One of the biggest life lessons I am working on is patience, and my patience has paid off in this case! I finally had the opportunity to sit down with one of the members of Our Collective Journey, also known as OCJ.
My guest is Ryan Oscar, one of three co-founders of OCJ and the podcast, From Darkness To Life. Our Collective Journey aims to connect people with people and strengthen communities through the power of shared experience.
They pride themselves on authentic, honest connections with individuals rooted in shared experiences. What they’re doing amazingly well is helping people share their stories because every time that happens, it helps erase the shame for others, which allows them not to feel so alone in their pain.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the complete Episode:
Who is Ryan Oscar
A man’s man
Moving back to Saskatchewan
Violence and alcoholism
Working his way up the ladder
The death of his father
The catalyst to self-destruction
From alcohol to cocaine
No consequences for his actions
Drugs became a staple
His last run
An act of God
The counselor who called him out
Biking across Canada
Raising funds along their bike journey
Going back to college at 40
Addiction crisis worker
Our Collective Journey
Answering the call for help
People reaching out
Gaps in the system
What he is grateful for
14:29 – “Drugs were a staple in my life from the moment my feet hit the floor to the moment whatever time of day it was I went to bed and used behind that curtain right behind that, that mask that everything is okay. And as long as I wasn’t drinking, people weren’t questioning me. At that time, the wife and I bought a nice big house up on the hill, and I got a promotion. We had some vehicles and this and that and everything on the outside. I painted this picture that man; he’s got it going on. He’s doing so well. But behind that picture, I was crumbling. And upstairs mentally, I was broken.”
47:43 – “We like to say that our stories are different, but the feelings that come with them are the same. And I think that has a lot to do with it doesn’t matter where you come from, what demographic, what level of income, the feelings you experience in addiction are the same. And a lot of it is that isolation. In the end, it’s I’m alone in this nobody’s ever going to understand.”
49:18 – “Oh, and another common thread is trauma, right? Yeah. Gabor Matei talks about all the time most professionals in the addiction world talk about trauma, which is one of the underlying issues or underlying causes for eviction. And for me, it wasn’t. As I said earlier on, I didn’t think I came from a normal home, and I didn’t. I’ve never thought I had a traumatic experience growing up, but now I look back and think, Wow, it’s not the event itself. It’s how I processed it, and there’s a lot of trauma back then”.
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Thanks for listening,