Alex* packed his bags into his car and drove to visit a friend in a distant city after deciding he needed to leave his hometown behind. “My life had become unmanageable because of addiction issues and grief I was experiencing… it made me emotionally dysregulated and I had no one to lean on and guide me… I was going to get some help and get back on track,” he explained. Once at his destination, Alex’s participation in various addiction and trauma services led him to successfully transition into a stabilization program. “That’s when I started looking for a treatment program,” he noted.
When Alex landed on the Mission Services of London website, he saw a story about Justin, a Quintin Warner House graduate who described finding “a new sense of peace” in his life as a result of the program. “I saw Justin and thought, ‘Well if he made it this far in his life, why can’t I do the same thing?’ That’s when I talked to Rita on the phone and a month later I got into Quintin Warner House,” Alex shared.
One of Alex’s main focuses during his time in the house concerned his ability to communicate emotions. “I’ve never been able to express how I feel. I didn’t know how to do it. There was always a fear of being rejected if I said how I felt. So one of the biggest things I learned at Quintin Warner House was that it was okay to talk, it was okay to trust, and it was okay to feel”.
Alex also wanted to focus on developing his parenting skills as he is looking to build a strong, meaningful connection with his son. “I relocated here so I could rebuild my relationship with him so I could be emotionally regulated and build community supports,” Alex said. So Alex’s Addiction Counsellor introduced him to a parenting class held in the community. “The class taught me to focus on putting [my son] at the top, the most important thing is that he comes first”.
Connecting to community services was an impactful aspect of Alex’s healing and growth. “Whatever I was doing in group therapy, [my Addictions Counsellor] would extend it out into the community, so she connected me to different resources outside of the house which I am still involved in to this day”.
In addition to group therapy, one-on-one counselling, and community connections, Quintin Warner House promotes healthy living including life skills from cooking and cleaning to interpersonal skills. “They teach us from ground zero how to enjoy life from taking us to the gym every day; sitting at the dining room table and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day; from watching TV together; putting up a Christmas tree; mowing the grass; raking the lawn; cleaning the house – and they teach us to work together,” Alex reflected.
This past January, Alex graduated from Quintin Warner House’s addiction treatment program and is now employed and living in his own apartment. He has an enormous amount of gratitude for all those who helped him on his journey toward sobriety and a new life of hope. “I’m grateful for every client that went through there because I learned something from them and I am thankful for the Quintin Warner House team… for pointing people in the right direction and finding a new and better way to live, and supporting us through all of that. I have a lot of gratitude for the people there, it’s not the house or the building, it’s the people”.
*Alex’s name and photo have been changed to protect his privacy.
Written by Amy Bumbacco, Communications & PR Coordinator