I remember the first time I used drugs at the age of 13. I felt that I had escaped my uncomfortable reality, it was a temporary reprieve from all my problems. Over the years, my addiction evolved from experimenting, to eventually lying, stealing, and cheating anyone who came into contact with me. I had made an unspoken deal with the devil: I would do anything, harmful and dangerous to get and stay high. I continued to use for 11 years, wherein my addiction progressively got worse. Throughout the last year of my addiction I got fired from jobs, lost friendships, hung around criminals, dated drug dealers, I lied and stole from my family, and I used drugs every single day. I crossed any boundaries I had set for myself and flushed my values and morals down the toilet. Worst of all, I felt completely alone, isolated, alienated, and, hopeless. At the time, I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, there was no escape from my fate of dying a drug addict.
On November 11, 2015, my family held an intervention at my family home in Edmonton, Alberta. By the grace of god, my mom had found a professional interventionist named Todd Ware (Ware Interventions) to facilitate the event. I reluctantly accepted their offer for help. On November 12, 2015 I arrived at the doors of Westminster House Treatment Centre for Women in New Westminster, British Columbia. I can recall the crippling fear of living life without drugs, it had been my numbing safety net for so long.
At Westminster House, I was surrounded by women who had survived the grips of addiction and who also sought recovery. For the first time in my life I felt a sense of belonging. The first 30 days I remained fearful, suspicious, and doubtful. I looked to other for hope. I watched other women change their lives, become stronger, and find true happiness. During my stay I adopted a completely new lifestyle. This included becoming a part of Narcotics Anonymous; a 12-step fellowship of recovery. Clients in the treatment centre attend 2 recovery meetings a day, 6 days a week for the duration of their stay. I was encouraged to find a sponsor and write my first set of steps through the Narcotics Anonymous program.
I learned how to be support for my peers, how to trust, and how to be vulnerable. I came to understand that I could not overcome addiction on my own (as I had attempted countless times in the past) I was able to make amends to my family, reconnect with my sisters, brother, and dad. Most of all I was able to make my mom proud of me, to be the daughter she had always deserved.
Through NA and recovery, I developed a connection to a Higher Power of my understanding. This connection has enabled me to trust the process, to let a Higher Power into my decisions and choices, and to live my life with grace and dignity. Through seeking treatment and letting people into my life I developed true, meaningful friendships, I am finally in a loving and supportive, romantic relationship, and I continue to learn how to love others and to be loved. I learned that true courage looks like having fears and walking through them anyway, that change is always possible, and that spirit will find you even in the darkest of places.
Since being clean, I have returned to school to complete an Emergency Medical Responder course, and I completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program. I now teach yoga at a women’s recovery house, and offer my own unique class to the community of New Westminster. My newfound excitement to learn has guided me to path of spirituality and health in which I am able to share with others. My appreciation for recovery has given me the gift of sharing my story and to sponsor women who are starting out their program of recovery.
I have been clean since November 13, 2015. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank my family, my Higher Power, and The Westminster House for my life, my recovery and my new life. I pray for the addict who still suffers, and I hope that they too are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because we do recover!