I came to Portage as a teenager in 2011 at the west island program. I was lost and in desperate need of healing, my body and mind broken from the lifestyle I was living.
When I pulled up to the building and was greeted by the staff and residents, I felt absolutely terrified.
Terrified, but safe.
I slowly opened up and healed the wounds that were holding me hostage. The turmoil and destruction that had become home in my time of drug use began to fade away. Over time, I let go of the image I had created and allowed myself to truly live the feelings instead of covering them up or burying them with substances.
I was no longer afraid to chase rainbows or show joy over the little things that life had to offer.
Four leaf clovers and birdsongs.
All the beautiful things that I had closed off to while using drugs.
I became the woman I am today thanks to the guidance I had, and tools I developed while in therapy. With Portage I did not become a new person, I became myself.
I see how beautiful life is and I have Portage to thank for that, along with all the amazing people who supported me and allowed me to become myself in the safe environment that Portage provided.
Since leaving Portage, I completed my nursing degree and worked several years in the hospital setting before finding my passion working as a nurse specialised in substance abuse. I now work as a nurse at Portage as well as several community resources and hope to share the tools that I have learned along the way so in hopes that other people can find themselves and heal.
Maegan, Centre for Anglophone Adolescents, Montreal, 2011