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  • Writer's pictureJon L

Finding Purpose in Recovery

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Jordan's Story

My name is Jordan, and I was born in St. Thomas, Ontario.

I was born to a single mother, with the aide of my grandma and grandpa; I was an only child.

Because I didn’t have my father in my life, I had a lot of feelings of inadequacy. I felt different. I felt like I didn’t belong.

Being a single mother, my mom worked three jobs. She sacrificed a lot of time to spend with me. My grandparents helped me a lot when I was younger.

Because of my feelings I started seeking attention in ways that would get it instantly.

I remember when I first smoked weed and drank.

I didn’t like alcohol because I would do things that I didn’t know about, often blacking out. I became very angry, very violent. Smoking pot made me very paranoid.

But what I did like was the feeling of being accepted and feeling like I was part of something. So, I continued down that path, which eventually led to trying other hard drugs.


Because I didn’t have my father in my life, I would often ask my mom over the years where he was. Every year I would ask a couple more times. As I grew, the answer would change - adapting to me being older, and not as naive. There came a point where I knew something wasn’t right. So, I bluntly asked where he was.

The biggest part that hit me was not that she lied to me but finding out he was my hockey coach. I went to public school with his kids. I was so frustrated. I was really embarrassed. I was feeling a lot of emotions, and it was too much all at once.

After that, I ended up trying Oxycontin for the first time. That, I enjoyed from the start. It wasn’t like all the other drugs I did. The feelings, the numbness, everything was gone. Everything. My body would shut down, mentally, emotionally, physically. It was a calm between the constant storm of my life.

I was working at Canadian Tire at the time, and once I became addicted, I needed drugs all day, every day. Even though I was making money, I could not afford it. Working in the sports department, I had access to a bunch of merchandise in which I started stealing.

I met a drug dealer who would take these stolen goods, and one day, he didn’t have my drug of choice – instead he offered me Fentanyl patches. I didn’t know what it was, but he told me it was an opiate, and so I took it.

Eventually Canadian Tire caught up to my schemes, and they ended up looking for all the stolen goods, and they found a plethora of stuff missing. They pulled me into the office and told me that they knew I was stealing. I just remember crying. Why? I don’t know. I would like to say it was because I knew what I did was wrong, but I was crying because I lost my source for my drug and stealing habits.

That was my first offense, and when I went to court, they released me the next day. It didn’t take much and I went back at it again. This time, though, my grandma was the victim of my next crime.

Every Saturday, my grandma goes to bingo. When she couldn’t find her debit card, she went to the bank. It was then that she found out I had drained her chequing account, and she called the cops with the help of my mom.

At court next morning, the lawyer mentioned how much I had taken. I was shocked. I had no recollection of it. I started crying again because of how bad I felt for what I did to my grandma. My grandma was so embarrassed to be in the courtroom with my mom. She didn’t care as much about the money, as she did the embarrassment of having to take her grandson to court. When something happens in the small town we are from, everyone knows about it.

I went to jail for two weeks that time, and it was the worst two weeks of my life. I didn’t have a good first stay, we’ll say.

When I got out, I went to two different addiction centers, but one of them was only a 17-day program. What I learned was great, but when I came out, I went right back at it. My drug use got way worse. I ended up trying crystal meth to combat the opiates. That became my new match with Fentanyl.

As it progressed, I would stay up for a week or two at a time before crashing. I was not eating. I was getting involved with people I had no right getting involved with; those who were way out of my league in the drug scene.

Almost at the same time, my mom and grandma both got sick with cancer. In that moment I wanted to get better, so I started taking methadone to help with the opiate cravings. Thanks to the methadone I was able to be there and support them the best I could. But it wasn’t long before I realized how tough it was to watch. It’s painful to watch someone die, but it’s even harsher to watch someone die slowly. And they both died very slowly.

Unfortunately, my mom passed first, and my grandma had to bury her daughter. My grandma followed shortly after from the stress of having to watch her daughter die. After my grandma’s funeral, I said, “I’m done with methadone”, and I went right back into my addiction.

I picked back up x100, and I was going down a path that I knew wasn’t me. I was in and out of jail constantly.


During my last stint in jail, I had about 52 charges, and I finally made the decision that I wanted to get help. I didn’t know what that meant. I just knew I wanted help. I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I knew that my choice wasn’t going to get me out of jail, but I was willing to do my time, and seek treatment after.

Still in jail, I found a place for treatment. There were two applications sent - but the one that accepted me was Jericho Road. I had no clue what I was getting into, but I was okay with the unknown. My whole life had been unknown, and I had learned to become accustomed with it.

I was always opposed to what I thought Christianity was like, but the folks that helped me find treatment were Christians. When they found a program, I was so broken that I was willing to do whatever it took, no matter where it was.

My father was not around my whole life, and because of this I had a big trust issue with other males. I thought they were all going to abandon me, or not show up. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I was in rehab with all male staff and residents.

I remember certain staff - one hugged me, one told me that they loved me, and one was always smiling. What is this façade? I couldn’t believe that their actions weren’t self-seeking.

During my first three weeks, I didn’t look anyone in the eyes. I didn’t speak. But every day the staff still showed up. Every day I needed to talk, they talked. Every day I needed them to listen, they listened. Even though I didn’t think I needed to hear what they had to say, I tried to listen. It took a few months of them showing up for me to finally start trusting them and becoming vulnerable.


I struggled hard with the God thing; I thought God was very cruel. I blamed him for the death of my mother and my grandmother. Another big issue I had with God when I was young, was that people would talk about God the Father, the Heavenly Father. I projected my insecurities with my biological dad onto God. My father wasn’t around. Why would You be around?

One of the staff was the main reason I decided to give God a shot. When I met him, he did my interview while I was still in jail. When he told me his life story and how our stories were similar, I became willing to do whatever he did because I truly believed what he told me, and what changed him - God was a big part of that.

Slowly, I started to see good things happening, like being able to release the guilt and shame toward my mother and grandma. But from there, it skyrocketed. The trajectory of where it has taken me is far from anything I could have ever imagined.


I remember hearing for the first time that I must do this recovery stuff for the rest of my life. What a chore. But what I’ve realized now that I’m sober, is that doing these things every day isn’t a chore. Now I’m working with others, and it has slowly helped me build my confidence; that I have something I can offer others. By helping other people, they are helping me. Sometimes it feels like they are helping me more than I’m helping them.

I have a purpose today, and I keep doing what’s necessary even though I’m not perfect. There are times when I think I don’t need a meeting, but when I don’t go, I wake up the next day “on the wrong side of the bed.” It ends up becoming a bad start to the day. It becomes easier to get down on myself or blame external things. But the good thing is, now that I’m sober, I can identify the problem and do something about it.

Most of us don’t get it right away, but we just keep showing up. We don’t expect it to be perfect because it won’t be. We try to identify the people that are in our life that are genuinely trying to help us. We stop fighting them, because when we fight them, we’re actually fighting ourselves. I’ve seen too many people denying opportunities that were placed right in front of them.

I think the best suggestion in early recovery is just to have an open mind. Any biases we have; I would throw them out the window. When I came in, I didn’t know what I was getting into. But that turned out to be good. It may seem impossible to clear the slate, but the big thing is, follow the suggestions - there’s things you got to do, just keep doing them and you’ll be surprised at the results.

Jordan Fiveash

Resident & House Supervisor

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