Before substance use crept into my life, I was a veritable ray of sunshine! As a youth, I excelled at sports and did brilliantly at school.

But a shadow fell insidiously over the seemingly gleaming canvas of my life. The consequences of my new habit impacted my motivation to the point where I completely abandoned what mattered to me: friends, family, sports and passions. That’s when substance use completely took over my life.

At 16, I attended my first therapy program at the Portage Saint-Malachie Centre. My first attempt at redemption didn’t work out, although it did sow a seed for the future. But I was involved in delinquency and spent several months incarcerated for various misdemeanors.

Today, I am completely stunned by the breadth of the journey I embarked on, as I recall the vestiges of a path without glory.

Born by the strength I found in my love for my son, I decided to start attending the Portage Day Centre and completed the program in 2022. More motivated than ever before, I embraced life again and rediscovered my passions. These changes started with a series of concrete actions. I invested myself in my peers like the positive leader I had once been. After completing my therapy, I decided to pursue my journey by attending the Job Training Centre (Centre de formation à l’emploi) in order to take stock of my professional aspirations.

Today, I am proud to see the results of my efforts. In addition to being a responsible father, I am studying land surveying. Incredible to think that the last time I had been a serious, convinced and sober student, I was in the prime of my youth!

That minuscule seed that was sowed 10 years ago finally sprouted – exponentially! Light has returned to my life and, like a majestic tree, I am growing and developing with the passage of time.


Enrico, Québec City Day Centre, 2022

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