I was 29 years old when I arrived at the doors of the Westminster House in the Spring of 2016. I knew things had to change though I had no idea how drastic these changes would turn out. I was out of hope and in a deep rut of guilt and shame. I felt that my challenges were unsurmountable, and I was overwhelmed by regret. Impulsed by desperation and a ray of faith I took a risk and asked for help. I had proven to myself that I was not possessed with the power to “just stop” the way I was living. I had indeed tried many times to stop or control and these failed attempts solidified my self-doubt. The more I thought I was close to managing my dysfunction the more the apologies to my loved ones lost value. My addiction led me to living well below my morals and values and I hurt people who I loved and who counted on me. I was unable to consistently care for my then 20-month-old son. This futility was the ultimate evidence for me that I needed to change everything.
This was the best decision I had ever made. The program at Westminster House uses the 12-step theory to complement its therapeutic community approach to combat addiction. Instead of just learning how to not use I learned how to feel enough purpose in my life, gain confidence, and be counted on by others in order to crave further growth above all else. I got (and remain) involved in a community which is anchored by recovering addicts that reciprocally help one another achieve this positive growth. While in the early days at the ‘Westie House’ I was able to cry, feel, care, and just as important, I was able to laugh without worry. I knew I was going to be alright. I was not segregated from society. Inversely, I was encouraged to engage with it! I was able to see my son and mother who always supported me. I was influenced to participate in community events while developing a deep affection for our neighborhood which helped me feel a part of society. The Westminster House and the recovery community of New Westminster are a deep and permanent parts of my heart. They are my home so long as I chose to belong. I have made many friends since becoming involved there and have life long memories. My life is completely different today. Change is challenging, and the early stages were difficult. However, I knew and was constantly reminded that I was not doing any of it alone. With this encouragement, I have furthered my education and am pursuing my career goals, I am a strong full-time mother and am mentoring other single mothers to believe they can be as well, and most of all I have the self-esteem and aspirations to fulfill my dreams. All thanks to the warmth and support I gained by asking for help and following the guidance of my people at the Westminster House. Forever Grateful. Thank you.