Nicole’s Story: “I was ready…”

Nicole vividly remembers what life was like before recovery.

In addictive defiance, she would tell family members, “You want me to sober up for you people? I would rather die.”

“The last year of active addiction, I was very unhealthy. I was still fighting recovery. I landed in the hospital many times; my liver was starting to fail me.”

Nicole entered a treatment facility in Oshawa and was later referred to Renascent.

“On August 19, 2019, I went into Renascent. I was ready to be there. I walked through those doors with a level of desperation that I’ve never had before,” said Nicole. “Although I wanted to be there, I was so scared. I don’t know what made me so scared – whether it was sobriety or the thought ‘can I do this – am I going to fail?’”

But from the moment Nicole stepped through the doors of Renascent Graham Munro Centre, she gave her recovery her all.

“I had a dream one night that someone was trying to make me drink and I shoved this person. In my sleep, I fell out of bed and hit my head on the side-table. I got a concussion and fought to stay in treatment despite the injury,” said Nicole. Renascent’s Guardian Angel Program provided Nicole with an additional week of treatment at no cost as she recovered from the aftermath of her concussion.

On her journey of recovery, Nicole dug deep within herself to understand how her past may impact her future. This included finding the ability to forgive.

“My Mom has been sober for about 10 years. I had a lot of resentment toward her when I came into treatment. One of the first things I did was write her a letter. I knew that any time I spent at Renascent would be wasted if I didn’t forgive her.”

Nicole’s time in treatment provided her with the tools and skills she needed to navigate life without drugs and alcohol post-treatment.

“Sobriety is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, but it has gotten easier. I started to introduce myself to my Indigenous culture. I found that helps keep me centred and focused on how I want to be and act,” said Nicole. “Because of sobriety I am successful today. I’ve gone back to school and have financial security. The promises have come true.”

What Nicole has gained in recovery doesn’t stop there.

“My family has learned to trust me again. That’s huge! Although they never gave up on me, that relationship was very strained,” said Nicole. “I have a 20-year-old son who now tells me that he is proud of me.”

For those who could benefit from addiction treatment, Nicole has this message, “Treatment gave me a safe place to go and to heal. It sparked my journey of recovery. Twenty-eight days isn’t enough to get better, but having the opportunity to start that journey is tremendous.”

“As someone who didn’t have the funds to pay for treatment; I don’t know where I would be without it. If I didn’t go to Renascent, I would be dead. I know I got myself to treatment, but the Program itself is what kept me there and kept me in recovery.”

Grateful for her recovery, Nicole wrote a letter to Renascent donors thanking them for supporting her stay. To those who are new to recovery, Nicole says, “Stay the course – life keeps happening. It takes a long time to pick up the pieces that someone shoves aside when they are in active addiction. Things take time. It will all happen in time, but don’t think it will be sunshine and rainbows from the very beginning.”

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.