Carri C. and Cindy B. have lots in common, but it is their dedication to supporting each other’s recovery that stands out the most. Having met at Renascent’s Graham Munro Treatment Centre, the pair began their recovery from addiction just days apart in March 2018. Today, their friendship remains strong as they both draw strength and encouragement from each other.
“We really clicked instantly and I admired Cindy from day one,” said Carri who describes Cindy as honest, compassionate, kind, selfless, giving, and beautiful. For Cindy, the feeling is mutual, “I valued that we were both in recovery, along the same journey in the timeline. It’s been really helpful to have a friend in someone who lives in my community, who also has same length of sobriety and went to the same treatment centre as me.”
Both women who enjoyed daily walks and chats over coffee while in treatment, learned that they lived in the same neighborhood, which made connecting in person easy after the completed inpatient treatment.
“Once we left treatment, Carri and I would continue to see each other often – at least weekly before COVID,” said Carri. “We’d study the Big Book together. We’d go on long hikes and talk about recovery and spirituality along the way. We’d talk about life’s challenges and how we can use our literature to work on them.”
The pair has also been there for each other through thick and thin. “I recently went through a challenging time not too long ago and had to move to a new house,” said Cindy. “Carri came to my new home with flowers to welcome me.”
Having a friend with shared values and hopes is very helpful at all stages of life. And the same is true for those in recovery. “If you are dedicated to recovery, you won’t have many friends when you get out of treatment because you are making a decision to walk a new path and that can be very lonely,” said Cindy. “There are valuable friendships in recovery and having a true recovery friendship is amazing.”
Sober now for over three years, Cindy and Carri share some advice on friendship. “Take full advantage of the alumni resources in your area when you leave treatment. It’s important to find people that have shared experiences in your area that can support you,” says Cindy. “Find some sober friends that are on the same page with you that you can relate with. Go to meetings – even if they’re on Zoom. Have fellowship. Meeting people like us that get it and know how to have fun sober can make the world of a difference,” adds Carrie.