St Michael's Homes

Gary’s Journey

Gary’s Journey

“I simply couldn’t go to another funeral!”

–Gary, 42, in recovery from substance dependence

Gary is a well-educated, well-travelled, engaging personality. A year ago, Gary was making close to six figures, but money can only offer so much comfort. In the short space of a few years, Gary had attended fifty funerals of friends and loved ones. As loss after loss pounded Gary’s soul, he began to wonder how to make sense of it all. With increasing frequency, Gary reached for alcohol to quiet the questions that raged in his mind, which accelerated his spiralling descent into hopelessness and despair. Gary lost his job, his home, and his ability to cope.

After a brief stay in detox, Gary struggled to rebuild his life while staying in transitional housing, but frequent relapses left him homeless and in the care of the Good Shepherd Mission, who referred him to St. Michael’s Homes for Residential Treatment. At St. Michael’s Homes, Gary experienced a profound sense of welcome in a community of fellow travellers on the path to recovery, and was able to recover his sense of initiative and self-direction. Gary found stability, but so much more: he has rediscovered hope, meaning, and purpose for his life, along with the faith that God is with him on this journey.

Gary is profoundly grateful that he has been given the chance to live again, with more self-awareness and with wonder at God’s goodness. The second half of Gary’s life might be very different from the first half, but as Gary says, “When you’re trying to figure out where to go in life, you are right where you are supposed to be.”