The months leading up to me going to Westminster House were some of the worst of my life. My world was the smallest it had ever been. I lived in a self-made cage of all my darkest emotions and greatest anxieties. I was afraid to leave my home, only leaving the safety of my bed to get the things I needed to help me go on to the next day. My addiction felt like the heaviest weight, suffocating me; a burden I carried at all times. I couldn’t put it down, I couldn’t escape it, I was unable to get away. My listless existence made me wish for my own death; I was the loneliest I had ever been. Eventually, I was the subject of an intervention and told I had the opportunity to go to Westminster House. For the first time that I could remember, I felt a sense of relief.
Coming to Westminster House, was initially a very jarring experience. I wasn’t used to being around people who were happy, fulfilled, and hopeful. It didn’t take me long until their energy wore off on me. I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I was given the tools and safe space to explore who I am, and the ways in which I deal with obstacles in my life. I grew up in Westminster House, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The counsellors and staff, were my role models, guiding me through my first honest attempt at recovery. The unconditional love was unwavering, and with the help of everyone at the facility, I too learned how to unconditionally love, not only others, but myself.
Westminster House has given me back everything I had lost and so much more. I’ve gained lifelong friends, an extended family, who have walked alongside me since my humble beginnings. I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer and work at Westminster House, and I try to give back as much as possible. I have returned to my professional studies at the University of British Columbia and have chance to share my experiences with others struggling from the same disease. Aside from all the tangible things, I have my dignity, self-esteem, and freedom back.
Gratitude doesn’t even begin to illustrate my feelings towards Westminster House. Going there was the kick that set off a cascade of goodness in my life. Without the facility and everyone who works there, I do not know where I would be today. It all started there, and for that, I am forever indebted.