My name is Glenna and I am an addict. It took me a long time before I could admit this to myself. For years I lived in denial, thinking that the unmanageability that was happening in my life was everyone else’s fault and I took no personal responsibility.
I grew up in what you could say was a normal childhood, Mom, Dad, 2 brothers. When I was 13 I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and I loved what the effects had on me. All of a sudden I was cool, people accepted me and I had confidence. I could say and do things I never had the courage when I was sober. Over the years my using got worse. I could not function unless I was high. I was a functioning addict who wore many masks. I could turn into whoever anyone wanted me to be. For years I manipulated and conned my way through life. I allowed people to take care of me and I played the victim card well. My pattern of life would be to acquire material possessions; this would give me the validation I needed to feel good about myself, but the instant gratification would only last a little while and then I would burn it all down. I sucked all my resources dry and when I couldn’t use the people around me anymore I would find a new group of people to use and start to build surface relationships all over again. I was a complete phoney.
Every time I hit bottom, I would get worse. By the time I was 28 I hit a bottom that I couldn’t get out of and spiralled into a depression. I moved back to my parents house and lived like I did when I was a teenager. I stole from them to support my addiction and isolated to the point that I wouldn’t come out of my room unless I was going to meet my dealer. I was about to be kicked out of my parents house when I asked for help, it was selfishness and manipulation that got me to reach out and ask for help.
It was 4 months later that I came to Westminster House a broken person with so much false pride. It took me 2 months to surrender and finally let people help me. My process in the house was slow. I stayed for 8 months and fought the change in myself the whole time. I really believed that I didn’t deserve to live a happy life. Westminster House never gave up on me. By completing the 12 steps I was able to believe in myself and feel the unconditional love that comes with living in the house. By surrendering to this program, the miracle started to happen. I finally got the freedom of self. I learned to forgive myself from all the damage I caused in my past and to change the behaviors I had been living in for so many years. It really is true when they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That was my life for 30 years.
After graduating from Westminster House, I moved to an apartment with a woman who went through the house with me. Now, I live my life how I was taught to by the program at Westminster House. I don’t do anything I can’t talk about, I stay connected to the house, and the most important thing that I learned here is to care about other people. I put others first before myself and I find when I do that the rewards that come back to me are priceless. I owe my life to the Westminster house.
Women do recover, our alumni are proof.
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