I did an interview with the National Post today about Homewood and my experience being a patient there. I have done many of these interviews, and they always start the same way; Homewood saved my life. I went to Homewood thanks to my family and best friend at the time, AB, because they advocated for me when I couldn’t. They were literally my voice when I was unconscious. After my first overdose I was diagnosed with PTSD, and my journey to recovery began; thanks to them.
At first I didn’t want to go to Homewood. To be honest, I was in so much denial that I didn’t think I was that sick. I was ungrateful and standoffish when I first got there. I knew how to fix me…or so I thought. What could anyone teach me about myself? They didn’t know how I was feeling! No one did! … or so I thought. There’s a saying I once heard that goes, when you go to rehab you scratch your nails on the walls on the way in because you don’t want to go. But when it’s time to leave, you scratch your nails on the walls on the way out, because you don’t want to leave. For me, this was 100% true.
After seven weeks in Homewood, I finally came to the realization that I was very sick. Not only did I have PTSD, I was also an alcoholic and addict. I finally learned how to, “trust the process” when I was there and surrendered. This was not a linear path of surrender. It was a massive roller coaster of emotions. I even ran away one night in search of a bar, knowing full well that if I drank I would not have a clean urine and I would most likely get kicked out; I didn’t care, and was sure that I knew what was best for me. Sigh. Thank God I came to my senses, freezing cold and worried that my family and friends wouldn’t know where I was if they were looking for me (especially when I had just texted my friend AB, so I knew she would be replying soon, and my phone battery was now dead), I walked back. Divine intervention? Well, I would say yes to that question now. But I didn’t like “God” back then, and I sure as hell was completely resistant to interventions – eye roll to myself.
I had so much to live for, but didn’t know how to live. I had so much to offer, but didn’t know where to begin. I had so much darkness, and zero light; thankfully Homewood changed all of these things for me. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I will say it a thousand times more, Homewood and the support of my family and friends saved my life.
Guess what? I’m going to be a grandma soon! As you can see by the above picture, I’m a little bit excited about it! My grandson will be here in a few days. Adam will be an uncle! Life is good. It’s not always easy, but I have tools I can, and do use now to help me with symptoms and hard times. I’m a City Councillor and get to help my community everyday. Sometimes it’s good to reminisce to see how far you’ve come.
If you are reading this and are about to head to a rehabilitation hospital soon, my advice to you is, TRUST THE PROCESS. Breathe, and surrender.
As always, thank you to everyone who helped me to be who I am today; you know who you are XO