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Life always finds a way

Powerful Story of Surviving Addiction Edgewood Health Network Drug Rehab

Opinion by EHN Staff

Written by Peter A. Levine, a support counsellor who works at Bellwood Health Services.

One of the beautiful aspects of working in the recovery field is that as a clinician you get to witness firsthand that despite sometimes overwhelming challenges and odds, life finds a way to push forward. Similar to a flower that grows out of the pavement, recovery and a new life can blossom out of some of the most trying circumstances. Like the hard, unforgiving, and seemingly impenetrable pavement that blocks out the light of the sun, for patients coming into treatment with decades of addictive behaviours, complex trauma histories, and concurrent mental and physical health challenges, it may appear as though their lives will never have the opportunity to blossom. But with love and care, a structured daily program of connection and growth, appropriate nurturing of their physical, mental, and social health, life starts to emerge out of the darkness of their past, a life that had been surviving in the dark for years.

As a clinician, I hear quite frequently from patients about multiple near-death experiences, accidents, violence, assaults, and hazardous work incidents. I now appreciate the miracle of their survival and that they even made it to get treatment at all. As the layers of addiction, trauma, emotions, and mental blocks get peeled back day by day, a strength, a resilience, a light, and a life rushes forth. It reminds us, like the flower pushing up through the pavement, that even though we may have sometimes felt like it wasn’t there—life was always there!— underneath the surface, pushing us, ever so graciously up towards the sunlight of our spirits.

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