When I first walked through the front gates of GraceWay, I was broken, numb and full of shame. I was desperate to hold on to my false sense of power and control over my alcoholism. Pride was my illusionary protector and life line, yet in truth, pride was the enemy in hiding, slowing killing me in the process. As I walked through the front door of GraceWay, I took a deep breath, looked up, and was greeted with big Southern hugs from the GraceWay team. It was then and there that I intrinsically knew that I would be “OK”. I was right where I needed to be.
Travelling all the way from Canada, I was far away from home. GraceWay embraced me into their family and provided me with a sense of community. After having already completed three treatment programs, I thought I knew the “ropes”. I knew what the counsellors would want to hear, how I was supposed to act, how to stay below the “radar” and not have to be truthful with myself or others. I was deluding myself. The GraceWay team immediately saw through my façade and “carefronted” me with truth; yet, loved and accepted me anyways, despite not being able to accept and love myself.
GraceWay is based on transition and transformation. It is a very demanding but powerful inpatient recovery home that empowered me to own my addiction and journey of recovery. It required me to self-reflect and dig below the surface (the inside me versus how I present myself to the outside world) and fully commit to the holistic twelve step model. Despite the amazing programming, activities and opportunities that GraceWay provided, the program allowed me to learn how to make, reach and maintain my goals, while living life on life’s terms. GraceWay not only provided me with a sense of purpose, self worth and self esteem, the team encouraged me to utilize my strengths to move forward, maintain accountability and challenged me to move towards self reliance and social responsibility. GraceWay will always hold a special place in my heart and in my spiritual growth. It was through GraceWay that I learned that it was “OK” to be “ME “, “Myself” and “I”. What I thought were my ugly imperfections, were the very things that made me beautiful. The GraceWay team lead by example and freely gave of themselves – their stories and personal lived experiences through addiction and recovery. Their strength and courage gave and gives me hope today.
After five months in the main treatment house, I was able to transition over to “The Way" – semi-independent apartment living - located on the GraceWay property. After three months living at “The Way”, I returned home to Canada. Although, I still have my personal trials and tribulations, alcoholism is no longer the keeper of my thoughts. I am no longer a “puppet” and my alcoholism my “puppeteer”. Today, I no longer “live to drink” nor “drink to live”. Instead I walk through this world with my head held high, with the grace of a woman, rather than the grief of a child. Everyday brings a new beginning and a new end. When I make a non-healthy choice, I can always start fresh and move forward in my recovery.
GraceWay saved my life in so many ways. For that I am forever grateful and blessed. I feel privileged to call GraceWay and the long-term friendships that I made while at GraceWay - FAMILY. I recommend GraceWay to any woman who is struggling and serious about healing her mind, body and spirit.
Forever and a day,