Addiction Ruin My Life

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Addiction Ruin My Life

Looking across the table at this pitiful being, it is almost impossible to believe that he is the man he says he was.

Unwashed, unshaven, dressed in rags with a vacant look in his eyes.

Jon is not special. Nor is his story unique or more tragic than any other homeless person found walking our city streets today.

Jon’s story is a message to all of us caught up in our hectic lives, unable to prioritize, organize and resolve those escalating debts, domestic troubles or stressful workloads. Jon is an addict.

Jon had a wife, Joy, two children, baby Kate, four months old and son Jon, five.

He had a job and by all accounts, not just any job. He was a senior executive for a major marketing firm in Toronto, Ontario.

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with honours, Jon was cherry-picked by his firm, and his future looked swell.

Childhood sweetheart Joy would be soon after becoming his loving wife, and their first child Jon Junior was born in 2001.

Jon had a problem though, a hidden vice that he kept from all of his friends and family- sports betting. Jon hadn’t started as a gambler like so many others before him, just betting small on sports, but after joining a casino, the habit became an addiction.

One vice lead to another, one addiction became two, and Jon was on the downward spiral that so many have never returned from.

At first, it was just domestic bickering after a few drinks and some small losses but soon, it would become full-on drunken rages and wife-beating as the losses mounted up.

Of course, his home life was not the only area affected as his career took a nosedive due to absence and poor performance.

In the fifth year of his marriage, Jon hit Joy for the last time as she was secretly pregnant and nearly lost the baby.

His family was gone the next day, and Jon was on his own. During this time, he turned to alcohol and refused his family and friends to call for counselling, to carry on alone.

Without the rehabilitation, he desperately needed Jon dove to new depths of despair, drinking on in the morning and at work an intolerance that would get him fired in 2007.

Unable and unwilling to help himself and reluctant to keep up the payments on his house Jon became homeless in 2008.

With no savings left to his name and gambling and alcohol problem, he sold all of his property off to the point that he had only the shirt on his back by the end of the year.

When I interviewed him for this article, one thing stood out.

He had the opportunity to stop this but was unable to find the inner strength to do so. If you are reading this, don’t make the same mistake.