As a child, I had everything I needed to succeed. I was sensitive and gifted. I played piano, I danced, I was bursting with talent. But my pleasant life shifted dramatically during my primary school and early secondary school years, when bullying and rejection became my daily lot. Wanting at all costs to be accepted and loved, I started using and it soon took over my life, cutting me off from my family and my values. Caught in an infernal spiral, I even contemplated the worst. I went from failure to failure. Once a ray of sunshine, I was now plunged into darkness. As my hope faded, it was replaced by a profound sadness. I was suffering both physically and mentally. Alone and isolated, I looked only to one thing as I sought to escape reality and stop thinking.

But I still carried an inner spark that made me want to feel better, to come out of the darkness and into the light. That spark grew brighter with the arrival of my son; he made me want to truly live again.  That’s when I applied to the therapy program at the Portage-Québec Day Centre. After completing that program, I went on to the Employment Training Centre, and decided I would pick up where I had left off and started believing in myself.

I gave myself permission to succeed and enrolled in a special education course.

Now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am so grateful to everyone who helped me break free from addiction. I am proud to be an accomplished mother. I’ve rediscovered my zest for life and I am fortunate to have the support of my family and friends.

I am also extremely grateful to have been chosen as the recipient of Portage’s Charles Neyon bursary.  It represents much more than strictly financial support; it is a recognition of all my efforts and my hard work, and it has motivated me to continue surpassing myself and following my dreams.


Thank you Portage


Happiness is now!

Gaëlle, Québec Day Centre, 2022

One Response to “Gaëlle’s Testimonial, Québec Day Centre, 2022”

  1. Bill O’Donnell

    Gaelle, thank you for sharing your story. As a Lions Club member in New Brunswick, I am already familiar with the Portage organization and its great programs……. but it is always reaffirming to hear testimony of the success and the IMPORTANCE of the programs! Again, thank you for sharing! I wish you the BEST for your future!


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