Testimony of a resident at the end of a 4-month program at the addiction treatment center in Terrebonne.
2016 was a terrible year for me. I could not deal with any slight source of stress. EVERYTHING bothered me. My will to live had disappeared. I couldn't go even one day without drinking white wine. I could hide my alcohol consumption from everyone, except for my daughter. She could take a look at me and instantly realise that I wasn't 100% there. Despite her disappointment, I continued to drink.
This wasn't living.
I had lost control of my life and I was drowning in guilt, disappointment, frustration and anxiety. I couldn't even look at the news anymore. I felt completely alone. I realised that I needed outside help. I had heard of Vilavi and decided to call the organisation...there was a waitlist of 2 months and I reserved my admission for the 9th of January 2017! I had never done therapy before, so when the day came, I was relieved but apprehensive. From the moment I entered the center, I knew I had made the right decision. The first interventionist I met told me that Vilavi's program was based on a cognitive behavioural approach!...It sang like music to my ears as I studied this approach after having read an article in a Dr. Oz magazine.
I learned to express my emotions on a regular basis with the help of the "How I feel" workshop. I also managed to improve my relationship with my daughter, of which I'm very proud. I'm also learning how to be more independent with regards to managing my own needs and emotions. I'm nevertheless satisfied with the way I communicate with others. As simple and obvious this statement can look, it's had an immense impact on me: "We don't have time to waste on insignificant questions, life is too precious to be blinded by anger...handle with care!"
The workshops were very well-organised. I was attentive to each one. After my first week, I felt calm, and I found the employees and fellow residents very helpful. I'm someone who likes calm people, so it was a challenge being around 35 other people who had a diverse range of personalities and behaviours. Now that I look back on my 4 months of treatment, I can acknowledge the opportunity to live this experience. I feel stronger and more confident, thanks to the excellent environment I benefited from.
At my departure, I will be completing a 22-month program offered by Employment Quebec which aims to teach new skills in order to better integrate into the job market. It's exactly what I needed. Since obtaining my diploma in business administration in 1983, the Internet and cellphones were invented! I'll also be returning to my apartment for now. Boredom being a trigger for me, I'm aiming to keep my schedule busy. Still having great friends, I'd like to meet up with them and fraternities.
My daughter completed therapy with your organisation last autumn. I want to thank you again for the excellent work you guys have done for her, particularly her interventionist.
When my daughter first left the house, she needed to be hospitalised in order to make an adjustment to her medication. She left the hospital at the end of March and now lives in a residence appropriate for her.
She is doing well. She has once again found her beautiful smile. I can never thank you enough. She has started to make music on her synthesizer. I think it does her a lot of good.
She continues her classes remotely where she completed them and managed to score a 70% on her secondary 5 english exam. She passed her maths exam yesterday. We don't yet have the grade. She has finished her french homework.
I don't know if you'll remember me, my name is Myriam. It will soon be 3 years that I completed my approximately 4 months in harmony and acceptance with your team.
I have been living in Mexico for 6 months and am very happy, but above all I believe that you have had a great influence on my current happiness.
I would like to thank Régis who was my interventionist all the way till the end even when I was screaming and hyperactive, and thank you to Angel and his spouse for whom without them nothing would be the same, thank you to Fred, Gipsy and also a big thanks to Régis' parents who had a big heart and would prepare food of which the taste is unforgettable.
My life has changed since my arrival and has always been for the better since my departure.
I arrived after having lost everything, my wife, my house and my sense of self. I arrived with my spirit completely lost (no more friends, depressed, poor physical health and very retreated into myself, I couldn't even recognize myself. Little by little, my spirit returned as I integrated into life at the center, to my own rhythm I re-learned how to communicate and express myself, to once again find my physical and intellectual capacities.
After my integration, I began to involve myself in the community by doing maintenance work, by completing my tasks and routines conscientiously and by helping the newcomers who were just beginning their intergration phases. It really helped me understand the importance of communication and sharing our experiences.
I leave with a greater understanding on the consequences of alcohol and drug consumption. I was taught to recognise my weaknesses with regards to substances and how to avoid triggers, to manage and reduce external pressures.
I now need to begin a new type of therapy: "living in society". To find a new job and/or return to school. I also need to establish a new social entourage, by participating in group activities, such as outdoor sports, karate classes, english courses.
I'll be now able to communicate with my family more often. I'm looking forward to starting to bike and rediscover my environment as well as perhaps make beautiful encounters. I want to discover my hobbies to know what it means to live an interesting life. I'll equally continue to regularly see my interventionist and my social re-integration counselor from the Centre le Maillon in Laval, who without them, I surely wouldn't be around today.
I'd like to thank all of the staff and residents for the warm welcome that they have given me upon my arrival, and without them my time would surely not have been this easy. They quickly trusted me, which really helped me regain confidence in myself.
Wish me luck !!
It's Melanie. Do you remember me?
It's been a while...you guys accepted my admission in the middle of a beautiful night in summer, accompanied by François? It must have been twenty or so years ago, I don't remember exactly, the moment remains hazy in my memory.
I wanted to tell you that I'm doing well. I'm 30 years old now, I live in Switzerland, I study in university (in Swiss!!) to become a teacher for children between the ages of 6 to 11, in art and creation. I myself have 2 children who are 4 and 6 years old respectively. I separated from their father a year ago, but I'm happy.
I wanted to see how you were doing, and take the opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the energy I needed to re-invent my life, thank you for believing in me, thank you for being there and for helping me.
Following my experience in a school environment, I experienced many flashbacks on my life, and quietly revisited those important moments. I looked back on old photos and then decided to look online to see how you were doing. I was moved to see your faces, and that you're still continuing the work that you do, that you're still always there!
I hope to hear of your good news soon.