by Nicole

I am a young women from Ontario, Canada. Please, allow yourself to keep an open mind as I tell this story as I know the prejudice held towards adicts.

Having dealt with a traumatic experience using drugs and alcohol to numb out my pain, I have now eliminated that dependence from my life. I feel as I have not felt in years. Alive, electric and extremely sensitive.

Under the roof of that treatment center which has been around since the mid 1970's I had an experience I now reflect upon with deep love. I draw strength from this now.

From the group of women who had been there prior to our arival, one girl close to my age had relapsed after her release resulting in an overdose. Her name is Kim. She came back to this place, I can remember feeling her presence for the first time.

Abrupt, very in your face, and extremely overwhelming. The air around you would begin to feel heavey and dense. Walking along a corridor you begin to experience a feeling of being watched, and then chased.

It was at this time I saw in my mind's eye a figure emitting great light. It was me, and Kim was drawn to this.

I would hear, not an audible physical voice, but as if it were a strong, clear stream of thought in my mind- Kim comunicating to me. I sense she was frightend, confused, and very lonely.

I began speaking aloud to her. Overtime, night after night, the air which once was dense and heavy became increasingly light.

The sensation we experiance within ourselves, that of being alive, the spirit, was without body. This is what I fealt come over me whenever she was with me.

You feel it inside of you, all that you are. Your presence. Imagine, without a vessel, how free you are.

This is where now the story takes a darker turn..

Kim would at the beginning linger at the top of the stairs to the back of the building. She stopped doing this over a period of time and would wander around the other parts of the building..

One night, not having had our regular chat, I was troubled and could not sleep. I would have liked to have turned on the light and spoken out, but the girl with whom I shared my room with was asleep.

It was in this moment I heard in my mind, as I had before, a stream of thought which was not
my own.. If I was to just go downstairs, and sit in the chair of the lobby to speak, I would then not feel so restless.

Putting on my slippers, I walked down the hall to the back stairs, descending them slowly. The air thickened, I felt heavy and uneasy. Still I moved towards a chair.

I say with a whisper of a voice.

Then I hear, quick- abrubt- drawling- NOT KIM-

I Panicked leaving the chair, this presence overwhelming- stifling- suffocating- came over me. Who was this, I had never felt this before- it was terrible. I did not sleep that night.

The next day was our graduation. I had finished the program. We were all to clean the house to leave it as we had found it.

I went to the back stairs with a broom in hand, I was drawn back to this place. I began to sweep. As I did, I became light headed, it was hard to breathe.

I did not know what was happening, I went to find my roomate and asked her to come with me to the back stairs. She stood with me there, I asked her how she felt. She said she was becoming light headed, that this was unusual as we had been here many times and had not experienced this before.

We walked down the stairs to the lobby, we spoke as I prepared the vaccum cleaner for the carpet. Having an open mind and being receptive to my experiences with Kim, I began speaking openly of the night before.

As I spoke, I sensed as though someone were standing infront of me. I-Am-Here, Deal-With-Me, it was here I was pushed. My roomate had a look of shock as she watched the apearance of force put upon me.

My left shoulder shoved, causing me to take three steps back. For the rest of the night I felt this sense of being followed, being watched and extremely ill at ease.

These feelings did not leave me until the next morning, while I was in the car on my way home.

Today, almost 6 months clean, I call to Kim in times of lonliness or fear. She gives me strength and reminds me I am not alone in this battle against addiction.. she is a reminder of the reality of this sickness, she is the light I see when the world seems so dark.

Thank you Kim.

Anne's Comments

Thank you so much Nicole for sharing your experience with us.

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