Olga’s Christmas Story: “I couldn’t grasp the idea of sobriety – it scared me.”

For almost 16 years Olga had been using drugs and alcohol before she began treatment at Renascent’s Graham Munro Treatment Centre.

“I couldn’t grasp the idea of sobriety – it scared me,” says Olga. “I didn’t know how to live daily life in such a way that would bring me joy, and I didn’t know how to deal with intuitive situations that others seemed to manage so easily.”

Exhausted from her addiction, on December 25, 2018 Olga began treatment at Renascent Graham Munro Centre. Haunted by a difficult past, Olga experienced her own Christmas miracle when she began treatment.

“Renascent became a second home. Before that holiday my Christmases were grim and lonely. Holidays really brought up a lot of negative emotions and included using drugs and alcohol,” she explained.

Slowly during her stay at Renascent, Olga experienced a transformation that she never thought possible. She viewed treatment as a boot camp in sobriety and did her best to approach each day with hopefulness.

“The counsellors gave me optimism about my future. I was inspired by their sobriety and was in awe knowing that they were once in my shoes. I wanted to know their secret. I wanted to have the sobriety they have,” says Olga.

Renascent continued to play an integral role in Olga’s life even after she graduated from inpatient treatment. She attended daily sessions, relying on counsellors to provide support and create a safe space to further her recovery.

“I experienced some turbulent times after leaving treatment, so sitting in the room with everyone gave me peace of mind,” says Olga.

This summer, Olga returned to Munro Treatment Centre for a brief visit. She had a chance to catch up with Addiction Counsellor and Registered Psychotherapist, Cynthia Langill who played an instrumental role in Olga’s recovery.

“I considered leaving treatment one point. One day I decided it was too hard and I didn’t want to continue anymore,” says Olga. “Cynthia walked with me and talked me through staying. She made me want recovery again.”

When reflecting on her journey, Olga expresses nothing but gratitude for the treatment and support she has received.

“This place saves lives. It saved my life. Recovery isn’t just about saving those living with addiction, but their families too,” explains Olga. “I thought my life was over. I had no confidence, I thought my career was gone. By seeing so much strength and receiving so much support in treatment, I was able to make a new start. The life that I have right now wouldn’t be possible without Renascent.”

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.