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It’s the ability to love and be loved, a willingness to forgive, it is compassion and celebrating the present. It is  also something you want to pay forward.”
– Lisa Simone - National Communications Director, FSRC

 

Recovering Gratitude

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Introducing Connie, the face behind the front desk.She is most in touch with waitlist clients, in-house clients and alumni. The waitlist clients generally number 100 or so and each one of them is required to call daily to let us know how they are doing.  Admittance to the day program, or the residential program, is done from the main waitlist.  We have other waitlists for specific population groups and they are separate from the main list. I talk to many mothers and fathers who are trying to find help for their child and I try to provide them with information that will help. I receive calls from as far away as Nova Scotia. Spend time talking with the parents about our Family Healing Program and how it will help them in their understanding of the addict/alcoholic.  They are grateful for the information I provide. All of these different contacts are satisfying and I am grateful to be of help. I also let all of these contacts know that I am also in recovery and we share and laugh about certain circumstances.

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On the one year anniversary of Dale Rasmussen’s passing; we want to remember the man, the message and the essence he brought to us.  Dale was not just a chef; but a treasure hunter. He uncovered both the blessings of this world and transforming, like a simple monk, the dark parts. He was about finding his passion, experiencing love, relationships, recovery, giving back, food, and introspection.  He had a quiet wisdom and when we were present to listen; this beautiful soul in a chef’s apron spoke of right and honest living.  Dale wrote this message for our newsletter back in 2013 - -feels fitting to share it today....

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Usually, I like to use the peer support. Within the group, as the outreach coordinator, I am responsible for the mentorship program as well. We assign a specific man further along in the program to new men.There’s the peer support model. In actual facilitation, it’s more psycho-informational rather than process-group. I present the information. I field any questions. Usually, for me, I will use a lot of information from our manual. I also share my personal experience with the men. I have that lived experience. I am in recovery. It can be part of what I do in facilitating. 

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For this article, five different professionals who are recovering addicts/alcoholics who had successfully completed Fresh Start’s 12-16 week program were interviewed to get their take on what it’s like to be an alcoholic/addict in a “professional environment”. These professionals include a CA/Comptroller, a Lawyer, an MBA/Systems Analyst, a Wealth Management Specialist and a Petroleum Engineer.

All five of these professionals share things in common; they are all well educated, come from a two parent homes where at least one parent has a university education, a stable job, a home, a car and a family. According to many of the societal yardsticks, they grew up as members of “good families”.

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Many people this year are looking for the newest iPhone, a new couch, or a vacation get-away?  While all those are quite nice, you know from experience that Christmas can ALSO FEEL special when you are part of giving to those who are looking for more hope. This Christmas especially, you can make a huge impact.

At Fresh Start we see the Christmas miracles that you and other’s make happen all the time.... like Tyler who was featured in our 2014 Christmas Message. That year he needed special permission to take his children - Jayne (6) and Jeffrey (5) - to New York to meet his family for Christmas. It was a big deal for all of them as they flew there and then home with hearts full of gratitude for the experience. 

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Charity Intelligence has picked the most effective Canadian charities it has found which combat issues such as hunger, homelessness, and improving education.  Evidence shows the 10 CCIF charities all make a significant difference in the lives of Canadians and are likely to be the most effective at changing lives.  Ci’s Director of Research, Greg Thomson, says “if you were investing in companies, you would choose those most likely to give the best return. We’re trying to get the best return in combatting poverty in Canada.”

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I started hearing people say that “a grateful addict will never use.” That sounded like a good plan, but I didn’t understand what it meant. Sure, I could say I was grateful to still be alive, that I was returning to health, that my family supported me. All things I thought I should be grateful for.

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For every parent watching a child go through the process of addiction, my friend, Scott Oake, from Hockey Night in Canada. Him and his wife, Anne Oake, are working to build a treatment centre for their son who passed away. Scott said, “We are only as happy as our unhappiest child.” If you have a child that has an addiction, it is part of your daily life. It is with you every day.

When they get clean, the parents think, “Please let this be the last time.” I sat with a colleague of mine. I came across him in a parkade. He was crying. I said, “What’s going on?” He said, “His son had overdosed and died.” The one thing that he said that he would do in a heartbeat is that he would take it all back in terms of always being on him about the drug use. He would have taken it all back and spend that time loving him.

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The key to all of that is a simple thing. Everybody tries to get that hole filled from outside sources. It is an ‘inside job.’ There are a few things to do this gig. That is love who you are and love what you do. From that, you cannot fail. I like what Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”.

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One thing that came with growing up in the rooms is also growing up in life. Maturity was something new to me, especially emotional maturity. I made plenty of mistakes in my first few years of recovery, acting out, getting into unhealthy relationships, overspending, and lacking commitment.  I got to experience all of it. That was a blessing, because each experience brought growth and light to my life.

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FROM OUR BLOG

Blog post summary picture

Introducing Connie, the face behind the front desk.She is most in touch with waitlist clients, in-house clients and alumni. The waitlist clients generally number 100 or so and each one of them is required to call daily to let us know how they are doing.  Admittance to the day program, or the residential program, is done from the main waitlist.  We have other waitlists for specific population groups and they are separate from the main list. I talk to many mothers and fathers who are trying to find help for their child and I try to provide them with information that will help. I receive calls from as far away as Nova Scotia. Spend time talking with the parents about our Family Healing Program and how it will help them in their understanding of the addict/alcoholic.  They are grateful for the information I provide. All of these different contacts are satisfying and I am grateful to be of help. I also let all of these contacts know that I am also in recovery and we share and laugh about certain circumstances.

Read more

  

Blog post summary picture

On the one year anniversary of Dale Rasmussen’s passing; we want to remember the man, the message and the essence he brought to us.  Dale was not just a chef; but a treasure hunter. He uncovered both the blessings of this world and transforming, like a simple monk, the dark parts. He was about finding his passion, experiencing love, relationships, recovery, giving back, food, and introspection.  He had a quiet wisdom and when we were present to listen; this beautiful soul in a chef’s apron spoke of right and honest living.  Dale wrote this message for our newsletter back in 2013 - -feels fitting to share it today....

Read more

  

Blog post summary picture

Usually, I like to use the peer support. Within the group, as the outreach coordinator, I am responsible for the mentorship program as well. We assign a specific man further along in the program to new men.There’s the peer support model. In actual facilitation, it’s more psycho-informational rather than process-group. I present the information. I field any questions. Usually, for me, I will use a lot of information from our manual. I also share my personal experience with the men. I have that lived experience. I am in recovery. It can be part of what I do in facilitating. 

Read more

  
 

 


 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Apr-29-2017
8:00 PM –
Apr-30-2017
1:00 AM

Clean and Sober Dance


May-04-2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Family Healing Program


May-04-2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Family Healing Program Alumni


May-11-2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Family Healing Program


May-11-2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Family Healing Program Alumni