BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services shared stories to spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day.
A former Heartwood Centre for Women client has courageously shared her story of battling her addiction, and embracing her journey of recovery. This experience truly demonstrates that addiction can affect anyone, and while it can take hold of someone, it does not define them. Recovery is possible, and this story is an inspiration to many who may be going through the same struggle:
When we first met you were so alluring and exciting. You were the answer to all my problems and to my pain. Life kept knocking me down and I had been strong for too long. You assisted me in getting back up when I was tired and broken. In fact, you enabled me to stay up for days, to feel invincible, as though I would never be knocked down again. For a while you worked, it seemed that you were there when nobody else was, to comfort me in my pain. You were there for me when my dad died, when my marriage split up, when I was being abused, when I was too tired to go on you gave me the boost I needed to move forward, to keep going. You enabled me to stay up for days, to get things done. But then you too began taking pieces of me, just like the others did. You too came with strings attached. I realized that nothing in this world ever comes without a cost, and nothing that feels good ever lasts, or is. You seemed like an instant fix, an answer to my emptiness and to my pain, to all the losses, disappointment, and missed opportunities, an answer to all the times I had been used and taken advantage of, rejected, abandoned, put down and misunderstood. An answer to my broken heart. Ironically you became the reason that I lost everything that I held dear, that I disappointed, that I missed opportunities, that I was used and taken advantage of, that I was put down, and misunderstood and the reason everyone abandoned me. The very things that you promised to fix, you cause. You didn’t stop there. You began destroying me from the inside out, requiring me to give pieces of myself away. Tearing my spirit into pieces and breaking my heart. You enabled me to waste away again, fueling my eating disorder, helping it along in attempt to starve the life out of me. You damaged my health and have aged my appearance. You’ve taken precious years from me. You’ve managed to destroy me, affecting my ability to be there for my children, taking away from them too. People think that you are a choice, that my having you in my life is somehow a moral failing. You hurting my children makes me despise you. They are the reason I am still alive, that I breathe and that bond is stronger than anything, stronger than your hold on me. Nothing, absolutely nothing will break that bond. Not even you. You’ve taken enough from me and my family. I don’t need you anymore. The funny thing is, I never really did. That was another lie you made me believe. It’s time now for us to part ways, we must let go. You will no longer be a part of my life. Do not hang around in hopes of me coming back to you because that is not going to happen. We are done. It’s over. Good bye.
The Heartwood Centre for Women is a women’s provincial, specialized residential treatment program, and is the only program of its kind in B.C. It focuses on women with significant substance dependence, mental health concerns and primary health care needs. Visit BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services to learn more.