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Recovery blog

'I can take on the world!' - 2017 Reunion Testimonial

By: Cynthia M., Renfrew Alumna

Posted on April 30, 2018

"Within her was an ocean,

With choppy shores

And dangerous riptides;

Dark and nebulous skies painted a picture

Of a sailor lost at sea.

Floating adrift and deep in thought,

She wondered when her compass would work.

Holding tight, struggling to stay afloat,

The fear of the sea soon became a distant sailor's tale.

Feathery winds, clouds that gathered like lions,

And rays of sunshine embraced her,

Guiding her away from the unforgiving abyssal depths of the sea

The very existence of her soul flew out and met with the stars,

Shedding light to the sea so other sailors would see her ship,

Safely anchored in her recovery."


This year, I experienced my first Renfrew Reunion as a participant and not a patient. Walking up the path to greet those loving, and smiling faces that helped me through my darkest times, was such a reflective moment. I made it.

I signed in, selected groups to attend, and chatted with the staff I missed dearly. As other participants began to arrive, I saw familiar faces, and new ones. We all started to migrate to the memorable movement room, and each of us found our groups to congregate with and await the start of the reunion.

I was also asked to be one of this year's guest speaker. I sat in my chair with the familiar anticipatory anxiety that I used to push away by moving my leg up and down, or feverishly clicking a pen. I welcomed the anxiety and decided to not only "lean in," (thank you, Melanie) but also embrace the sense of excitement I was feeling. I was comforted by the thought that the moment I got up to speak, the peak of my emotions would soon subside. Sharing my story was by far the most humbling and empowering experience I have ever felt.

The groups we later attended served as a refreshing reminder that every day in recovery is not going to be sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns – and that is okay! We shared tears, laughter, and encouraging words. The sense of strength and perseverance was like no other.

To be back at Renfrew without a colored name-tag, made me feel like I can and will take on the world. Thank you to all the staff and women I met while at Renfrew – because of you, I am living a happy life.

Click Here to Register for the 2018 Alumni Reunion!


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