Alumni Spotlight – Misty P

by | Feb 2, 2022

Hi my name’s Misty.

Wow… well where do I even begin? Life hasn’t always been an easy road for me. I grew up around addiction and lived in a single-parent household. My mom was always busy trying to make ends meet and take the best care of my sister and I. When I was 5 the abuse started and continued until I was 10. I kept my sister from the depths of hell. You could say I was and still am the protector of my family. When I refused to attend counselling and started to rebel against my family – whether it was out of anger, shame, or hate – I found an outlet in drugs and began using substances. It started off with just a weekend deal but quickly spiralled out of control. When I was 15 I got engaged to my ex and changed my whole life around. I quickly became pregnant at 16 and had my first born at 17. I had to grow up pretty quick. I had a lot of help but my mental health was not being dealt with and I would begin to drink any time of the day possible. Even though it was somewhat controlled I was battling demons and felt like no one understood me. I was extremely good at hiding my feelings, burying them for so many years and not talking about what was seriously going on for me. When I was 21 I had my second child and shortly afterwards my children’s father and I split up because of my careless mistakes. I started to get into the party life more, staying up for days on end, refusing to take my children. When I realized I couldn’t take care of them, I gave them up to their dad. Biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I regret it everyday. I began to fall deeper into my addiction, seeking validation from men, shopping, drugs – basically everything and anything. I was living far away from my family when I became pregnant with my third child. I moved back in with my family and began to attend meetings,  cleaning up my life completely once again. I gave birth with all the love and support of my family beside me. When I was about 2.5 years clean I met my fourth child’s dad and things were amazing in the beginning, until I realized the lifestyle he was living. I quickly got hooked once again. I began to help with the sales and bring in the cash. I loved the money and all the luxuries that came along with it. Then about a year into our relationship things began to get bad. We would dabble in prescription medications & hide things from each other. When I found out he had an affair I left and tried to get back at him by doing the same thing, but it only killed me more and we got back together promising each other we didn’t want anyone else. The mental and verbal abuse began and I started to get into the harder drugs. I then went to treatment in 2013 and was doing great, but quickly spiralled out of control again after I got back together with my ex. I was choosing to live in the drug world and all the chaos that came along with it. This went on until 2014. I had my fourth child and went back into treatment in 2015. She was 9 months old at this time. Her dad was locked up and my court proceedings for trafficking were underway, so I chose to get into recovery yet again. I was doing amazing, and once again made it to a year clean. Shortly afterwards I got into school, but then took on a new job on the side which quickly got me into another downward spiral. I began to seclude myself, hanging out with people that weren’t as healthy or mentally stable. I began to use with my boss at my job, and things quickly got out of control yet again. Once my ex got out of jail he came to see me and immediately packed my bags, taking me home to clean up. I did the best I could, continuing to use on and off for 6 more years, getting heavier into my addiction. I was tired of feeling ashamed, unworthy, and like a piece of shit parent. I continued to hide my use from family and close friends but they all knew my health was declining as I was literally on my death bed days. Finally I decided to do something about it and reached out for support with some decisions I needed to make. I was absolutely petrified, knowing it was going to be a long, hard road this time around. I contacted Westminster House as I knew a few people that went through the program there and they were doing amazing. I wanted what they all had. They were living in sobriety and had gotten their lives back. I was ready for the change.

I went to detox and shortly afterwards arrived at Westminster House. My clean date is May 25th, 2021. Since coming to the House I’ve been able to express my true feelings, become vulnerable with others, and reach out when I feel like I’m about to lose my mind. I can talk about my feelings with other staff and my support system, and work through what’s going on for me. Westminster House has given me so much more than I ever expected back in my life. I was able to complete a full set of steps, I attend meetings, and help other women in the House. I carry out acts of service by volunteering for lunch/dinner shifts, and recently became apart of the Big Sister program where Alumnae accompany clients to meetings. Since coming through the Westie House I’ve found my dream job, which is working in the addictions field. I’m hoping to get a job helping others recover and give back to society. The love and support I received while battling my mental health and addictive traits was beyond amazing. The staff is amazing and because of Westminster House, I have just over 8 months clean from all mood and mind-altering substances today. I’ve been able to come completely off my opioid replacement therapy too. I have my children and family back in my life, and most importantly, I have myself back. Westie House has given me a purpose for living and I’m forever grateful for my life today. I can truly say it was my last resort. I feel so blessed I made the choice to go to Westminster House. Thank you to everyone who’s been on my continuous journey of recovery. We can do this, so here’s to another 24 because that’s all we have, each and every day.

Love always & forever grateful,

Misty Potzkai