Tell us a little about your recovery journey: what has this process looked like?
It’s been an interesting ride. I have become much more aware of what to expect and what not to expect. With a better attitude I find that I can respond better to people. I have learned to take time in my responding to my emotions, and now I react more appropriately. I am keeping more to myself, not isolating but keeping it simple. Routine has been huge. Even if I have had a rotten day, I try to be level, even though it’s tough. Praying, smudging, going to church, and a lot of higher power. I have learned to be around positive influences, people that want to see you do good. I have learned not to judge; I have myself to worry about.
What brought you to Tamarack specifically?
I got into meth and it took over my life. I became aggressive and life became dark. I was ashamed. I felt I had let people down. I was broken. Because I have been in treatment before, I knew where that path was going and so I took steps to get back into treatment.
What did you ‘get’ from the program at Tamarack that you hadn’t had before?
Tamarack had been originally recommended by a friend that had been through the program. I am thankful and grateful for that. I knew I needed to come back to Tamarack because of the quality of counselling and the safe environment. I knew what I had to do, and I had to do Tamarack again.
What are some of the most important things you’ll be taking away from the program (new insights, new awareness, new skills)?
I realized a quality of life was possible that I never thought I could have. I got educated about my mind, emotions and body and how the drugs affected my spirit. I got tools to learn how to life on life’s terms. I received support from staff and other peers. I learned how to recognize emotions and deal with ‘me’ (you have to be good with yourself before you can be good with others). I learned how to handle situations that were previously ‘un-handle-able’. I learned how to live a life without using. I don’t know where I’d be without DBT skills.
What do you miss the most about being at Tamarack?
I miss the structure and group. I miss the camaraderie of the counsellors and clients and being here all the time. It’s safe. I know I can come ‘home’ anytime.
What did you most look forward to returning to?
Stability, helping others, and a stronger connection with my family. I didn’t have that before. I am excited about moving forward. Most importantly progressing and doing well.
And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone who, like you, has been through treatment before but is struggling with slips or relapses and feels like giving up?
Get yourself into a program. This one! I am convinced this is the best Manitoba, and maybe the country, has to offer. Don’t wait. Get yourself to detox if you need to and start the process. Get on your knees and pray even though it’s hard to be spiritual when you are broken. There is always a way if you want it. Time doesn’t stand still and if you are alive there is always another chance to do the right thing. Put yourself first and the rest will come.