Our vendors: Alain Lepage (L’Itinéraire, Montréal, Canada)

Canadian vendor Alain Lepage, 44, sells L’Itinéraire in Montréal, Québec. He has overcome a life of addiction, overworking and isolation and has learned how to relax and enjoy the little things in life. Read his story.

Alain Lepage sells LItineraire in Montreal, CanadaInterview by L’Itinéraire staff writer

“I’m eager, but I can wait.”

Alain Lepage adopted this motto after putting a life of addiction behind him.

“I used socially accepted substances to numb myself, to prevent me from feeling my suffering. I escaped through sports, books, films, work. I could go for months watching four films per evening. I was a truck driver and worked 20 hour shifts, sometimes for more than a month on end.”

The suffering he was trying to escape was loneliness. “I was full of pride and I put a lot of energy into cultivating my self-reliance, to a point where I had no one with whom I could share my successes, my failures and my sorrows,” he recalls.

Between the ages of 18 – 41, Alain experienced a couple of burn-outs and bouts of depression. “I just couldn’t go on. I was wondering why I was persevering on a path that was going nowhere.”

In 2012, Alain finally decided that he didn’t have to rush anymore. “My work wasn’t going to take up all my life. I diversified my activities so that I could keep a good balance and not fall into extremes,” he says.

Today, Alain sells L’Itinéraire on Masson Street/13th Avenue in Montréal. At L’Itinéraire, he can get involved at his own pace. He loves being able to write in the magazine and to have his voice heard.

He wants to share the fact that “Yes, we are surrounded by obstacles that can clip our wings, but there are other things that can serve as a springboard enabling us to fly higher.”

That’s what he gets out of L’Itinéraire and also what his girlfriend brings to his life. “When you’re in a loving relationship, you don’t need a clock anymore; you don’t need to be in a rush to go elsewhere. You just need to be here and now. That’s a big plus in my life!”

As an ex-workaholic, Alain gave up having disproportionate expectations about work. However, his next challenge is to avoid burning the candle from both ends with an accumulation of little things that continue to occupy his days.

“Now, my goal is to learn to relax!”

INSP publishes an international vendor story every week. Come back next Wednesday to read another story from one of the thousands of inspirational men and women who sell street papers.