“Less than a year ago I stood on the brink of a bridge, minutes away from jumping to my death,” says Lisa, 41. “Today, with help from The Salvation Army, I’m safe, sober and liking myself for the first time in decades.”
From age seven to 14, Lisa was sexually abused by her father. Then, when she developed the courage to tell her mother about the terrifying episodes, she was sent to live with her grandparents. To numb the pain she abused drugs and alcohol, attempted suicide and sought out new relationships. But nothing worked.
“I have flashbacks and nightmares regularly,” says Lisa. “For years I went to AA meetings but couldn’t stay sober. Before coming to The Salvation Army’s addiction program I was living in my car. Death seemed more attractive than my years of pain, abuse, self-blame and worthlessness.”
The Salvation Army’s Anchorage Addiction Treatment Program in Winnipeg provides a spectrum of services such as primary and aftercare residential treatment programs, group and individual therapy that includes complex trauma treatment and mental wellness support to adult men and women battling addiction.
“This program is different from others I’ve participated in,” says Lisa. “The treatment is longer and there is aftercare. Other programs left me hanging after sharing my issues. I didn’t know how to cope in the real world.“
Lisa has come a long way since a friend dropped her off at the front doors with a couple of bags in tow.
“Lisa has celebrated four months of sobriety,” says Viktoria Westgate, Program Manager. “She has completed our 90-day program and plans to be in our Aftercare Program for one year. She is working on her childhood trauma issues, her recovery tools and is someone who many clients look up to as a mentor.”
“I still have rough days—days where I want to use,” says Lisa. “That’s reality when you are trying to deal with complex issues. Recovery isn’t an easy road but I want it more than anything. I’m so glad I came to the Anchorage program. It has completely changed my perspective on life and made mine worth living.”