On August 24, 2017, I woke up at Westminster House. I had been on a week–long relapse that caused more damage and destruction to myself and my family than any of the years I spent in active addiction. The disease of addiction is progressive, something I now know as a fact. When I realized I was in a treatment center again, for the third time, my initial thought was my life is over. My initial thought ended up being true. My life in active addiction was finally over. My family could breathe and feel some sort of peace, as I was now in a safe place.
For most of my life, I had terribly low self-esteem and zero sense of self–worth. I always felt like I was in the middle of an identity crisis. I was good at being whoever I thought others wanted me to be. I confused validation and social acceptance, as love and friendship. What I longed for was genuine connection, but because I was so isolated in my addiction, the only connection I had was with drugs and alcohol.
Westminster House provided a safe environment for me to discover who I am without the use of substances. Although the process consisted of several meltdowns, I was (and still am) always supported by the women at Westminster House. I remember the time I was encouraged to call my dad and tell him I love him. I was in so much fear and self-loathing that I thought he wouldn’t say it back. I thought the caseworkers and my fellow peers were setting me up for failure. When my dad did say he loves me, my journey of trusting the process truly began.
Because of Westminster House, I was introduced and submerged into the NA community. The sense of belonging and community I have today is why I am over two years clean. I am most grateful for the connections I made and continue to make. Today, I have friends. I am part of something greater than myself. For the most part, I like who I am. I am no longer in that constant state of identity crisis because I know I can be whoever I want to be, if I stay clean.