addiction treatment, recovery, rehab, women, westminster house

Spotlight – Kali-Britt

I Am Not Unique.

I am a miracle…like so many others. Broken families, broken homes, bad choices, and the disease of addiction; eventually led me to hell and back. Yet I sit here before you typing my story because although common, it is indeed miraculous.

I was a “functioning” addict. I worked 3 jobs and was always reliable, no one had a clue. When my father suddenly died at 51, myself the age of 23, I literally lost my will to live. Nothing mattered anymore. The things I used to believe were important – suddenly were not. I was using heroin & cocaine, which was also cut with meth. I could not even get out of bed without using this combination of substances. I was no longer functioning or “using successfully” under these circumstances and I became unable to hold any job. I thought I would never be the addict or “junkie” I saw in others. I could see distinct differences between them and myself. That was because I did not know where to look. The “bottom” that I eventually hit as an addict didn’t only show on the outside; I was completely broken internally. My mother had to watch as I poisoned my mind & body, and destroyed my soul. She watched helplessly as I lost my sanity, my clarity, and any rationale I had left. I was insane and paranoid, not even trusting myself. On a daily basis I suffered as I; yelled at the voices in my head and dug at my body for parasites that did not exist. I once tried to quit using drugs in reaction to the fear and psychosis. This only shocked my system and the 2 voices I once heard became 20. I could no longer communicate with anyone as I was unable to hear a real person speak over the volume in my head. I lost complete track of time; not only minutes, but hours, days, and even weeks. I showed up to emergency regularly where one of my sisters was employed. I would beg her, in front of her co-workers, to x-ray me as I could feel “the bugs in my head”. I was now using against my own will and had lost all hope of relief. I had completely given up, but my family refused to give up on me.

My mother, siblings, and a “friend” showed up one day and intervened my destructive cycle. I had lost all hope of help, but all hope was not lost. They sent me with the interventionist, Matt. We immediately left Calgary, AB and we flew to New Westminster, BC. I was taken into Westminster House, a Recovery Centre & Society for Women that same night, the last night of April in 2013. This recovery house had a structured environment I was so unfamiliar with. It gave me the ability to learn once again how to be accountable and integral in all areas of my life. I was taught how to treat other women; to rely on them, to trust in them, to form these amazing bonds with them. We worked a program of recovery. The women in that program loved me until I could once again love myself…a task I had never thought possible. I attended meetings, went to group, and did the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous that allowed me to piece together the internal parts of me that were still broken. This house, this community, and my family; they all saved my life. Today I show my gratitude for this by volunteering at Westminster House, sponsoring and supporting other women, and remaining an integrated part of this community. Today I not only love myself and my life; I love the joy and laughter I experience daily, I love every message I hear that delivers strength & hope, and I love people who are too broken to love themselves. But most of all I love that after all the hard work I did on myself, while at Westminster House & afterward, I get to share my story with all of you. My first day clean was May.1.2013. As I write this today, January.1.2019, I am exactly 5 years and 8 months clean & abstinent from all mind and mood altering substances. Anyone can have what I have – they just need to be willing. I am a miracle like so many others. Although my experience is not unique, it is indeed miraculous.

Kali-Britt