Alexandra

I was 19 years old when I came into Westminster House, the youngest age accepted into a women’s adult treatment  program. I was scared, intimidated, and felt like a child playing “grown-up”.

I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 12. I had just finished painting a flower pot for Mother’s Day, learned long division and how to add and subtract fractions. I wasn’t the happiest kid. After my parents divorced, and we moved back to Vancouver from Nelson, BC, my mom continued into university alongside her boyfriend, and me and my brother were in a new city with new faces and a new attitude.

I made friends who understood me, and who had been through similar events in their lives. We explored new experiences together and found alcohol, makeup, and booty shorts. Alcohol and Marijuana turned into Ecstasy, Ecstasy turned into Cocaine, LSD, Mushrooms and Pills, I got deeper and deeper and I started losing friends. I got too involved in the drug world to care. My self-esteem was so low I needed validation in any way I could get it. That’s when I turned to prostitution. By this time I was 15 years old, in a world of sex and drug trafficking, with no one to talk to. Heroin was the next step for me. It progressed from snorting to smoking to injecting. It got to a point that I needed to “work” to get drugs, and use drugs to “work”. My clients would see the track marks on my arms and not want to sleep with me. Luckily I stopped short of standing out on the corner to get work. I couldn’t get out of bed. I would borrow money for drugs from friends and family, and only leave my room to pick up. That’s when I admitted that I needed help.

By this time I was 15 years old, in a world of sex and drug trafficking, with no one to talk to. Heroin was the next step for me. It progressed from snorting to smoking to injecting. It got to a point that I needed to “work” to get drugs, and use drugs to “work”. My clients would see the track marks on my arms and not want to sleep with me. Luckily I stopped short of standing out on the corner to get work. I couldn’t get out of bed. I would borrow money for drugs from friends and family, and only leave my room to pick up. That’s when I admitted that I needed help.

I got to Westminster house after detox and a failed experience at a 28-day treatment centre in Kelowna. I was quickly accepted by the staff and clients here and felt love. I didn’t know that complete strangers could love me so much. Everyone here could relate to the feelings I had had, and the desperation of life as an addict. After some hesitation, I committed to staying here as long as it took. Material things that were so important to me like my cell-phone and money became unimportant as the reality of my life set in. I was being taught how to live. Simple things like what cleaning products to use where, how to ask for what you need from people, how to communicate my feelings, and most importantly: how to change my life. It wasn’t easy, but it was simple. I was given a step-by-step guide to life. A tool that is irreplaceable in the life of a recovering addict. I was given so many things I didn’t even know I would need until I had them. As I stayed here longer and new girls were coming in with the same scared look in their eye, I was able to offer them hope and love as I knew how it felt to be in that same position I had been in not so long ago. It was through being there for woman and woman being there for me that I started to feel secure and confident. I was feeling good about myself, realizing my talents and dreams, and felt for the first time since I was a little kid that anything was possible. I’ve been clean now for almost a whole year and treat myself with respect today. I am participating in a 12-step program that provides me with constant support; I can take it with me anywhere. I have most of my family back in my life and am still working on becoming a better person, I’m not perfect! I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster

Everyone here could relate to the feelings I had had, and the desperation of life as an addict. After some hesitation, I committed to staying here as long as it took. Material things that were so important to me like my cell-phone and money became unimportant as the reality of my life set in. I was being taught how to live. Simple things like what cleaning products to use where, how to ask for what you need from people, how to communicate my feelings, and most importantly: how to change my life. It wasn’t easy, but it was simple. I was given a step-by-step guide to life. A tool that is irreplaceable in the life of a recovering addict. I was given so many things I didn’t even know I would need until I had them. As I stayed here longer and new girls were coming in with the same scared look in their eye, I was able to offer them hope and love as I knew how it felt to be in that same position I had been in not so long ago. It was through being there for woman and woman being there for me that I started to feel secure and confident. I was feeling good about myself, realizing my talents and dreams, and felt for the first time since I was a little kid that anything was possible. I’ve been clean now for almost a whole year and treat myself with respect today. I am participating in a 12-step program that provides me with constant support; I can take it with me anywhere. I have most of my family back in my life and am still working on becoming a better person, I’m not perfect! I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster

I was being taught how to live. Simple things like what cleaning products to use where, how to ask for what you need from people, how to communicate my feelings, and most importantly: how to change my life. It wasn’t easy, but it was simple. I was given a step-by-step guide to life. A tool that is irreplaceable in the life of a recovering addict. I was given so many things I didn’t even know I would need until I had them. As I stayed here longer and new girls were coming in with the same scared look in their eye, I was able to offer them hope and love as I knew how it felt to be in that same position I had been in not so long ago. It was through being there for woman and woman being there for me that I started to feel secure and confident. I was feeling good about myself, realizing my talents and dreams, and felt for the first time since I was a little kid that anything was possible. I’ve been clean now for almost a whole year and treat myself with respect today. I am participating in a 12-step program that provides me with constant support; I can take it with me anywhere. I have most of my family back in my life and am still working on becoming a better person, I’m not perfect! I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster

As I stayed here longer and new girls were coming in with the same scared look in their eye, I was able to offer them hope and love as I knew how it felt to be in that same position I had been in not so long ago. It was through being there for woman and woman being there for me that I started to feel secure and confident. I was feeling good about myself, realizing my talents and dreams, and felt for the first time since I was a little kid that anything was possible. I’ve been clean now for almost a whole year and treat myself with respect today. I am participating in a 12-step program that provides me with constant support; I can take it with me anywhere. I have most of my family back in my life and am still working on becoming a better person, I’m not perfect! I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster

I’ve been clean now for almost a whole year and treat myself with respect today. I am participating in a 12-step program that provides me with constant support; I can take it with me anywhere. I have most of my family back in my life and am still working on becoming a better person, I’m not perfect! I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster

I come back to Westminster House today to volunteer and offer support to women because this is my home. This house is consistent. This house is always here for me. No matter who is inside when I walk through the door, I know I can come here to solve my problems, ask questions and help others. I love Westminster house and believe that any girl can become a woman here. All you have to do is want it bad enough.

I love Westminster house and believe that any girl can become a woman here. All you have to do is want it bad enough.

Alexandra B.

Women do recover, our alumni are proof.

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