Hi, my name is Whitney, and I am a grateful recovering addict. I would like to share a little bit about myself and how Westminster House helped me to regain a meaningful and happy life. I grew up in Queens Park area in New Westminster and had a seemingly “normal” upbringing. Using substances started around 13 years old. I remember being a shy kid and always felt super uncomfortable in my own skin. When I first tried a substance I thought, “Aha! I’ve found my solution to self!”. This led to trying different drugs. My friend group started to shift, and I was no longer someone who partied on the weekends. After a couple of years my disease had progressed. I was homeless on the Downtown eastside, living a lifestyle I never imagined for myself. My solution had turned into a living hell. Living in so much shame and hopelessness, I tried reaching out for help. I tried Detox, countless recovery houses and treatment centres, but continued to relapse. At this point I had bought into the belief: once an addict, always an addict. But something inside me said try treatment one more time. I put myself on the waitlist for Westminster House. When I arrived at the front door, I did not have much hope for myself, but said I would try it for 30 days. I ended up staying for six months which was the longest stretch of clean time I had ever obtained. Westminster House introduced me to the 12 Steps of NA, which helped me face all the underlying issues that I had buried deep down. They helped me learn to trust other women and to build a solid foundation that I stand on today. I continue to work these 12 Steps in my life, and I am now at a place where I can share my experience, strength and hope with other women who are struggling or who are just in the community. Today I am a well-respected productive member of society who works in the addictions field, in hopes that I can help other people achieve this level of freedom. I will be coming up to 7 years clean in a couple of months, and I can say that would not have been possible without Westie House. Forever grateful.