Alumni Spotlight – Danielle V.

by | Jun 6, 2019

Pain induced willingness. I heard it spoke of often, yet never fully grasped what that meant.

I took my first white fob at a meeting of Narcotics Anonymous at the tender age of 16. However, I was anything but a tender 16-year-old. By that point in my life, my mother had been in the grips of addiction since I was a toddler, and I had been a victim of horrible traumas and unbearable pain. I was cold, I was mean, and I was an addict.

The next 17 year’s I went in and out of those rooms, jails and institutions. I was further abused, further victimized, deeper in addiction and severely emotionally disconnected. At the age of 32, I had succumbed to my pain. And I found myself willing to do whatever it took to save my life.

Westminster House taught me how to do that. I was reluctant; I was entitled and hard to love. But they loved me anyway. They were patient and kind. They helped me develop a foundation in Narcotics Anonymous that would follow me when I left. I attended groups and had one on one counselling that softened me. I learned how to interact with people and how to identify my feelings. I learned how to play with others and how to work with others. I wrote steps and got a sponsor, helping me learn to be honest, open and vulnerable. Slowly my hard exterior softened, and light returned to my eyes.

Today I’m almost a year clean. I am a loving and dedicated mother. I am present and available to my family. I have people in my life who motivate me to do better. I have a loving God in my life; I pray and meditate. I give back and take immense pride in saying I am presently employed as a client care worker at Westminster house because they saw in me what I could not see in myself

When I got to Westminster House I wanted to be different. The willingness brought on by my pain made me unrecognizable. I owe my life to Westminster house.