The question comes to me why more of us do not share the truth of our existence.
Fear was my answer. Fear of others knowing who we are.
Through the Edmonton Dream Centre, I have learned the paradox that only through sharing my vulnerable parts can truth and healing occur. With God’s help, he has provided me with many opportunities to face my fear and shame — to discover my truth.
My parents divorced in the first year of my life. I found out later that my father was an alcoholic and drug addict and my mother left him to provide a better life for me. When I was ten, my mother remarried, and soon after my sister was born. I embraced my new family life and adored being a big sister.
My early teen years consisted of role-playing and babysitting my sister and going through many changes within myself. My stepfather was a workaholic, and my mother was often out playing bingo. I was 14 when I started to join my mother at these outings. I also started stealing cigarettes from her, and raiding my stepfather’s liquor cabinet.
By my late teens, I was smoking pot, binge drinking and attending bingo 2-3 times a weekend.
At 19, I continued the reckless behavior, but also managed to graduate. Around then, I quit going to bingo when I was introduced to VLT’s and the casino.
Even now I can remember back then thinking the amount of gambling I was doing was wrong, but I continued to deny my pain and failure by gambling.
The next 17 years of my life I would continue giving my addiction more and more power over myself. It was as if all my thoughts and actions were happening on autopilot and I was just along for the ride. Even when I didn’t feel like gambling anymore or ran out of money, I found destructive ways to continue, as if I were possessed.
I had destroyed many relationships from stealing, lying, manipulating, cheating, and sold my body. I lost what sense of dignity I had left. The worst of it all was that I almost lost my daughter.
I believe that God put an angel by the name of Laura in the midst of the destruction in my life because he had a better plan for me. Through her, I was introduced to the Edmonton Dream Centre.
Today God is helping me address the very heart of my addiction that almost took my life. He and the Dream Center staff have stood by me as I’ve accepted my powerlessness over my addictions, and taught me some very valuable lessons.
I’ve found that because I am willing to be vulnerable and be shown a better way, I’m also willing to see things I need to correct in myself.
Today, I know that I’m slowly gaining a greater feeling of freedom, and I owe this to my contact with God. I recognize that my recovery is a lifelong process and the rewards from it far outweigh staying where I was.
As I’ve come to understand, there is no luck in life, God always has a plan for us.