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Until you can love yourself

Kayla Sankey sees herself in each woman navigating healing and recovery at the Heartwood Centre for Women. Two years ago, she was one of them.
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​Like a beam of light, a kind voice pierces through the darkness. This voice believes in you, even when you're not ready to believe in yourself. This voice sees what you can't see yet – that there is hope.

For women navigating healing and recovery at the Heartwood Centre for Women, including members of Two-Spirit and gender-diverse communities, Kayla Sankey is the person behind this voice.

In June 2022, Kayla was in their shoes. She was a new client at Heartwood, having sought help for alcohol addiction, as well as depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

"I was really at the lowest point of my life when I got there. I almost needed a blood transfusion, and it was very bad," shares Kayla.

After graduating from the centre's 90-day treatment program, her life changed completely.

"Heartwood gave me a tremendous foundation for my recovery. My self-worth, self-love, and self-compassion was solidified there. It grew from the ground up – I had nothing when I started there," Kayla explains. “Heartwood not only saved my life but reignited my soul."

Today, Kayla has been sober for a year and seven months.Learn more about Heartwood Centre for Women..

Someone to love you until you can love yourself

Kayla believes all women should be championed. As a program alumni, she aims to be a light in the dark to help others find their way.

“We're incredible women who have just gotten lost. We're human beings who deserve to be seen and understood. I learned this from the staff, who are really special and genuinely care. They love you until you can love yourself again."

As an inpatient, Kayla built healthy relationships with other clients she knows will last a lifetime. And as an Indigenous woman, she worked closely with Indigenous staff who facilitated access to culturally-safe and trauma-informed care.

The unwavering, holistic support she received made all the difference to her. It gave her the strength to go out in the world and apply what she had learned.

“Heartwood not only ignited my soul, but it sparked something inside of me to drive my recovery. Today, I'm not just living – I'm fully active and engaged in my life. I didn't know that was possible," Kayla admits. “I know what I'm fighting for now, and it's myself."

She wants all women to listen to that voice saying they're worthy, capable, and deserving. And if that voice is only a whisper, Kayla will shout it from the rooftops for you.

Learn more about the Heartwood Centre for Women – and meet Kayla! – in this welcome video. Also, read about Heartwood's new digital handbook​, which Kayla helped develop.​​

SOURCE: Until you can love yourself ( )
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