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John is Sick to Death of the Silence-and Wrote a Book on Mental Illness

Calgary, Alberta


John is a lawyer and father who became addicted to cocaine 12 years ago. Today he is 53 years old and has been in recovery from his addiction for 10 years.

“At first it was exciting but it got bad really fast to the point where I was not showing up for work, or if I did show up for work it would be late in the day.”

John realized he needed help.

“It had long ceased being fun, and it wasn’t an identity that I ever thought would happen because I had been so moderate in everything all my life. I never experienced anything like this where I was so out of control.”[1]

With the help of a friend, John got the help he needed. He went to rehab. And he rediscovered his love of writing and photography.


In 2014, John collaborated with CMHA Calgary to produce a coffee table-style book, Sick to Death of the Silence: Stories to break down the stigma of mental illness, featuring the stories of 15 Calgarians living with mental illness. All proceeds from the sale John Gulak 1.5MB Fileof the book go to CMHA Calgary.

In addition to the book, John serves on the Board of Directors of Outward Bound Canada, Calgary Drug Treatment Court and Alberta Lawyer’s Assistance Society.