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Exhale, Breathe, Recover: Recovery from Addictions in Vancouver


I was on my way back from Alberta and knew that the “Men Being Honest” meeting was happening. I also knew that the gracious host of these meetings over the last 6 years was doing something a little special. So, SURPRISE – I hung around the city to go to it! He had invited his meditation teacher as a guest speaker to talk about the many benefits of meditation practice and what she offers as a private practitioner.

For me personally, it was a healthy reminder that I need to include some form of daily meditation into my life so that I may reap of all the benefits it offers us. We provide a lot of meditation at Sunshine Coast Health Centre for this reason. Many clients find developing a meditation practice helps them with presence, mindfulness, self-regulation, and a deeper understanding of self.

At the meeting, we enjoyed healthy snacks, Perrier and San Pellegrino. We had an impactful check-in and it was magical to hear of the years our different clients talked about. The other side of the coin is that some were struggling with how to help peers who were not doing well. There were candid conversations around the deadly consequences of continued substance use in Vancouver currently. We recently lost a few brothers who were much, much too young and brothers who have children. What an impact on those families’ lives.

For me, it is all about the preservation of life until they can get a handle on their recovery. These meetings always mean so much to me and I know it’s the same for our alumni too. It’s an opportunity to take off their mask and be honest in a safe place.

We ended the night with a raffle for 2 Canucks tickets and boy was that fun pulling the name out of that hat! I was escorted back to my hotel by one of our alumni and what a beautiful way to end my night. We had talked about recovery – he is almost at his one year! He showed me the most beautiful parts of that city at night.

Lucky are those that take the time to connect with people, and to be present with the “right-here-right-now”. Life is happening everywhere around us – we just need to pause, take a deep breath, and enjoy the hell out of it.

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