Britt – Program Manager – FSRC -Lethbridge

addiction, Blog Article, calgary treatment centre, family healing, recovery

If you would have asked folks from my childhood if they thought I would struggle with substance use, I imagine most would say no.

My childhood was tough – it was full of chaos and I was forced to grow up fast. I remember being filled with shame at a young age and I attempted to hide it with overachieving. I excelled in school and sports (some, haha) while being consistently on the honours list and even awarded Student of the Year, but the gig did not last long. I remember I started to step away or sabotage anything that was positive. I discovered drugs and alcohol quite young – it started with experimenting at the age of 10 to regular use by 12. I quickly fell into a world that I swore I never would and morphed into a person I didn’t know, nor was I proud of. My substance use allowed me to feel a false sense of confidence and took away feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness and shame; however, it was at the cost of my dignity, health and relationships with those I cherished and who cherished me.

I tried so hard to quit on my own – there were constant, unsuccessful attempts to limit, change and stop my use. Nothing worked and it was as if my soul vanished. I could get a couple days under me but I would end up back out there and more reckless than ever. All throughout, my health was deteriorating – I constantly baffled doctors because I was experiencing health concerns that a 20-year-old shouldn’t. I ended up finding recovery after a series of significant losses and finally realizing that I was not invincible. After much reluctance and encouragement from medical and mental health professionals, I found myself in a hospital conference room “observing” a 12-step meeting – it was not long before I realized that I myself was an addict. Not only could I relate to others, but this group accepted me without judgement, and I quickly realized I had to do more than observe. My recovery journey began October 31, 2009 – one person phrased it as that’s the day I came back from the dead.

If you would have asked folks from my early life if they thought I would be helping others who struggle with substance use, I imagine most would say no.

I took bad advice from a psychologist and decided to “use my obsession” and channel it towards something good – this would of have been great advice if I wasn’t already looking for a distraction from myself and my feelings. So, of course I rushed into school and wanted to become an Addictions Counsellor to redeem myself and save the world. I was accepted into the Addictions Counselling program at the University of Lethbridge in the first year of my recovery. Although I am so grateful for the program and proud of myself for completing, looking back I wish I would have slowed it down and focused on myself a bit more before jumping into the world of academia. My mental health was not good before school and definitely deteriorated while in school and I ultimately fell back into old, overachieving behaviours with little concept of self-care. Luckily, I had supportive people in my life who had the courage to give me this feedback and stick with me while I once again jumped back into intensive counselling. The last few years of my recovery have honestly been the best years of my life, and I finally feel comfortable as Britt.

All the terrible and most shameful things in my history have led me to this moment today and I could not be more honoured to be the Program Manager at Fresh Start Recovery Centre – Lethbridge. Who would have thought that my past could ever be considered an asset!?! I love getting to go to work and talking about REAL stuff while watching people transform their lives – I am forever grateful for the souls who trust me to be a part of their journey. It is so cool to be a part of a community that revolves around acceptance, healing and love. I guess you could say I am beyond grateful – I would not have the people or the opportunities in my life that I do, if it wasn’t for my recovery.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

The Government of Alberta supports Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and Recovery-Oriented Communities of Care which include addiction treatment and post-treatment housing. Their goal is to create lasting Recovery in Alberta for individuals, families, and entire communities promoting the fact that Recovery is Real, Attainable, and Sustainable. All Albertans can experience the positive and healing effects of Recovery Capital. For more information please visit their website https://www.alberta.ca/addiction-mental-health.aspx

Mission Fit

Ron Jarrett, owner of Mission Fitness is what a committed and helpful community partner is all about. He trains the clients in the house weekly and believes that true strength and progress can only be made from a solid foundation.  That foundation includes alignment, mobility and stability, and must address any muscular imbalances, weaknesses and lack of connection.  Achieving this level means the body is able to progress safely without fear of injury. www.missionfit.ca

for more information about Fresh Start Recovery Centre or any of our programs.

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