As a youngster, childhood was nothing short of great. This was in the days when we could still play outside without parental supervision; we were beckoned home when the street lights came on; we built cubby houses and played soccer at the park. Life was good—I had nothing to complain about.
As I got a little older and reached my teen years, I started to feel a little bit like a square peg in a round hole. I never did well in school—I never had the attention span to sit quietly through class or stay focused on school work. My school reports would always say: “If Shane applied himself, he would do really well; however, this is not the case, and he needs to improve,” or something along those lines.
I had quite an athletic ability, which made up for my lack of focus inside the classroom for a little while. But as I entered high school, this gap could no longer be made up for. I started to fall behind quickly, and thus, sort of gave up on the idea of finishing high school. I was unfocused, inattentive, and, as a result, lazy.
Fitting in with the Misfits
I remember not fitting in with the other students very well. But when I was introduced to a group of people outside of school that I suppose you could label as ‘misfits’, I fit right in. I dropped out of school, and this is where I felt real acceptance for the first time.
I always saw myself as different and ‘stronger-willed’—more so than others around me who were becoming addicted, so when using drugs became ‘the thing’ amongst my group of friends, I felt like I’d never get addicted. I had too much going for me—a good job at the time, good family—all of the amazing rationalizations under the sun. This, of course, was not the case. From the moment that substance entered my system, I was hooked.
I don’t see it as totally necessary to go into the ins and outs of my active addiction, since chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve had similar experiences as me. There was chaos, destruction and permanently ruined relationships. I nearly lost myself completely.
A Flicker of Hope
Eventually, I managed to land myself in an institution, years after that first time. Totally broken and beaten, I was introduced to recovery, and a little candle of hope was lit deep within me. I learned about myself and how I behave in the world. I became vulnerable and opened up about my insecurities and fears for the first time in my life. It was life-saving.
Another candle was lit within me during this experience: the desire to help others. Years before and during my addiction, I had always worked in a blue-collar job. My dad did this, as did my grandad, so naturally I fell into a role like this too. But it never felt quite right. After I got clean, I developed a real passion for helping other addicts seek recovery. I went back to school and studied counselling, and began working in a rehabilitation center. It felt right—like I was finally living in line with my true calling.
After some time, myself and Clarity’s other co-founder, James, decided that we wanted to branch out and start something ourselves. We shared a passion for helping others get well, and had similar experiences with what worked and what didn’t work in our own recovery journeys. That is when Clarity was born. The name itself is exactly what we want our clients to achieve: clarity of mind, clarity of body, and clarity of spirit.
We knew from our own addictions and recovery that people have unique experiences. Therefore, people should have individualized treatment plans specific to their unique experiences. This is the treatment ethos Clarity is built on. We strongly believe this is why our clients have had so much success. We figure out what will work for the individual, and build a treatment experience for the client around this.
I could write for hours and hours, filling pages and pages about my story, with the ins and outs and everything in between. But the reality is this: I was a hopeless addict at wits end without a direction for my life. I found recovery and a totally new way to live. Over the years, I followed my calling and, along side my best friend, created an amazing treatment experience that is helping addicts and people suffering from mental health conditions all around the world.
Fundamentally, I am a recovering addict who loves to help people. The rest has happened from following my heart. You can follow yours, too.
If you are struggling with mental health or addiction issues, Clarity at Home can deliver a completely customisable online programme that’s affordable and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Click here to learn more.