How One Man Rebuilt his Life after Addiction

Cory stands alongside Paul, his counsellor by the Anchorage addictions program sign

Thirty-year-old Cory nearly died from a suicide attempt. After weeks in hospital, he googled “recovery centres.” That’s when he came across the website for The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Halifax. “Without The Salvation Army I’d either be in an institution or dead,” says Cory. “I am grateful to everyone who has assisted me.”

The Wounds of Abandonment

At age 14 Cory came home from school one day to find that his mother had left him, his dad and his sister. At the time, he acted like her departure didn’t bother him. But inside he was ripped apart by confusion, anger and hurt.

“Mom’s things were gone and so was she,” says Cory. “I didn’t see it coming.”

Before long, Cory thought drugs and alcohol could provide him comfort. By age 16 he was dependent on them, had quit school and was on a downward spiral of self-destruction and hopelessness.

“My brain was messed up. Then I was diagnosed with a mental illness,” says Cory. “I had no stability, worked dead end jobs and fell into a deep depression. For years, I was a broken person.”

The Urge to End it all

Cory felt he couldn’t live with the extreme distress in his life and, one night, cut his throat open. His roommate found him and called an ambulance. He was in hospital for two weeks and had 100 stitches in his neck.

“I almost died,” says Cory. “That made me want to change my lifestyle.”

At the Centre of Hope, the Anchorage Addictions program provided Cory with one-on-one counselling, a safe place to live and abstinence-based programs that included coping strategies and identifying challenges.

“On days that I thought I couldn’t do the program, The Salvation Army picked me up and told me I could,” says Cory. “We worked together to create a plan that helped me move forward.”

In September 2017, Cory graduated from the six-month residential treatment program. Today he is enrolled in an apprentice program learning to be a brick layer and is engaged to be married.

“The Salvation Army helped me believe in myself again,” says Cory. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”