Calgary Dream Centre
4510 Macleod Trail SW Calgary AB T2G 0A4 (403) 243-5598

Celestine’s Transformation StoryCelestine's Story

I grew up on the Maskwacis reserve 70 kilometers outside of Edmonton with my mom and my ten brothers and sisters. During my childhood, I experienced abuse and was exposed to toxic relationships. The role models I had to look up to growing up were living a lifestyle of drinking and partying. Due to these influences and circumstances, I began to drink at the age of thirteen.

In my teenage years, I was known as a ‘social butterfly’. Everyone wanted to party with me because I was fun to be around and lacked boundaries. As my addiction grew, I started to experience psychosis and struggled with levels of fear that I didn’t know were possible. I was constantly in survival mode as every day I felt like I was going to die. I didn’t like who I was becoming or what I was experiencing and I felt trapped in this cycle of partying, drinking, and doing drugs. 

There were many times that I found myself in vulnerable situations that would lead me into moments of desperation for hope. As I would cry out to God I would pray for Him to show me a sign. Without fail, every time in moments of desperation I would be met by divine encounters where a person would either say or give me exactly what I needed. This showed me that God was always with me, even in the darkest times of my life. 

I had two daughters when I was experiencing a pivotal moment in my addiction. There was a moment when I was faced with extreme seizures from drug use and neglect of food and water. I felt as though the inside of my body was twisting and turning all around. I really thought that I was going to die. During my addiction, I had many near-death experiences but this time, I felt as though I was face to-face with death. This thought of not being the mother I knew my children deserved began to run through my mind. After the seizures stopped something clicked in my mind, and I knew that this was a turning point. For the first time, I felt this fight rise up in me so that I could be free from addiction because of my daughters. 

I knew that I needed to go into detox so I started preparing myself for real-life change by getting my heart, spirit, and body ready. After completing detox I applied to the Calgary Dream Centre’s (CDC) community housing and shortly after applying, I was moving in. When I was homeless, every day was always a question of where I was going to sleep, what I was going to eat, or if I was going to be safe. I now live in the CDC’s Women’s Housing and I finally have a sense of relief. The CDC gave me peace in exchange of fear, hope in exchange of anxiety, and faith in exchange of depression.

Today I am proud to say that I’m working stronger than ever on my recovery. I am currently upgrading my studies to pursue social work so I can one day help people like myself. I am also pursuing parenting courses and prioritizing spending time with my daughters so I can work toward being the best mother that I can be. 

I have come from feeling broken and hopeless, I believe that you too can find freedom from addiction. I know my story is not finished, so I don’t discount the process because the process is what shapes us to be who we are today. There truly is power in the process!

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The Calgary Dream Centre acknowledges with humble gratitude that our organization is located on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Iyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta District 6, and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.