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  • Lindsey’s Story: A Journey Toward Good Mental Health

    By Lindsey Storey, Renascent Alumni
    Lindsey Storey - Renascent Alumni

    I was in extreme active addiction when I first went into treatment. I’d been using heroin and fentanyl heavily for almost 10 years and it was only when I was in treatment that I realized how much self-work I would have to do to stay clean.

    My dad died suddenly when I was 18 and it was so very tough on my family. I think it was his passing that accelerated my drug use and using helped me cope with my traumas – at least so I thought.

    Even after my first stay at Renascent, I struggled. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my uncle – who was a father figure to me – died while I was still in treatment. I relapsed and it was during my second round of treatment that I took a different step toward recovery. It was then that I realized I needed to be more open to receiving advice and following the 12-step program religiously. So I committed to putting my recovery first.

    On the one-year anniversary of my sobriety, I decided to volunteer at Renascent. There were many staff members who attended my one-year anniversary celebration. These are women that I looked up to and their presence and support meant so much.

    I’ve been sober now for over five years and my life is very different. Today, I work as a Program Assistant at Renascent’s Munro treatment centre. I am engaged and I have a strong relationship with my family. I can hold my head up with confidence; I can look someone in their eyes. I am far more independent as well, with my own place and money.

    Managing my mental health has been an important part of staying in recovery. Below are a few principles I live by.

    • I make sure that my top priority is my recovery and I work on that daily before focusing on other people and areas in my life.
    • I always check-in with myself to see how I am feeling and what my body needs. When I listen to my body it helps with my mental health. Listening to my body could be as simple as taking a nap when I’m tired or having a glass of water when I am thirsty.
    • Good communication fosters good mental health. I allow myself to feel my emotions without pushing them down. I am very open with my partner about my struggles and how I am feeling and she reciprocates that.
    • Keeping a routine helps me stay on track with my mental health. I like the predictability that comes with routines and try to incorporate good habits into my daily life, including working through the 12-step program.

    About the Authors

    Alumni
    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.