Natalie’s Perspective: Developing Habits That Serve You

By Natalie, Renascent Alumna

Learning new habits was one of the most challenging things in recovery. I grew up in an alcoholic home and learned many bad habits from a young age. I felt responsible for my parents drinking and thought that if I could be better or do better, they would love me enough to give up their drinking. I was constantly surrounded by chaos, and it became a comfort to me that I relied on.

My mother died suddenly when I was sixteen. My father, younger brother and I were devastated. I became the saviour of my family and I took on the woman of the house and tried to fill impossible shoes while keeping up the façade that we were all ok. By my twenties I was a daily drinker after I finished my hairstyling job, as that was the normal thing to do. It helped me relax and it was the only time I felt I could stop and really relax.

My emotions were building and I drank to numb the pain as I didn’t want to feel it. At times I would drink too much and end up in a puddle of tears thinking that was the normal way to express emotion. I felt very alone at this time and thought I was the only one going through this. I looked happy on the outside, but I was dying on the inside.

I got married and had a child, hoping with both those events that I would be cured of this insane thinking and would become “normal”. I didn’t know that I was becoming the very thing I promised myself I would never become.

I entered Renascent Graham Munro Centre (Munro) in May 2021 after my drinking took me to the point where I almost lost my career, husband, daughter and the rest of my family. I was at the point of desperation. I couldn’t stop drinking and I didn’t know there was a way out.

The women at Munro told me very early on to open your mind to new ways of thinking. My first Slogan was H.O.W : Honest, Open and Willing.

I really had to get honest with myself and how I got to this point in my life. That was hard for me. To go deep within myself and ask, “am I being honest right now?” I had to take all these old habits that helped me survive and turn them inside out and ask myself if these were helpful or is it the disease talking? I had to turn “poor me” into a learning experience. I had to ask myself what am I supposed to learn from this? I also had to be willing to make all these changes every day when I woke up. That was also difficult in the beginning. It is work that I must do every day if I want to continue to change my old habits.

Making these changes has helped me tremendously in my recovery. Understanding that the only way to become the person I want to be is to change my old habits and take on new habits that begin with being Honest, Open and Willing.

About the Authors

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