Hi there, my name is Felicity and I am an addict. The fact that I am able to sit here and tell you my story is a miracle in itself. I was an absolute mess and a very broken girl. My addiction took me to places I never thought I’d have ever gone to and more. They say religion is for people who believe they are going to hell and spirituality is for people that have already been there and I can say without a doubt I have been there.
I am 30 years old now and when I was 22 years old the love of my life and father of my son suddenly passed away from an aortic aneurysm and my world fell apart. This was the first time I had experienced a loss – a loss I had no idea how to live with. My world came crashing down on me. My parents desperately wanted me to be okay but they didn’t know how to help me either. I was angry, I was so angry that the universe took my Matthew away from me. I had no idea how to cope with the intense emotions and feelings of despair so I turned to drugs. It was during my darkest hour that I made the decision to move away from anyone that had ever loved me
At 23 I moved to Saskatchewan which is where the majority of my addiction took place. I spent most of those days homeless, hungry and in withdrawal. My family had no idea where I was and had me reported missing for 4 years. They were receiving monthly updates from every morgue across western Canada to find out if their daughter had died or not. I lived a very scary life while using, and often had no idea when my next meal would be or if I would have somewhere safe to sleep since sleeping outside in the dead of winter was not an option. I lived in constant fear day in, day out never knowing if I would live to see another day each time I closed my eyes. I was lost with no way out. I felt so much shame around my addiction that I kept my family at a distance.
Lengthy Hospitalizations, city cells.. nothing was able to keep me clean. I couldn’t live with drugs and I couldn’t live without drugs. I had come to terms with the fact that I would probably die in active addiction because I just couldn’t stop. Until one day I was offered help and given the support I needed to come to treatment.
When I first came to BC I had no idea what Narcotics Anonymous was, or what treatment was all about. I did go to two other treatment centres before I arrived at Westminster House. Relapse is a part of my story but once I was able to truly understand what recovery was and that there was a different way of living I gave it everything I could. I wanted to be the mother my children deserve, I wanted my parents to be able to sleep at night and not have to worry about me anymore. I wanted to be healthy, happy, and most of all I wanted to be free from my addiction.
Westie House welcomed me with open arms. The women that work at this treatment centre have so much compassion when dealing with the women who come in broken from addiction. They were able to make me feel safe, something I had not felt for many years. For the first time in a long time I was beginning to de-thaw and experience all of the emotions that come with getting clean. I was surrounded by a life boat of women who encouraged me and walked the journey with me.
The counsellors at the house were able to help me process the trauma that I had endured. The educational groups each day taught me many different skills I had long forgotten but that are vital in staying clean. I have been clean for nearly 4 months now and have begun to utilize every single thing I learned while there in my daily life today. I am so grateful to be clean and have my life back. I am grateful for every single woman that works at the house who took the time to nurture me back to life. Slowly things are falling into place and that’s okay. I am closer to being the mother I’ve always wanted to be now more than ever before. I could not have done this alone. I’m getting emotional as I type this because 4 months ago I had zero hope. Today I am confident that I can do this. I have lost the obsession to use and still attend meetings regularly. I’ve built a strong support group in my new community and will be returning to work shortly.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I’m not sure if I’m dreaming or not. My life has turned around ten-fold and it’s all thanks to Westminster House. Women do recover!