Who: Jimmy Sandes
What: TWC Second-Stage House Manager
Clean Time: 11 1/2 months
I arrived at Together We Can on February 10th when I relapsed after five years clean. Up until that point I was directionless but I understood the principles and assistance available if I simply reached out. I found myself in treatment after years working at a different facility running similar groups, and humility was an important principle for me to practice early on to get well.
After two months in first-stage treatment, it was suggested to me that I should enter the second-stage living program. I knew that I wasn’t personally in a position to financially manage my life if I moved out on my own, and as such I took the advice they gave.
Second-Stage granted me the freedom to slowly start getting my life back on track and the ability to explore some options such as school. To attend post-secondary had been on my mind for over three years, and I was finally in a place where I could pursue this dream to its fullest extent. I am currently a full-time student at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, and in my first semester I achieved a 95% average in my classes.
As well, one of my goals was to rebuild and maintain a relationship with my family. They were integral in my sobriety before and I have successfully gained respect and trust back with them to continue the reciprocal bond we have. I found a new level of stability that I was never used to.
One of the most important things I can do as a house manager is to continuously acknowledge to my peers in the house that I am no different from them. We are all addicts living in recovery and as a result I ask them to continue to keep my accountable as I would them. To find balance in my life is to allow others to speak into it.
I came into the position of house manager under the pretence that I would be an example of experience, strength and hope. With almost a year clean again, I feel that second-stage was an imperative point in my life that I encourage everyone to follow through with to solidify their recovery. Today I am in my family’s life, meaningful relationships, sponsees, and most importantly: integrity.