addiction treatment, westminster house, women, substance use disorder

Spotlight – Christal C.

There is this saying that you will hear in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous and it is “When we become beaten we become willing” this was certainly how I was feeling in the days leading up to entering Westminster House. I was coming out of a four-year relapse, one that I had just barely made it out of alive and I knew how lucky I was to be getting another shot at recovery. I had tried everything over the last four years, but near the end, I had lost almost all hope and pretty much stopped trying anymore. I was terrified of dying, and every day that I continued to use, I was in fear that my body wasn’t going to be able to handle it. I held onto the fact that I knew I had been in recovery before, and I had been happy. I had a chance before my relapse, where I was in a treatment center and had a bit of experience with the New West Recovery Community. I held onto those memories and refused to let go of the dream I had to be clean and sober once again.

I don’t have very clear memories of my first 30 days at Westminster House, other than I was scared to be left alone and absolutely everything gave me anxiety. I also, very clearly, remember the comfort of feeling safe from the moment I walked through the doors. I wrote in my journal in the beginning about how I could just feel the love and support of the people around me. It was the nicest and coolest feeling not to have to be going through anything alone. It was so nice to move into a house and instantly be given a big group of cool new friends. I had been so isolated and alone for so long in my addiction; I was craving supportive friends and a chaos free environment.

I’m so blessed to be alumni of Westminster House; I don’t feel like there are words to express the gratitude I have. Today I have 1,660 Days Clean. I have just finished working for my parents all summer in which I helped them renovate their new house. I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that I love and enjoy every second I get to spend with my family. I was a person who had completely distanced myself from my family to keep them away and protect my addiction. Now in my recovery, I look forward to the moments I get to spend with them, and I wouldn’t trade the summer I spent with my parents for anything in the world.

Westminster House and the program of Narcotics Anonymous have given me the ability to feel human again, to get in touch with who I am and it’s so funny because up until getting clean I had no idea who I was. In addition to the countless gifts I have gotten in my recovery, one of the big ones is the fact that I have been able to work at Westminster House since I had one year clean. I have been a Client Care Worker, a Repair and Maintenance person, the Maintenance Supervisor, and now today, I am 3 classes shy of being certified through BCIT as a Project Manager. Today I get to manage projects for Westminster House, I get to work as the Continued Care Coordinator for the transition house and I even co-facilitate Family Group in hopes to be able to help other people find this beautiful gift I’ve been given.