Opinion

Finding hope, from the bottom up

 Three women – two addicts and an addictions counsellor – write of the difference a new mindset can make. - File graphic
Three women – two addicts and an addictions counsellor – write of the difference a new mindset can make.
— image credit: File graphic

Editor:

As a counsellor at WelcomeHome Addiction Recovery Academy in Surrey, each and every day I witness women striving for growth, internalizing a new way of living and utilizing every ounce of their being to conquer their old lifestyle, mindset and behaviours.

These women are faced with immense struggles involving shame, guilt, resentment and abandonment.

They acknowledge they are broken and ill-equipped to successfully navigate life’s challenges, but I see a heartfelt passion for change and a determination for success.

Two clients wanted to share their experience with Peace Arch News readers. (Their names are withheld).

Although different in appearance and personality, both share a keen awareness of who they once were and the deep desire to shed that persona to truly become the best they can be. By implementing the tools provided, they are developing into strong, inspiring, passionate advocates for other women who struggle with addiction.

I can earnestly say there is no better place for individuals to obtain healing and hope from the bondage of addiction. I consider it a privilege to walk alongside the recovery journeys of these women who have committed to changing their lives. To observe the emotional, physical and psychological transformations of these participants is not work but, rather, an honour.

Rikki R. Fryatt, Surrey

Reclaimed my life

I’m an addict. I joined the WelcomeHome addiction recovery program a little over a year ago because my reality was complete chaos and out of control.

At that time, my end in sight looked like homelessness, jail or death. What’s worse is I felt no remorse or care. It did not concern me that I put myself and others, including my family, in danger on a regular basis. I didn’t care how my behaviours affected others either, because I gave up on my life and pushed everyone who cared about me as far away as I could so I didn’t have to change.

To everyone I knew, I lied, manipulated, stole, cheated on and disrespected. I hated myself. I was so resistant to face myself that I numbed my life away, being intoxicated from early morning until late at night, year after year.

I was careless, I had no limits, and I did many things I swore I never would.

But that’s what addiction does. It takes you to dark places and makes them comfortable.

Since I’ve come to WelcomeHome, I’m a new woman, but I’m not alone. I have friends and people who care about me, and I’m earning trust from my family back.

Today, I do everything differently. I ask for help. I rely on others and have become reliable and responsible. I accept that I make mistakes, I have flaws, and I’m not a bad person. I can face my life without fear, and I’m proactive to make changes and do my best.

I’ve gained self-respect, assertiveness, self-worth and the ability to choose to do the right thing in all situations.

I’ve reclaimed my life and have a bright, promising future that I can do anything I set my mind to.

It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, and I hope others struggling will do the same.

M., White Rock

Power to succeed lies within

Choices… they all add up.

I was living in a fog. From the age of 13, addiction ruled my life. I gave up everything I had for my next fix, right down to my body. I rejected my family and all those who cared. I was alone, just hoping and waiting to die.

In and out of foster homes, safe houses, detox and the street, I was selfish and miserable. I put my family in danger and broke their hearts without a care.

I spiralled faster downward, every day.

Overdoses, cold, blue-in-the-face. Hospitals, solemn promises to stop using… broken promises. There was always a glimmer of hope that there was something better out there. I was just too lazy to do the work.

I am 20 now, and I am changing my life through the WelcomeHome addiction recovery program. I’ve been in other treatment centres, and nothing I tried ever worked. Here, I am held accountable to do the work for my recovery. A better life is not just handed to you.

I finally feel like I am going somewhere. I am finding ways to enjoy every moment of life and be happy no matter what life throws my way. The power to succeed lies within me. I want to thank all who support my recovery and encourage others to change their life.

 

N. Delta

 

 

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