Not long ago 37-year-old Cary Norman didn’t have a future. His substance abuse had robbed him of his life, leaving him in a downward spiral.
Now, thanks to his faith and the help he received at the Discovery House men’s recovery centre, all that has all changed.
Not only has Norman turned his own life around he is currently working two jobs to provide the same help for others in situations he is all too familiar with.
“I started using LSD when I was younger, about 14, which is not really the usual sort of thing and that carried on through jails and institutions, institutions meaning psych wards and going on to adult jail after that,” recalled Norman about the first time he began experimenting with drugs and the results. “I was trying to be cool and stuff, I guess it all starts somewhere.”
During those years in between, during the intermittent stays in institutions, he made a number unsuccessful attempts to clean up his life, including one which lasted three years.
It was during one of those stays in jail he learned about Discovery House.
“I actually heard about it through one of the guards and decided to see what it was all about,” said Norman who was lucky enough to get a bed when he was released. “Getting baptized at the church helped a lot and Discovery House gave me a place to live drug and alcohol free which has changed my life in a way that I don’t want to use (drugs or alcohol) anymore.
“If it wasn’t for Discovery house I probably would have gone back to using. I can almost guarantee that and who knows where I would be now.”
Discovery House is a spiritually-based, 12-step recovery facility for men.
The 90-day open-ended program provides access to a wide range of services ranging from basic life skills training to free counselling and education about the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
Operating funds come entirely from private donations and special events like eighth annual gala dinner and music night.
Norman will be the guest speaker at this year’s fundraiser which is March 29 at the Penticton Seniors Drop in Centre at 2965 South Main. St.
“I’m not sure how far back I’m going with my story (bad part) I think it’s more about what good things Discovery House can do,” said Norman.
Like others who the facility has helped, Norman is doing some work at the house with clients.
His other job is with Portage B.C., a drug addiction rehabilitation centre for adolescents near Keremeos.
“It’s funny because I never saw myself working with adolescents,” he said. “I never saw myself being that type of a person, but following God’s way has all been a part of it. It’s new path of life. it’s a good fit for me.
It also helps me working with the kids, it inspires me to help people that want to change their lives.”
Norman’s other approach to staying clean is not worrying about the future.
“I get up and pray and start my day with an open mind and take it one step at a time, the rest will look after itself,” he said. “That will be my future.”
Tickets for the dinner and evening of entertainment which gets underway at 6 p.m. are still available. For more information call 250-462-1388.