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

Maghen Transformation StoryMaghen's Story

I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family in Ontario. My Mom was an alcoholic, and after my parents split, my relationship with my family felt fractured. I went into High School knowing I wanted to try using drugs. I heard they could help numb me out, and I wanted to escape my reality. 

I started to spiral, and I dropped out of school and left home. I became pregnant in my young twenties. My partner and I both came from broken families and wanted better for our daughter. We were together for 13 years and shared joint custody afterward until I relapsed and decided to go to treatment in Ottawa. My daughter and I stayed in touch and have a good relationship to this day.

While in treatment, I ended up in a relationship with another individual in the program. We tried to help each other stay in recovery while I moved back home, finished high school, and got a degree in social work. My first placement turned out to be a stressful work environment, and I ended up relapsing shortly after.

After relapsing, both my partner and I struggled to stay sober until I became pregnant with our twin girls. I was clean the moment I found out I was pregnant, but my partner was becoming increasingly abusive during this time. His behavior resulted in us losing custody of our girls.

When I lost my girls, I lost all hope and turned back to drugs to cope. Mother’s Day was an especially sad time. I felt very ashamed of not having my children in my life. My family was worried about me and set up an intervention. They asked if they could send me to Calgary, AB, to get some help. I came to the Calgary Dream Centre (CDC) shortly after moving.

When I first arrived, I felt for the first time that everything would be okay. Being in recovery is hard enough, but getting out of the hole you’ve dug all those years in addiction is daunting. I’m grateful to have the support to help me move forward.

I started gardening here, which has been a big part of my healing. I’ve been so impacted by getting my hands in the dirt and nurturing something from nothing. I’ve learned the more love and attention you give to a plant, the better its success is and the more beautiful it becomes. 

This is true of both motherhood and recovery. I see it with my girls, as they’ve grown to trust and see me as their mother again as I’ve nurtured our relationship. They both love getting their hands in the dirt and helping me garden. They especially like to eat the vegetables we grow together!

This Mother’s Day is very meaningful to me as I reflect on everything I’ve gone through to be where I am now. Being able to share it with my girls is so special! 

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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.