Our website search service is experiencing an outage. Please use the navigation menus while we work to bring it back up.

It was at that moment I committed to recovery

Photo of author Jason sitting in a coffee shop with headline "It was at that moment I committed to recovery"
Published Date

“That first session, I had an epiphany. ‘Oh, so that’s how others see me.’ It was at that moment I committed to recovery.” 

It was February of 2023. It was a virtual group therapy session hosted by Ontario Shores. Just a few hours earlier, I was certain this would be yet another failed attempt to fix me. I’ve ‘been here…done that’ so many times since I was a kid. 

“Nothing wrong with you, kid.”

“Here, try these pills.”

“You just have an anger problem.”

These are the echoes of more than a decade of apathy towards an overwhelming feeling that was making me increasingly frustrated and, yes, thinking about ending my life. I was angry all the time. Relationships were tough to navigate. I felt alone.

I grew up in a rough part of Scarborough. It wasn’t an ideal family life at the time. By fourteen years old, I was coping with my “condition” using booze and drugs.  

That’s not to say there haven’t been other eureka moments in my life. In fact, just a few years ago, I had found some solace in a podcast called Psychology in Seattle. Host Dr. Kirk Honda was talking about something called Dissociative Disorder, or Borderline Personality Disorder. I just stopped everything. He was listing off symptoms I was familiar with…intimately familiar with. He was talking about me. I actually felt happy for the first time in a very long time. I could finally put a name to the demon in my head. Borderline Personality Disorder.  Dr. Honda also gave me a direction to recovery. DBT. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. It’s similar to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), but has been adapted for people who experience emotions very intensely, like me. 

I researched like never before. It soon became obvious that the place where my recovery awaited was Ontario Shores.  

Back to my virtual therapy session. At first, I found that people in my group had difficulty working through their emotions. This was all so familiar to me. Have a relationship with someone... get angry for whatever reason... that someone gets frustrated and another relationship just walks away.

What was not familiar though, was how Gwenne responded to it all. She listened. She knew the anger was really not for her. She knew who we were behind all of this noise. That first session, I had an epiphany. ‘Oh, so that’s how others see me.’ It was at that moment I committed to recovery. 

Let me tell you what Gwenne has meant to me since that February session. She has become quite important in my life. Finally, I was seen by someone. She really did care. She wanted me to get better. I describe her as my shining light, someone I know I can count on. 

I am now about 2 years sober. My anger is under control. I am setting boundaries for myself while at the same time creating healthy relationships. I have started taking classes in the martial art of Wing Chun. I am about to turn 30 and looking forward to a life I once dreaded.