Category Archives: Building Doorways

Just what is an addiction?

Discovering the freedom to be addicted to life!

In 2007 my lungs had taken a turn for the worse. I needed to take time to heal. At the same time a disc in my neck crumbled and life changed even more so. I was put on very strong medications. During that time it felt as if life was fading away. It was easy to close my eyes and believe that I would not wake up. Yet, each day I did wake up. It was important to make a decision about life itself. My memory had slipped away and there were times I looked in the mirror and did not know who I was. There were times when I stood in front of the mirror and asked where do I go from here. I would often turn on the computer and be confronted by Facebook. I knew nothing about this venue. I turned it on and began to see faces of people I did not know. Then I decided to look for people I did know. In the midst of my search I began to talk to people and recover my memory. This would be the second time in my life that my memory had been severely damaged by my sarcoidosis and the resulting medications. During this time while on Facebook I began to create discussions with old friends and new. I began to borrow thoughts, images and pictures.  I created files and saved what I could. The following story illustrates just how it worked for me. This story is dedicated to my staff, friends and participants at “the back door.” The back door was a project in Alberta Canada that started in the late 80’s. It was where I spent a lot of my life. This was a group of people who helped many young people to get off the street and to escape a life of addictions. At the same time these people created a way to allow an alternative addiction to live a life of it’s own.    I hope you enjoy the following.

Thank you Facebook friends for sharing these pictures and stories that helped to inspire so many thoughts.

Coffee, just how much does it affect our society and those around us? Staff never said much. They just carried their mugs with them.     They all knew there wasn’t a problem. One cup allowed them a moment of refreshment nurturing a clear mind and the power to face the day. 

Even many of the participants, those young people who came to get off the street grew to know they could easily police necessary life changes. 

Life could change! Indeed life would change! The staff had come to realize that the streets of Calgary would never be the same. This was not about individuals becoming super human. This was not about discovering the elixir of life. It was about developing networks for good and nurturing proper healthy life changing decisions. Indeed, it was about the willingness to give, the willingness to identify that life giving energy found in the heartbeat and blood line of those who choose to be a part of the difference.

Indeed the streets of Calgary would know that it was time to change. The staff and volunteers had committed themselves to a constant declaration that the purposes of life were very clear. It was time for the pain and violence of the streets to come to an end. These people were staunchly committed to the agenda, NO ONE NEEDS TO BE HURT!

It was time to get with the program! This was not about politics, this was not about defining who was right or who was wrong. It was about life. It was about seeing everyone had an opportunity to experience the opportunity to make healthy choices and take new directions when and where necessary. These were a people who knew that at the end of each day they could be rejuvenated to face tomorrow. They had indeed experienced the freedom to be addicted to life!

P.S. Congratulations to the initial staff of five persons and thirty young people who began this process. In the last 24 years people from over 120 countries have now experimented with these concepts and adapted them to life situations.