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We Choose Hope

The feeling of loss and hopelessness gets to all of us during active addiction in one way or another. I was at that stage during my time at The Alpha House Detox. Staying there for the better part of 2 months; feeling like I was institutionalized with no real plan on getting out of the hole I had put myself in. Having my intake date for the Calgary Dream Centre pushed back multiple times, I was beginning to lose hope as my spirit was slowly diminishing. Each day felt like it was dragging by with multiple people (clients) coming in and out, some of which I had seen leave and come back 2 to 3 times. I just happened to be one of those people who had left for 3 days and had returned.

Having my date delayed 2 days before I was supposed to get into the Calgary Dream Centre, I had a slight slip and found myself returning back to The Alpha House, starting the process all over again. I kept myself busy at The Alpha House by focusing on my mind state; reading, attending meetings, volunteering, connecting with others, building healthy relationships and giving others some insight and a sense of hope that things will work out if we all just stay patient and take it day-by-day.

Aabid at the Calgary Flames Game

Just as I was starting to lose myself, I got the opportunity (privilege) to be selected to attend a Calgary Flames game with James from the WoodridgeMTB Trail Support Foundation in partnership with The Alpha House who really gave me hope and courage to keep pushing through; to tough it out and keep my eyes on the end goal which at that time was to get into the Calgary Dream Centre. Spending time with James who had been through what I was going through and sharing stories really opened my eyes to what is achievable and possible with hard-work, dedication, perseverance and a want to change my life. Having the chance to enjoy the evening at a Calgary Flames game and positive conversation was like filling up my tank with premium fuel when I was running close to empty. The timing couldn’t have been better because I was almost at the point of giving up, however, after the time spent that evening I was rejuvenated with a boost of confidence that anything is possible. I’m not sure what it was; a higher power, or fate of the universe, but the next day I got a call from the Calgary Dream Centre asking if I would be ready to get into the program 2 weeks ahead of the date I was initially set for.

Aabid and James at the Calgary Dream Centre

Entering the program at the Calgary Dream Centre, I was both nervous and excited at the same time as this was the positive change and opportunity I was long awaiting. After completing the 49 day program at the Calgary Dream Centre I felt a sense of accomplishment, strength, hope and contentment. Being distant from my family and friends during this journey, it was overwhelming seeing them at my graduation as well as James, along with Leigh from the foundation, who had given me hope and helped me be strong; pushing me forward. The same person who took me out for an evening and inspired me with simply spending time and connecting with me. The smallest and simplest acts during a stage of recovery can be the difference between life and death. Fortunately for me, one evening out sent me on the path of life, change, inspiration and a sense of purpose.

Now, having the opportunity to be part of the WoodridgeMTB Trail Support Foundation and work alongside James and the WoodridgeMTB team that provided me with everything I mentioned before I feel honoured, blessed and most of all humbled. I have now surrounded myself with positive energy, attracting more positive energy, eating healthy, taking self care, giving back in any way what was given to me. I couldn’t be more excited and thrilled to be a part of the WoodridgeMTB Trail Support Foundation that helped bring me back to life and back to living in the now.

As Darryl Sutter wrote on a signed picture for me; from now on, it is “upwards and onwards” and being part of the foundation will be my way of helping others and bringing those struggling back to life and live a life worth living.

- Aabid Hajee

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