• Alumni Perspective: Tiny Speck, Infinite Power

    by Kim R. (Munro, 2013)

    ants1I was reminded recently of my very early recovery days when either I was at a complete STOP or speeding down the highways of sober living at 160 km/hr. My life for the last little while has been set on cruise control and so, I thought that emotionally, I would be safe to re-visit the place where my journey of recovery began. I visited the Munro centre over the Thanksgiving weekend and with this has come a lot of reflection.

    I was reminded of each and every emotion that I experienced while I was there and that was very powerful. Looking back on my twenty-one days in treatment, my worst fears never materialized: I was not misunderstood and I was not rejected. I was understood and I was accepted. I was given the biggest gift of all: the option of either continuing to live in a state of shame, or to change my inner-most perceptions. The decision to choose between these two options was a gift because it put me in the driver’s seat – not just in my recovery, but in my life as well. The only requirement for change was that I had to remain honest, willing and open-minded.

    I was able to appreciate this gift during my visit, for I remembered the most frightening day of my recovery – my graduation day. As I watched other ladies leave the house ecstatic, I was terrified. I was terrified because I had been given huge chunks of truth about myself that I knew I had to not only digest, but accept. My biggest acceptance of all was that nothing could bring me peace but myself. And, that would mean tearing apart at the tapestry of lies that I had so intricately weaved throughout my addiction. I was fearful of directing my own recovery, but now I can appreciate that fear for I can understand where it came from. It came from shame, it resulted in feelings of guilt, and made me uncertain as to whether I deserved the happiness that could come from navigating life sober.

    I am incredibly grateful for the counsellors for giving me the invaluable knowledge and spiritual tools that have allowed me to change my perceptions about myself and others. I do not want my old life back. I am transforming my thoughts daily into a new way of living. And, that is a miracle! I have a positive foundation on which to continue my journey of healing and that foundation is Renascent.

    The faces of the ladies have changed at the house, their stories have varied to some degree, but the mission of the counsellors have remained the same. And, that is beautiful. Their dedication is inspiring. Their love is reassuring. And, their stories are encouraging time and time again for they remind me that change is possible.

    I am a tiny speck in a huge spectrum. I never would have accepted being a “tiny speck” before, as my ego would not have allowed for such, but today I am genuinely grateful for being that tiny in such a huge spectrum. One self-seeking speck holds no power, for it is incapable of change. But many grateful specks hold infinite power, for they are capable of making change together. And, this is what I needed to learn when I visited the house. 

    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.