A Promise to Myself

In order to please my dad, I took over his construction business; but I never felt recognized in my role. For 35 years, I lost myself in a world of illusion. All I wanted was to numb myself to reality; but substance use takes a heavy toll. My body was rebelling against me and there were times when I couldn’t even utter a word. It got to the point where I wanted to die and join my beloved brother who had passed away as a result of his substance use.

I started my external therapy program at Portage in 2019. I needed to learn how to stay sober in a world where drugs are everywhere. I no longer had any self-esteem. Even though I had everything you need to be happy, I didn’t feel like I deserved to be.

When I got to Portage, I had no time to waste and everything to gain. Dealing with 50 years of life in four months was a challenge I was willing to take on. I had to learn to go easier on myself, to forgive myself and, above all, to allow myself to become the woman I really wanted to be.

After four years of working on my recovery, I turned the page on an important chapter of my life by helping my parents close down the family business. I achieved my dream of fulfilment by creating a cozy nest for myself by the water.

I am now a receptionist at Portage, where I greet all those seeking help. It comforts me to assist people who are going through what I myself went through. I welcome them with a honest look, remember each person’s name, offer them a good cup of coffee and always make sure they get a comforting meal.

Dany, Québec City Day Centre, 2019

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