As I arrived at Westminster House angry and shaking from withdrawals, the interventionist assured me, “The women here are great. You see them around town getting involved in all sorts of things. They have lots of fun.”
Immediately I set myself apart in my own mind. Not me, I was different. I was sure I wouldn’t fit in or be interested in whatever women do while spending time away from their families learning to manage their addictions. Plus, I wasn’t here to have fun, I was here to sort out my messed up life. “I think you’ll like it here,” he said, “They’ll help you find your voice.”
Within minutes I felt safe, within hours I belonged, within days I knew I was home away from home and wouldn’t leave the same broken woman I was when I arrived.
The social model of recovery at Westminster House meant that I was soon down at the harbor celebrating Canada Day with my peers and newfound friends. In the days and weeks that followed, we were sharing experiences and learning new healthy ways of dealing with what life threw at us.
The holistic approach at Westminster House was just what I needed to learn about my disease and be able to apply the solution to day to day challenges.
I did find my voice, along with the realization that I would never have to feel alone again. I was given the freedom to learn through experience and take responsibility for my actions. I was given the support to make changes to my situation and turn my life around.
Today I have a life I could never have imagined back when I felt trapped and didn’t have the tools to manage relationships and challenges without using substances as a crutch. I learned to respect myself and have found love in a healthy partnership. We have a busy growing family and I get to set an example for my kids on how to take care of yourself, be of service to others, and live with integrity.
My time at Westminster House was transformational and I feel very fortunate to have been able to get the help I needed there. I still enjoy close relationships with women I met there and continue to build on my recovery every day with the strong foundation being a Westie alumna has given me.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my experience. If one person hears something that might help them on the right path with their struggles, then the world is already a better place.