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From Sweden to Canada for an alcohol treatment!

My learning experience in Dianova’s therapeutic community in the Montreal suburb...

Since I was admitted at Dianova, four months ago, I learned that I can do almost anything as long as I think it trough and have a plan for what I want and need.

It’s been challenging to me because I find it hard to be in charge and always thought that I wasn’t good enough to do things like that. Now I know that I’m good enough and I love being implicated in the community life and work towards my future.

I am a fifty year old grandmother of two from Sweden, my name is Carina. I started as a young woman to drink and I have gone through treatments in my past. Then I had many sober years and made some good things for myself, but I could not find any balance in life. Either I did a lot or nothing at all. I worked very hard both at work as well as in my house. It is a fine line between doing enough or too much.

I can’t do anything with moderation, so I ended up depressed. I could not find a solution for my depression so I turned back to the bottle again to get some kind of peace of mind. That turned out to be a disaster for me, after that first drink I couldn’t stop drinking. After two years of drinking my hometown counselor gave me an option: she told me to read about Dianova center which is a community based treatment. That caught my interest and I decided to go for it. I chose Canada and I got here in January 2011. Since that day I have had some big changes and I even learned some French!

I’ve been here four months now and I have experienced many different things. The biggest thing in this process is that I have had the opportunity to have several responsibilities in the house among which the Peer-committee and the New-comer group. Those groups are chosen by our counselors and all the staff. I’m very proud of myself and I learned that I can do almost anything as long as I think it trough and have a plan for what I want and need. It’s been challenging to me because I find it hard to be in charge and I always thought that I was not good enough to do things like that. Now I know that I’m good enough and I love being implicated in the community life and work towards my future.

Now I have my own bookbinding project going on and I also take part in other resident’s projects. I’m learning French and other things from my friends here. There are a lot of skills under this roof, I’m impressed by all the knowledge and I’m going to learn as much as possible before my time is over.

Last month, I was involved in a project to spend a day at St-James church, downtown Montreal. They have a floor for homeless addicted people and our goal was to spend some time there, talk and learn about their situation. The day left us all in a state where alcohol and drugs felt very far away. It was a good experience to share these people’s everyday life and for a moment to look at our own life and be grateful about what one actually has. I’m happy that I could do this and it will be a good experience for the rest of my life. This left me with a new perspective for my future, I love to help people, but I need to help myself first. So for now I’m embracing life and can’t wait for the rest to come. I’m one lucky woman and life is a gift we can’t take for granted: only today is given, the rest is uncertain. If I keep up this path I might be surprised what life has in store for me.

Carina.