The Mechanics of a Life

This is my story:

I discovered my passion for mechanics very early in life and in a rather unusual way as I started collecting and repairing dozens of old bicycles of every type when I was still just a child. At the same time, I was dealing with bullying at school and the fact that I didn’t have a father figure to help me through it. As a result, I developed toxic relationships in my attempts to feel « cool » and finally gain acceptance. In an insidious, almost natural manner, those « friendships » led me to start using.

My mother had trouble making ends meet and so I went back and forth between youth centres and foster families. Once I was of legal age and free of any mandatory supervision, I unfortunately started using a lot more. I had financial troubles and my world now revolved essentially around consuming and selling drugs. After three psychotic episodes, I hit rock bottom; I had reached the end of the road, or at least that road.

One day, I suddenly remembered how I had collected bikes as a child and I decided to hold onto what had been a genuine passion for me. That’s when I decided to go to Portage.

Going into therapy at Portage was the best gift life had ever given me. I went from being completely destroyed to rebuilding myself over time, with a lot of help from Portage.

Last December, I received over $5000 worth of tools from Portage and two major foundations in recognition of my journey and to help me with my work as a mechanic.

Today, I have several life projects, including specializing in performance and auto racing mechanics. The road ahead is bright and beautiful, and I found it after a long journey paved with obstacles, potholes and dead-ends.

I’m moving forward on the highway to success!


Thank you Portage.


Frederic-Samuel, Day Centre for Adults, Québec City, 2019

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