Lori could not have been more relieved when her brother, Iain entered treatment at Renascent in 2019. She had witnessed him live through addiction for decades, and she herself experienced the hardships that came with being the family member of a loved one with addiction. So when Lori was offered the opportunity to participate in Renascent’s Essential Family Care Program (Family Program), she leapt at it.
The donor-funded Program is designed specifically to support family members of people living with addiction and offers them an opportunity to experience their own healing and recovery.
“While attending the Family Program, I felt like I was in recovery along with my brother. I was so grateful to have this opportunity to talk about what I was feeling,” said Lori. “In each session I learned what it was like to be a family member of someone who is addicted. While it may sound obvious, there were many things that were validated for me that I didn’t have the words to express before.”
The value Lori found in attending the Family Program is priceless. She learned from the guidance and support of Renascent addictions counsellors and from peers who knew exactly what she was going through. This helped Lori process the many emotions she felt over the years of trying to help her brother.
“As my brother learned about his addiction and learned of new ways to cope with triggers and inevitable challenges, I was able to let go of worrying about him because I learned that I am not responsible for him,” shared Lori. “That was a big one! I was able to reconcile the guilt and shame I had felt for years. I saw that the tears I cried were releasing tension, sorrow, guilt, and anger. And that it was now time to let go of it all.”
Today, Lori’s brother is doing well. He has been in recovery since treatment and is now studying to become an addiction counsellor.
A lover of journaling, Lori who has a career as an empowerment coach, was in the process of developing journal prompts designed to help people find and grow self-love while she attended the Family Program session. “Many of us do not grow up with a sense of self-love. We often think that it’s selfish and bragging, and that’s simply not true,” explains Lori. “The prompts take you inwards and help you learn to love and accept yourself, set boundaries, and let go of what doesn’t work.”
Journaling is one of many tools used in recovery and recently Lori donated the journal prompts to Renascent to help others along their self-love journey.