When I arrived at Westminster house on February 21st, 2020, I was a broken shell of a human being. I had lost everything in my life to addiction. I had fractured every relationship I had, damaged my professional reputation, and lost most of the material possessions I had worked a lifetime to acquire. Although all those things were humbling in their own right, the thing that led me to treatment was losing my mental faculties, which was a profoundly disturbing and embarrassing experience. I was faced with moving to a new province, changing careers, ending my marriage, and above all else, I had to learn to live my life without the only coping mechanism I knew how to use- substances. In a sense, I had lost everything (even my mind), but it was a blessing in disguise which gave me the freedom to approach recovery with an open mind and heart. 

I remember my first time coming to treatment (I had been previously in 2017), I had expected to be in an asylum-type environment surrounded by destitute, sullen addicts at their final destination. Imagine my surprise when I was welcomed by warm vibrant individuals eager to get their lives back! It gave me hope that there was life beyond addiction. This time around was no different in that sense. Even though I had hit new lows in my addiction, the staff and clients at Westminster House showed me nothing but compassion and love during the worst days of my life. I had an absolutely incredible caseworker whose guidance and candor helped shape me into the woman I am today. 

Drug abuse tends to be a symptom of addiction, not necessarily the cause. For that reason, I really appreciated their holistic approach to treatment. I learned the skills to nourish my body, mind, and spirit which had gone neglected for so long. A big part of the program at Westminster House is 12-step based, which has proven invaluable to my ongoing recovery. It’s given me the tools and structure that I can utilize with any issue that arises in my life. Not to mention the amazing experience of becoming part of such a loving community! 

At the time of writing this, I am 7 months clean. More importantly, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to build a life that I don’t feel the need to escape through substance abuse. I am surrounded with love, connection, and support. Today I do my best to extend a helping hand to those in the position I found myself not too long ago, to share the gift of recovery that I was so freely given. Though I did a lot of hard introspective work throughout my process, I truly believe that Westminster House saved my life. 

If you’re reading this because you’re considering treatment, I promise you life can become better than you ever could have imagined if you just give yourself the chance!