Lindsay’s Story: “Put your recovery first.”

Lindsay sat intoxicated and alone in the stairwell of a parking garage overnight. Then, at around 7 a.m., a stranger approached her, introduced herself, and offered to pray with her. That simple act of kindness is one that Lindsay holds dear years later.

“I realized that was my Higher Power saving me,” said Lindsay.

It was in 2008, that Lindsay’s progression toward fill-blown addiction began. She started consuming drugs and alcohol recreationally. Then, she gradually started doing so more than her peers. In 2010, due to a medical condition, Lindsay was prescribed OxyContin.

“Over the years I got off the Oxy, but by that point I was already an addict,” shared Lindsay. “My use progressed to include heroin, then Fentanyl.”

A decade later, Lindsay would enter treatment at Renascent for the first time.

“I knew I needed treatment, but I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was going it for my partner. I was doing it to make them happy,” shared Lindsay. “Once I came out of treatment I relapsed immediately. I was really struggling to stay sober back then. I’d get to 60 days sober, then relapse. My mentality was such that I still thought that one day I would be able to drink like a normal person.”

Looking back, Lindsay admits that she was not fully committed to the recovery process. It would take another two years, and temporary loss of custody of her children, before Lindsay would attend treatment again; this time for herself.

“The most important thing is that you go to treatment for yourself. I wasn’t able to stay sober when I went for other reasons,” shares Lindsay, who is now almost two years into her recovery. “Put your recovery first, trust the process, and everything else will fall into place. If you put other things before your recovery, you are not going to stay clean and you will end up losing the things that are important to you any way.”

Lindsay says that her belief in a Higher Power and being of service to others in recovery have helped her significantly.

“I’ve learned to trust in my Higher Power. I had to stop trying to control things that I have no control over. Doing that takes away so much stress.” shared Lindsay. “Having a commitment to others helped as well. Going out of my way to help other people and expecting nothing in return has strengthened my recovery.”

Today, Lindsay is proud of how far she has come. “I didn’t think it would be possible, but here I am. It feels amazing. I couldn’t go two days without using drugs and now I have almost two years,” says Lindsay, whose two-year recovery milestone will be November 13, 2023.

Many seemingly simple aspects of life bring Lindsay happiness in recovery. “My kids bring me joy now, and so does helping other people, and being able to be a part of life. Not waking up with shame and guilt feels great,” said Lindsay. “I get to do all of these fun things that I didn’t do before. My kids get to be in soccer and Kumon. I tried to do these things before when I was using, but I wasn’t good at it.”

Lindsay is passionate about challenging the stigma associated with addiction and helping others in recovery.

“I think giving to Renascent is important because addiction is so wide-spread. We’re in an epidemic. Anyone can struggle with this illness – not just the homeless. It could be someone’s mother or brother,” shares Lindsay. “There are so many people who struggle in silence. Addiction touches everyone’s lives in some way or another.”

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.