Recovery Day Winnipeg

Dave Speaks about his Recovery

Dave Nokinsky was born in 1975, in Meadow Lake Saskatchewan. He was adopted by a wonderful loving family in Swan Plain, Saskatchewan. His brother and sister, both adopted as well, are eight years older than him.

As Nokinsky grew up, he noticed that his skin was darker than his siblings and friends in school, one of his memories is of him scrubbing his hands and arms to try to make them whiter so he would look more like everyone else in school. Unlike the people around him, Nokisnky had black curly hair which he hated because everyone else had smooth and lighter hair, so at a young age he hated the way he looked. Even though he was adopted into a very loving and caring family, he felt like he didn’t belong in the community.

At 17 years old, he fell into a deep depression and had thoughts of suicide. He shared his feelings with his best friend, my brother, him, and his wife who were living in Alberta. His brother agreed to let him move in with them so he can escape the turmoil at home. It was here that he starting drinking and using drugs heavily. After about a year of living with his brother, he met the love of his life and decided to get clean.

Over the years, the two married and moved often, forcing him away from his friends and started to resent his wife because of it. The two eventually moved back to where they lived where he started using cocaine and drinking again. His wife gave him the ultimatum to go to Alcohol Anonymous (AA) or to get a divorce. He stayed sober for a few months then started using again, lying and hiding it from his wife.

Several years later, he learned that he was half Indigenous and wanted to know who his biological parents were. Through social media, he reached out and received a reply almost immediately. However, the reply from his mother read, “leave the past in the past, forget I exist”. Devastated, brokenhearted, and angry, Nokinsky thought, ‘how could you do this to me, again’. Things in his life turned for the worse and started drinking and abusing drugs heavily.

He asked his biological cousins about his father and found out that his mother was raped. It didn’t matter who tried to help, including his wife, Nokinsky decided to move out to do crack, meth, and heroin. His family didn’t realize the extent of his addiction. In Edmonton, he was trying to find drugs while he was driving drunk and got arrested. When leaving the police station, he called his brother saying he wanted to commit suicide, then called his sister who was living in Manitoba. She immediately drove out to pick him up and got him into Aurora Recovery Centre.