A Wellness Champion profile from the Wellness Team, Office of the Chief Medical Officer
Chris Wycotte, 42, is not only sober, happy, and shining bright following his struggles with alcohol consumption and unhappiness, he is now helping other men get on the road to recovery through connecting to the lands and water.
His own road hasn't been easy. A car accident in 2006 left him scarred and riddled with pain that continues to this day. The pain was so bad he was bed-ridden at times, and the scars on his face and body left him insecure. He also suffered from posttraumatic stress.
To cope, Chris turned to alcohol. “I had blankets on my windows and could only see the darkness," he said. This spoke both metaphorically and literally to where Chris was at. It was a very painful and depressing time.
Chris knew that this sad and drunk person wasn't who he was meant to be. He began to work to change his mindset to control his thoughts and feelings. Taking deep breaths, Chris slowly started rejecting negative thoughts, thinking positive thoughts about how he could change, and manifesting positive energy.
“The clouds would come in, and I would remember to try and stay positive," he shared. “After a while of doing this, I woke up one day in 2009, brushed the sleep out of my eyes, and suddenly everything felt clearer! It felt like a beginning of a new journey, and I had a new inner strength I never felt before."
Chris felt that this was his opportunity from the Creator to become a new man. He felt positive about his future and more connected to his surroundings, to the land, to his loved ones, and to himself.
“I ripped the curtains off and let the light in," he said. “I was hooting and hollering and yelling, 'I'M BACK … I'M F**KING BACK!'"
He called his mom and his buddies, letting them know his new journey was about to start. Chris will always remember this as the most amazing moment of his life.
Chris now works as a Cultural Event Coordinator at Health Services in Williams Lake. Part of his work is with the men's wellness programs, where he gets participants out on the land and water.
Chris continues with his healing journey and self-discovery. In an attempt to build his confidence and showcase his talents of singing and playing guitar, his friend and co-worker entered him into a talent competition. Chris agreed, although he was nervous. He tied a bandana over his scars, went out on the stage, and used his charm and humour to warm up the crowd. Following his song, Chris received a standing ovation. He won the competition and was a repeat winner in the following years.
In 2019, Chris did a presentation at an event sharing his story and teachings on men's health and wellness. After his presentation, First Nations Elders approached him and praised his work. Their encouragement made him feel that his journey was validated.
“My accident was a blessing," says Chris. “It taught me the lessons I needed to learn and made me who I am today. I wouldn't change it for the world."
Chris is doing well and will continue to share his story to inspire others. He ends with words of encouragement to others: “Recovery is possible. You can do it too."