by Matthew Yeomans (Chilliwack)
This pandemic was my time to get healthy and get the support I needed to change my life. It’s been a blessing. It’s been very hard, but it has changed my life for the better.
I was born in Thompson, Manitoba and moved to Chilliwack in grade 9. I am lucky to be part of a semi-independent living program supported by the Chilliwack Society for Community Living.
I am so grateful for my staff, family and friends who supported me on this journey over the past year, even if
it was from a distance. Thanks to them, I can look forward to the rest of my life sober and clean and with goals I am proud of.
It was shortly after my birthday on March 10, 2020, that I decided to stay home and listen to my support staff and pay attention and focus on my life. I didn’t see anyone on my birthday and that was hard. My mom dropped off a cake, but we couldn’t see each other.
The first three months was even harder. I didn’t trust anyone. I was in withdrawal. But once I got the right medication, I could trust again. I owe everyone a major thank you, especially the other people in my building and my staff. They helped me change my life and get focused. With my true friends, supporters and family believing in me, I realized there are more important things in life.
It’s amazing what people can do in your life even during a pandemic. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to record my first demo record. I love singing. My album will be a tribute to my brother who passed away very recently.
I want to help change other people’s lives. With the help of my CLBC Facilitator, I am now connected to self advocacy groups and committees that are interested in my voice and what I have to contribute. That feels amazing! Over the last year I have joined Chilliwack People First, the CLBC Editorial Board and the Upper Fraser Community Council. I’m excited to be part of things where people support each other through thick and thin to have the best quality of life they could ever ask for.
I have learned that if someone offers you help to change your life around, don’t hesitate, just do it. It’s worth it. My life has changed for the best and I want to continue working on my goals so I can make a difference in this world like others have done for me. Thank you to all the amazing staff, and to my true family and friends. Instead of being on a rollercoaster I’m now reaching for the stars!
This on BC Govt website go to the link here