by Liz S. (Family Program)

My journey to recovery began with anguish and hopelessness. My beloved child was sinking deeper and deeper into life-threatening addiction. I didn’t know where to turn. I was hoping for an instant solution to all the heartaches and frustrations that come with loving an alcoholic. It was not to be that easy. This was a family issue, with my daughters’ siblings also gravely concerned, because it was clearly evident that we were in a battle against time.

Were we worried sick? Yes! Were we feeling hopeless and frustrated? You bet! We did not understand addiction and how the substance consumes the addict. Why couldn’t she just quit? Little did we know of the anguish and self-hatred that she felt every minute of every day.

By the grace of God, my son, who had been doing some research, gave me the number to Renascent. That phone call was the first step in the journey to recovery for my daughter and me.

After a three-week 12 step program at Renascent and 15 weeks of After Care with dedicated addiction counsellors, my daughter is healthy, happy and working in a profession where she understands and can share her experience with others who are struggling with addiction, often compounded with mental health issues.

She has her life back and we have our daughter, sibling and beloved Auntie back, who was lost to us for almost 30 years. It was the grace of our Higher Power who put all these wonderful people in place to help her with her recovery.

My own recovery began at the same time when I took the Family Care course at Renascent. I began to understand how addiction takes over and wreaks such terrible havoc on the addict and her/his family. It’s out to destroy us, but there is help. Knowledge is power; it takes hard work and dedication, not to mention humility, to recover.

A counsellor said to me, “There is a chair with your name on it at Al-Anon,” and I have been going ever since. It truly is a wonderful fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe that alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery. Al-Anon has but one purpose — to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of newcomers, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

It is never too late to begin again. I am so grateful for this Twelve Step program that is teaching me to live one day at a time.