Serenity with Nature and Living the Sober Life.

When you are in your late teens and early twenties and living in Banff, Alberta, Canada, it is pretty much expected that you will become a regular at some bar or pub, spending so many nights drinking your face off, and in so many cases mixing in some illicit drugs.

Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the worst things that can happen to young people in this age group as the invincibility factor is very high and you push yourself to the absolute limitations.  So many young adults carry this addiction into their later years and never really get a hold on it until it becomes too late; for Nate Andrews, he dug himself out of the hole and changed his life for the better.

I Got Hooked Young

Nate started using marijuana at the age of 12, by the age of 14 he was selling it, and by the time he was 16 years old he started using cocaine and in fact had been smoking crack for over a year already.

Nate spent the next six years hooked on cocaine and started selling the drug during this time.  As with so many young addicts before him, he never truly had a real chance to experience his youth and all the good that can come with it.

“I was using all the time, selling the stuff; all the while losing my close friends, and pretty much losing every job I got.  I ended up moving to Banff in my later teen years, and was really feeling down and out with everything about life,” says Andrews.

‘This is when the drinking got out of control’

The town of Banff is a beautiful place to see and is tucked away in the mountains, within Alberta.  It does, however have one of the wildest night life scenes in Western Canada, this is primarily because of so many young people in their late teens and twenties living and working in the town.

“By the time I was 21 years old I was drinking every day, upwards to 26 ounces of liquor per day, to the point where I relied on it,” stated Nate.  “I would end up stealing booze to just function during the day, walking into random liquor stores and taking what I could.  I ended up going through about ten different jobs over a two year period.”

The Discovery of AA but the Struggles to Stay Clean

It takes a lot for a man in their early twenties to even admit there is a problem, as this does become the only life a person really knows. For a man Nate’s age, it does not happen all too often where they will be willing to seek out help.

“I got hooked up with AA when I was 23 and it took me over two years to actually be able to stay clean and by the time I was 25 I was finally getting cleaned up,” he says.  “It was an extremely tough transition and I was dealing with so much anger and frustration about what do I do next, but I managed to find positive outlets for this anger.”

When you are young and in recovery, prioritizing your life becomes very important, and finding things that will keep you busy and productive becomes an every day task, as Nate found out.

“Sobriety became my priority in life, and I spent extremely long days at work, and was going to four or five meetings a week,” stated Andrews.  “I was spending all my time being productive and was discovering true passions in my life like stone masonry, carpentry, and wood work.  I found serenity in nature, a higher power, and the great outdoors; Banff has an amazing backdrop of beauty within the mountains, and being able to be in the outdoors is a true blessing.”

Discovering a True Path and Finding What Works

Once a person discovers that they can stay clean and sober, they start to get into a routine with life and discovering things that work for them to help them stay clean, and for Nate this was going to meetings and talking with others.

“I’m working for a great company now, and I keep going to meetings; I open up and talk with others when things are bothering me, and try to help other people struggling with the same problem,” said Nate, “and through all this I noticed some huge changes in my character.”

What every former addict will witness and see the most are the changes in their character when good things start to happen in their life.  Nate found out that him, along with others where noticing the positive changes; in fact, people where starting to respect him as he was treating others with respect, along with respecting himself.

‘More doors open up and possibilities are endless’

Nate just finished his first year of Carpentry trades school with being on his way to becoming a Journeymen Carpenter.  More job opportunities are popping up, along with more professional growth, such as becoming a partner within the company.

“It is all about being the best person I can be; with personal growth, health and happiness,” he stated, “I worked up through all the crap, and I am happy and successful.”

At 29 years old Nate is still hooked into AA and is very open about it.

Today, he talks to those still in active addiction, hoping to help just one other soul follow the path back to a better life.

A Sober Success Story: Nate Andrews ©