When it came to employment, I was not shall we say “the best” employee. I was always late, I was always missing days, deadlines weren’t met budgets didn’t balance, tills were always short, sales were low, I couldn’t answer a phone or take a comprehensible message. I also had a drinking problem and mental health issues which are quite common among those with addictions. 

Because I had such low self-esteem about what I was capable of doing, work became a place of fear and to hide that fear alcohol became a necessity. Eventually, as it does, everything came crashing down and I had hit my bottom. I went to detox and treatment and came out sober. Fortunately something clicked and it stuck with me. It’s important to mention I had the support of friends, family, psychological and physical help and two beautiful kids to stay sober for. What I didn’t have was the courage or the know how to get back to work. I had no real skills to offer and I had no idea how to write a resume or present myself in an interview. I didn’t know where to turn, nothing had been spoken about in treatment, nothing about how to carry on after we’re sober.

At a meeting somebody told me about Oasis. I had never heard of their services even though their office was quite literally 5 minutes away from where I was living. I made my appointment and went in for an assessment, they started me in an employment program. They asked me what kind of work I could do and I told them nothing, I’ve never had a real job and have been fired from most of them. They told me that wasn’t true and started to ask me about cooking, cleaning, raising my kids (volunteering at their school, getting them registered for extracurricular programs etc….), paying my bills, grocery shopping, all things I had done for years but didn’t realize were skills I could use in the workforce. My confidence started growing as I found that there were more and more activities in my life that I could transfer into work related skills. I actually was job worthy.

Oasis’s Employment Team supported me through understanding and education about how to enter the workforce confidently. There are other agencies who offer what Oasis does however Oasis is the only organization who offers this to people with addiction and mental health issues. I was comfortable there and was treated with patience and understanding. I wish I had known about them earlier, I think it’s very important in sobriety to feel a sense of responsibility. I believe the Government needs to ensure that treatment centres (whether they’re private, community or government run) are aware of Oasis and their services.

Employment is vital to sobriety, it gives us confidence, self-esteem and motivation, responsibility and self-worth, it kept me accountable and determined to move forward.

13Jul 2016
The Disease of Job Ownership

In the workplace, everyone has responsibilities, big or small, in their particular positions.  But over time, some of us can easily create a type of “ownership” of our jobs.  As a result, we don’t want others to know how to do our job – we may give them some information, but never all. This possessiveness […]

17May 2016
dream of being addiction free

‘The founders realized that meaningful work was a key element in rebuilding individual pride, the human spirit and the will to succeed – to find a better life’. This is actually about two dreams – the hopes and dreams of people everywhere and the dream that started OASIS, for they are interlocked. Let’s start with […]

17Nov 2015

Most of us spend more time on average with our working peers than with anyone else, and we don’t necessarily get to pick who they are.  If a workplace is to function effectively and efficiently, we all need to work well together in order to get things done.  While the majority of us learned as […]

30Sep 2015

In Toronto, Ontario, we have an effective system for helping addicts and alcoholics achieve recovery. To help people begin their recovery we have treatment centres, 12 Step programs, counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists, fitness instructors and medical professionals treating the whole human structure “Body, Mind and Spirit”. These places and people help change people’s addictive behaviours. […]

30Sep 2015

When it came to employment, I was not shall we say “the best” employee. I was always late, I was always missing days, deadlines weren’t met budgets didn’t balance, tills were always short, sales were low, I couldn’t answer a phone or take a comprehensible message. I also had a drinking problem and mental health […]

30Sep 2015

I started my recovery journey 23 years ago in a treatment centre, together with 24 other individuals. I remember the discussions we had the last few days – there was a mixture of relief that we had successfully completed the program, and fear of an unknown future. Most of us knew that nothing would be […]

18Sep 2015

Individuals who have issues with a drug and / or alcohol addiction and want to deal with their substance use, have plenty of opportunities to do so both in Toronto and throughout Canada. There are numerous treatment centres (over 50 in Ontario alone); some are funded by various levels of government while others are run […]