I started using so I wouldn’t have to feel anything anymore. Unfortunately, all it did was make matters worse. I endured some unimaginable experiences: aggression, violence, heavy substance use.

I severely neglected my physical well-being as well as my sense of self-esteem.  I stopped eating, convinced that I was overweight. My relationship with my parents deteriorated. I treated my friends badly and neglected them. I became unkind and said hurtful things. I also lied a lot.

I knew I was in a terrible state. I could barely recognize myself.  

By the time I got to Portage Saint-Malachie, I weighed 98 pounds. I was pale and basically just skin and bones. I wasn’t myself anymore. It’s been nearly a year now since I escaped that nightmare.  Portage saved my life and reignited the spark in me.

Today, I can truly say that I’m well surrounded; I’ve stepped back from the toxic relationships in my life. It was painful, but I’m now much better and infinitely grateful for all the help I got.

I am extremely proud of myself.

Thanks to all who saw me through those difficult times. I am profoundly grateful. I hope everyone discovers the path to recovery.


Sandie, Adolescents Program, Saint-Malachie, 2023

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