A Recovery Fuelled by Giving Back

By Jenn F.

Before choosing to go to Renascent in November 2019, I was on a steady decline with alcoholism. I had gone through a detox program and knew that if I went back home, I would drink again.

I was hesitant at first about going to Renascent’s Graham Munro Treatment Center – an all-female treatment centre – but I knew I needed to get help. The prospect of drinking again made me want to go into treatment and I decided I would go to any length to make it work.

When I was in treatment I took notes like I was in a masterclass. The knowledge and tools that I gained there have kept me sober and away from relapse. I went back to my notes after I graduated and those lessons stayed with me. Those notes saved me on many occasions.

I became involved volunteering with the Munro Treatment Centre after a good friend of mine encouraged me to participate. I felt that I had a skillset that could help. At first, I was asked to be the Co-chair of the Munro Alumni Committee and was voted into the Chair position fairly quickly.

I am happy to be able to use my skills to help others. Being of service inspires me and is a big part of my motivation to be sober. Now, in my volunteer role, I help women who graduated from the program by organizing opportunities for them to engage in healthy ways, especially through events and other initiatives to keep us motivated.

Women are inpatients at Renascent for a month of treatment and with the Alumni Committee, we can continue to show them what life is like without substance abuse after they return home.

I tell people, if you think you need treatment, try it. This disease of addiction takes hope away. If you can allow yourself a tiny bit of hope and believe that life can change, it will make a huge difference. Then if you decide to go to rehab, grab on in both hands. If you put in a fraction of the effort into your treatment that you put into feeding your addiction, you will see huge changes.

As an addict, when you build your foundation, make sure it is on solid ground and check your foundation daily for cracks. This will help you greatly on your road to recovery because recovery isn’t an event, it’s a process.

Recovery isn’t an event, it’s a process. Know there are so many people out there that understand what we’re going through. But you must take the first steps and choose a different life. There is power in making the choice to change your life – even a little bit. The little choices every day add up to something huge.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email alumni@renascent.ca.