Since the opening of St. Stephen’s House of London, in 1983, hundreds of our graduates have achieved success. Many alumni are among our 40 regular volunteers, who are largely responsible for keeping the house running.
Within the secure environment of St. Stephen’s House and the camaraderie of the other clients, I was able to recognize and work on my character defects. After a time, with much guidance, I was confident enough to move on.
To this day, because of what I learned and experienced in St. Stephen’s House, and with enormous gratitude, I am now able to carry on a living amends with my family. I continue this wonderful life of sobriety afforded to me by my St. Stephen’s experience.
Almost ten years ago, I was a desperate man suffering in an abyss of punishing alcoholism. I had lost everything – my family, my job and all hope for the future. Then, at a pivotal meeting with Bev Thomson, General Manager of St. Stephen’s House of London, I learned about the 12-step recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bev invited me to come to live at St. Stephen’s House and embrace addiction recovery, which I nervously did.
And through the hope, sense of community and support found at St. Stephen’s House, I now live a sober life, one day at a time. I have a job and, most of all, I share loving relationships with my four beautiful children. Thanks St. Stephen’s House!
My alcoholism took me to places I never thought that I would go. For 13 years, I struggled to maintain continuous sobriety. Although I was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I could only manage to stay sober for periods of time. Eventually, I would be faced with times in my life where taking a drink seemed like my only option and so I drank.
From 1991 – 1992, I lived at St. Stephen’s House. After leaving St. Stephen’s House, I stayed sober for four years, went to meetings, and was relatively happy. However there was still a piece missing inside of me. The last time I took a drink I gave away my relationship, my car, my sense of self, and found myself homeless at the Men’s Mission. Lonely, afraid, isolated, and ashamed, I felt that I had nothing left to lose and life was not worth living.
What I realized was that I missed the third piece of the triangle of recovery: service. I needed to give back. Since August 30, 1995, I have been trying to give away that which was so freely given to me. For the last 19 years I have been involved with St. Stephen’s House of London, volunteering, and fundraising. In addition, I sponsor within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and work the Twelve Steps in my life.
On August 2015, I will celebrate 20 years of continuous sobriety: God willing and one day at a time.
I was isolated from my family and friends, living in the Parry Sound bush. The only thing I felt any passion for was my work and my drink. My passion for work was fading. I decided to relocate to Hamilton, and my family sent my brother, Kevin, who was a 16 -year member of Alcoholics Anonymous to get me. The next two months were a whirlwind. I didn’t have a chance to blink.
Once I finally surrendered, and was willing to see what Alcoholics Anonymous had to offer, I fell in love with the people, the meetings and the program. I found myself living at St. Stephen’s House, following in my brother’s footsteps.
St. Stephen’s House gave me the opportunity to learn to live and become part of something bigger than myself. I was in a safe place, and had the opportunity to begin to reconnect with my two sons after fifteen years. I needed to find the peace that either way, I would be ok. Living at St. Stephen’s House gave me the strength and support to pursue the relationship, and eventually reconnect with my sons.
Today, I have a relationship with those sons. I have found my rightful place in society and have transitioned back to work. I stay connected to St. Stephen’s House and Alcoholics Anonymous.
One day at a time, I am over 3 years sober.