by Deborah F. (Munro 2010)
Hi, my name is Deborah. I am a 54-year-old professional woman who would like to share my story of recovery and hope. If you will, try to imagine falling into a deep mountain crevasse, a dark scary lonely place, with no help, and no hope. This would be my life before recovery.
My life had gradually became unmanageable, and out of control. Being in that dark place, I persisted in trying to use my own will and help myself. Little did I know then that there was so much help available out there, but I was afraid to ask. I remained in this dark place for many years, sick and near death. Throughout my years of addiction, I became more and more unrecognizable to myself and my family. I just kept falling deeper and deeper into a life of addiction.
I had been staying at my mother’s house in Toronto in 2010 – that is when my addiction reached a pinnacle. Even though I was unable to recognize it at the time, I was slowly dying, and I was willing to die, but fortunately for me my family was not. While I lived with my mom, I lied and deceived her in order to deep my dirty little secret known as addiction. I loved my mom dearly, but at that time I thought I loved my addiction more. My addiction influenced all of my decisions and all my behaviour, which had a negative impact on our relationship. I couldn’t hide it any longer, my skin turned a bright shade of yellow, my insides hurt, and I was bleeding internally from liver failure. Did that stop me? No! In the last year I spent time in the ER strapped to a gurney and all I could think about was when I could have my next drink.
One day I ran out of options. I was given an ultimatum: go for treatment or you have to leave. I did not go easily, and not without a fight. Little did I know when I finally decided to go to treatment that this would be the beginning of the end of my life of hell. Initially I was afraid to enter treatment, due to the stigma surrounding addiction. In fact, that was not the case at all. I was not only welcomed, but supported by everyone at Renascent. It truly became a journey of hope and healing for both me and my mother.
That was then, this is now. I look back fondly on the beginning of my recovery from the moment I entered treatment at Renascent to the day I left Langley House. With hard work, determination and the applied principles I learned at Renascent, I was able to get my life back. At the age of 50 I learned to live all over again. It is never too late.
My mother and I entered treatment together. The disease of addiction affects family and everyone around you – you hurt the ones you love the most. My mother entered Family Care at Renascent, and I started my journey at the Graham Munro Centre. I also participated in the recommended After Care Program, which provided me with a solid foundation and knowledge base that would help keep me sober.
I can tell you what I have now, which would not be possible without God. I have a newly found peace in my life and a great relationship with my family. I have gained self-confidence, strength, and the ability to live life on life’s terms. I no longer need to rely on alcohol or pills. My mother and I are the best of friends; we go to meetings, both Alanon and AA, together. My mother and I talk every day about our newfound spirituality and what a positive direction our lives have taken.
We often talk about how this change would not have been possible without God’s grace. Believe me when I say recovery is not humanly possible on willpower alone; without God’s grace and direction none of this would ever have been possible. I am truly grateful, and am now able to live in the moment of each and every glorious day. I welcome everything in my life, the good and the bad, for that is what keeps me well.