expense.” 

But, despite his party-boy persona, Daryl was miserable, and often contemplated suicide. He was incredibly close to putting a plan in action when a friend arrived for a surprise visit. 

“He said to me, ‘dude, you’re not well,’ and called my brother. He brought me back to Ontario,” said Daryl. 

He stayed with his brother, and got a job. But Daryl kept drinking – and worse. 

“That’s when I started putting needles in my arm.”

It wasn’t until he came to House of Friendship’s Residential Treatment program that Daryl finally left substance use behind.

“It was a structured program,” said Daryl. “I had chores for the first time in my life, and had to learn how to do things. I didn’t know how to mow the lawn – I had to ask for help.”

Daryl felt empowered after learning this basic life skill that he had somehow missed in his years of substance use.

And while the structure helped Daryl stretch in new directions, he also appreciated the freedom that came with how he spent his free time.

“I soon learned how awesome the library was – I started sending emails, and got a Facebook account. Now that I was sober, everything was interesting to me.”

Today, at 51, Daryl is celebrating 16 years of recovery, going back to school and working in a youth rehab facility – while finding still finding time to pursue music.

Thank you for believing in hope! Your compassionate support of individuals like Daryl makes it easier to fight the stigma of addiction, ensuring that more people will seek the help they need. 

Posted on: June 21st, 2024

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