Amy’s Story: “I would have died.”

Amy had been in and out of recovery for 20 years before going to Renascent in 2019. She started drinking around age 16 and things quickly spiraled out of control. Within a few years she would start using substances and became homeless, living in a shelter as a full-blown addict.

As the years passed, Amy’s life took the twists and turns that you’d expect of someone living with addiction. She gained and lost jobs and friends and had very challenging living arrangements and relationships. It wasn’t until a health scare at work, that Amy decided to get help once and for all.

Amy immediately began looking into addiction treatment centres. The days that followed were filled with heart-stopping moments. Within days of calling around to treatment centres, Amy experienced an overdose. Then when she went cold turkey off Benzodiazepines (Benzos) in order to begin treatment, she became very ill.

“Within 12 hours of going off the Benzos I was in the hospital. While going through withdrawal I went into cardiac arrest, but they saved me,” explains Amy. “Through it all I managed to fax my paperwork to Renascent for my admission.”

Days later, Amy received her admission date from Renascent. Amy’s time in treatment changed her life. “When I got to Renascent, I couldn’t raise my head. I felt like I was the dirt at the bottom of your shoe. It took me a long time to feel like I deserved to be here.”

After inpatient treatment, Amy attended Renascent’s donor-funded Continuing Care Program, which helped her adjust to life outside of treatment and provided essential recovery support. 

“I made major decisions in the first year of recovery. I bought a house and paid off my car. My father retired and he was able to move into an addition on my house so that I can take care of him,” said Amy. “I go to work. I am present. None of this is possible without sobriety. I would have died had I not been able to get into treatment. I am so lucky.”

When asked about what motivates her these days, Amy’s answer is simple. “My niece is three years old now. I remember babysitting her when she was just three months old. Once she was crying and I called my Mom to help because I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t stop. I didn’t have the ability to think past “why is she crying” because I was too high,” explains Amy. “Now, I am so fulfilled and excited to be an Aunt and to be the light of my niece’s life.”

Amy is grateful to Renascent donors who made her inpatient treatment and continuing care possible. “There is no way for me to express how much of an impact they have had on my life. If it wasn’t for them, I really wouldn’t be here today.  For my entire life I fought the demons in my head that told me I am not good enough. To know that someone donated and had faith in me without knowing me, is incredible. How do you thank someone who saved your life? There are no words.”

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.