“And I have not had to walk this path alone…the pa-a community provides me with support, inspiration and courage. I am honoured to be part of such an amazing group of folk, who are showing up for themselves and their loved ones on a daily basis. Who have made the commitment to make positive changes in their circumstances…”

“They are just living their lives and developmentally feel like everything is ok. I believe that as life ebbs and flows eventually their coping mechanisms are no longer going to provide the stability that they do now. That is when they are going to need a well adjusted, present parent. So, I will continue to work on myself. Attend support group meetings, learn how to clearly communicate using NVC, work on my emotional, spiritual and physical recovery. I will do this all 1 day at a time, and sometimes 1 second at a time.”

“In the eighteen months that have elapsed as I have dedicated myself to the 12 steps that the program uses, I have been through a kaleidoscope of emotions. Grief, pain, joy, elation, laughter, peace. And this has been a joint expedition for me, with my fellow travelers by my side. We support each other in the difficult times, and celebrate together when joy arrives. We have become friends who love and support one another unconditionally. What a beautiful gift of recovery.”

“I know that when I feel as physically tired as I do this morning, that can lead to a downward spiral in my emotional health. So I need to pay close attention to myself today. Regular check in’s to see where I am at…a very short ‘to do’ list, so I don’t tip into overwhelm…I remind myself that my support system, the amazing community of pa-a, is only a phone call away if I need comfort or reassurance.. I am no longer alone… These are all the tools and supports that my recovery work in the program has provided me with…leaning into them allows me to face a potentially challenging day with a very different mindset than the one I had before I started working on myself in pa-a.”

“My recovering self has a different narrative in her head. If I say yes just to please others, I am betraying myself. I don’t want to do that anymore. I am in charge of my feelings and well being. I have a voice, and it deserves to be heard. If I conclude that my answer is no, recovery also shows me a way to deliver this message in a kind, compassionate and assertive way. It now feels good when I do this…when I practice the pause, and make a considered decision, rather than having a knee-jerk reaction. What a fantastic message to send my children – a healthier, more present way to be in the world.”

“It feels both overwhelming and a relief at the same time. I can’t keep holding on to this pain. I know that when I share about it, write about it, ACKNOWLEDGE it, that I will grow. And heal. I have program work, and the emotionally safe space created by my fellow travelers, to thank for this amazing opportunity.”

“Today is a day off work for me. Prior to recovery, that would have made me anxious. I would need to have a list of things to do, otherwise my mind may stray into uncomfortable emotional territory. Today, that is still a possibility. With the tools and understanding I have through working the program, I now know what I need to do…in the first instance, I need to acknowledge my feelings. That in itself is huge progress for me. And the ability to be able to do that now starts to put my mind at ease. I am finally working ‘with myself’, instead of ‘against myself’. Validating my feelings. Wow.”

“I get to share this newfound positive recovery energy with everyone in my life – my fellow travellers, friends, colleagues…and my children. They may not be actively present in my life right now, but the unbreakable mother/child bond feels especially strong as I walk and grow on the path of recovery”

“Thankfully, I’ve discovered through PA-A.org that I have to SAVE MYSELF. I have to stop trying to run away from ME. But in the program, I don’t have to learn to be comfortable alone, alone! I’ve discovered how to attain peace, tranquility and calmness from the members who have come before me. Holding the tenderness of virtual hands of my friends who share my reality. We help comfort each other and guide each other and understand each other so that using my new recovery tools keep me focused on healing and on new ways of coping. My sponsor reminds me to be gentle with myself and stay connected to God, my higher power. The stepwork teaches me to just BE ME.”

“That kind of clarity, and the process and support to get to that point, was not available to me prior to joining pa-a.org. I will forever be grateful to the program for showing me how to explore and express myself emotionally. One day, I hope my kids will be able to do the same.”