Michael Plouffe is a former client of The Ottawa Mission. Last week marked two milestones in his life. He celebrated two years of sobriety and his 52nd birthday – milestones he thought he would never achieve. Here is Michael’s story, in his own words:
I had been through other treatment facilities in my 37-year battle with addiction, but I knew as soon as I walked through the door that The Ottawa Mission was different. The place itself was clean and bright. The breadth of services was amazing – from food and clothing, to medical and dental services and education and job training programs. The place seemed filled with a sense of hope – and luckily they had room in their programs for me when I was desperate for help.
I started with a three-week stint in The Mission’s pre-treatment program called Stabilization. After that I was ready to enter LifeHouse, The Mission’s 5-month residential program located in a facility next door to the shelter.
I learned so many things at LifeHouse – about understanding and accepting the underlying causes of my addiction, and about how to overcome years of negative thinking. I also learned that many things that were absent from my life – including my family – were worth fighting for. I am so thankful to my wife and daughters for their love and support.
I have achieved something else in the past year that I never imagined possible. Thanks, in part, to on-line writing courses I took while at LifeHouse, I have published a book about my journey. It’s called My Clean and Sober Life – Breaking the Chains of Addiction, and it is dedicated to everyone seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. I hope it will show others who are struggling that a better life is possible – that there is always reason to hope.
For many of the blessings I have received over the past two years, I am especially grateful to The Mission’s LifeHouse staff. Their encouragement, classes and counselling have given me the motivation, inspiration and tools necessary to live a life of sobriety, happiness and love.