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Before my mom came to treatment at Westminster House she was on deaths door and I had given up hope that she would make it out of her addiction alive.

It was the beginning of grade 12 for me when she told me she was very sick. I didn’t know what she was sick with but she had stopped going to work.  I hoped and prayed that I could help her and I even went with her to doctor’s appointments.

Shortly after that both of our lives spiraled out of control. I had to fend for myself. I was 16 and accountable to no one; I was even buying my own groceries.

After I graduated high school things got worse.

We would fight every time I saw her, which was not often because she would disappear for days.

I could barely keep track of where she was because she was never home and she would only call me from private numbers. She was barely 90 pounds and I had become scared of her.

I stopped sleeping because I was so worried.

Enough was enough. Her addiction was consuming my life and I had to let her go.  I had come to the realization that I couldn’t help her. THAT same night she called me and asked me to pick her up and so I did. When she got in the car I told her I wasn’t going to take her home; she could go to the hospital or to treatment.

She agreed to go to treatment and I dropped her off at detox.

Access was almost immediate for her. She went from detox right to Westminster House.

The greatest barrier that my mom had to cross was herself. She didn’t think she needed treatment. She thought she knew everything. She thought she could get clean by herself. She even thought that she didn’t have a problem; she thought our family was oblivious to what was going.

However, the wonderful women at Westminster House had another plan for her and that saved her life.

I know that the day she showed up at Westminster House was NOT the day that my mother surrendered. She secretly believed that she would play along with everyone and that we would all get off her case.  She had a plan to go back to using drugs.

I would speak to her on the phone and I could tell that nothing was changing.  The counsellors at Westminster House put her on all sorts of boundary exercises to help her with that change.

The staff at Westminster House was very supportive throughout the entire treatment process.

 Family group was a place for me to connect with other family members who were going through something similar to what I was.

I was able to heal; it was a feeling of connection. Family group also taught me that in order for my mother’s treatment to be successful I had to take a step back. I couldn’t help her. I was offered one on one counselling and counselling with my mother in order to move forward with our relationship.

I took the suggestion my family group gave me, and took a step back from my mom.  I did not see her for 30 days.

The next time I saw her she had finally began to change.  The longer she spent in treatment at Westminster House, the stronger she became.  She made a long term commitment and sold our home to fund her own stay and spent over 240 days in treatment.  It was worth every single second. I spent time with her at the house, we would go for coffee.  I sometimes went with her and her group to a meeting.  I was even welcomed to stay the night.

Seeing the changes my mom was making to better her life was really inspiring. I was able to start living a more mentally healthy life. I was able to talk to her about what was going on for me and she was and is always supportive.

Westminster House teaches women how to live their life in recovery.

They taught my mom how to live her life in a way that she wasn’t able to before. Because of Westminster House today we have a mother/daughter relationship that neither of us had experienced before.

Today my mother is present in my life. I can count on her to be there for me as she can count on me to be there for her.  Today we have a relationship built around honesty and openness.

Westminster House 2008

Westminster House 2008

She is my best friend and number 1 on my speed dial.

The New Westminster recovery community embraced my mother with open arms. She has relocated her residence from Richmond to New West where she is very active in the recovery community. She spends a lot of her free time helping new women find a new way of life just like what was done for her.

She has dedicated her life to her recovery.

I can’t help but become overwhelmed with emotion when I see the gratitude the community has for her service to women.

I am so Thankful to Westminster House and the New West Recovery Community.

Love you mom xo


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If you or someone you know is thinking about getting treatment for alcohol or drug addiction apply for The Mother’s Day Gift of Recovery below.

By filling in the form bellow you agree to have your story shared on our website and in the media. We will maintain your anonymity. Before filling out the form please ensure the person you are nominating is willing to come to treatment. Westminster House is a Non-Smoking Program.