I grew up in a dysfunctional family, the youngest of 3 siblings. I experienced (what) traumas at a very young age; I felt abandoned and not loved. I got called cry baby quite often; I was terrified, quiet, shy, and found it difficult to trust anyone and liked to be by myself. I used food from a very young age to comfort myself and push down the fears. Later in my teens, I discovered smoking, alcohol and drugs to help me cope. I started partying and using more alcohol and more potent drugs. I was angry and frustrated and felt like I just didn’t fit in anywhere. Anger would turn to rage. What I thought was just fun, and valuable coping skills became troubling. More anxiety, depression, and not being comfortable in my skin, spiralling down deeper into a dark depression with suicidal thoughts and numbing myself would keep me on the couch. I was barely participating in life and had to force myself to do anything.
When I hit that bottom, I started seeing a counsellor who suggested trying Overeaters Anonymous, which I say I have continued many years. I started doing the work of going to meetings and working the steps. I was getting stronger and finding some relief. It was time to try Alanon and AA Again, doing the suggestions, seeing my life improve, getting healthier and more robust. I found some improvement but still feeling something was missing; I started attending Adult Children of Alcoholics, explaining my dysfunctional life.
I’ve lived in Regina most of my life, and I had a life where I worked full time at a job for 26 years, had a son, got married, and travelled. I have three beautiful grandchildren whom I love more than one could imagine. I have had many dogs always in my lifetime. I love walking in nature, especially with my three-legged dog, Bruno. I enjoy watching football, visiting with friends and playing cards.
I became friends with Bob at AA, unbeknownst to me, Bob is a psychotherapist. He offered to help me. I have learned new tools for focusing, creating healthier habits, being accountable and got rid of painful memories. There is more than 12 step recovery. What I’ve received is clarity, happiness, peace, serenity, comfort in my skin; I have lost much weight, I’m content, and so full of gratitude.
Bob says I have a gift, and he is teaching and guiding me a lot to use it to help others. I am enjoying learning so much more. Today, I lead group therapy sessions and provide lower-cost non-insured therapy sessions for some clients. Before recovery, I was existing, with healing and therapy, I am living an extraordinary life. It is never too late to start a new life.